Hezbollah Takes Heavy Losses in Qusayr

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Today’s Top Stories

1. An Israeli government panel concluded — 13 years after the fact — that Israel didn’t kill Mohammed al-Dura.  Take your pick of coverage from the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, YNet, Israel HaYom, and Times of Israel. A few Western news services — AP, NY Times, and AFP — also picked up on the story. Mohammed’s father, Jamal, slammed the panel, called for an international inquiry, and even offered to exhume his son’s body.

See HonestReporting’s response: Israel Report: Al-Dura Did Not Die in 2000 Shooting.

Although the Israeli panel didn’t present any new information, it’s generating new online discussion and awareness. Hopefully, real vindication will come later this week in Paris. A French court is due to rule on Philippe Karsenty’s ongoing legal battle with France 2 over the video’s veracity.

For more background, watch HR’s video recapping the facts and fiction of the al-Dura affair.

2. Hezbollah took heavy losses battling for the rebel-controlled border village of Qusayr. Al-Arabiya reports at least 40 Hezbollahniks killed. One hospital called on Lebanese to donate blood to wounded Hezbollah men. For more on Hezbollah’s role in the battle for Qusayr, see the Daily Star and NY Times.

3. At the last minute, Israel cancelled a planned visit by a UNESCO delegation that was going to inspect preservation work in Jerusalem’s Old City. According to the Jerusalem Post:

“The Palestinians violated all the agreements we had with UNESCO: that this was to be a purely professional, not a political visit,” he said.  The official said the Palestinians asked to introduce a “slew” of political elements into the visit, with PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki characterizing it as a fact-finding commission to investigate Israeli steps in Jerusalem.

The spokesman said that contrary to an agreement brokered in April at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, the PA was now insisting on taking the delegation to the Temple Mount, and meeting with Palestinian political  personalities, not just “engineers, architects and professional people”.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Finance Minister Yair Lapid gave his first interview with the Western media since taking office. Most of his discussion with NY Times bureau chief Jodi Rudoren addressed Lapid’s adjustment to politics. Big Media picked up on the interview, zeroing in on Lapid’s preference for an interim deal with the Palestinians. Fair enough — but Lapid’s personal musings morphed into this strange Arizona Daily Star headline:

Arizona Daily Star

NBC News reports a spike in Israeli arrests of Palestinian kids. Producer Lawahez Jabari doesn’t mention a spike in Palestinian kids throwing stones, but that would spoil the mood.

Human rights groups are investigating the case of Mohamed Abdel Karim Dar. The Hebron man was tortured so badly in PA detention he lost his ability to speak. Details at the Jerusalem Post.

On the next page:

  • Hamas confiscates rockets from Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
  • Israel’s competing for seat on UN Security Council.
  • More commentary/analysis on Mohammed al-Dura developments.

Continued on Page 2

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