Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli forces arrested more Palestinians affiliated with Hamas, including 50 previously released in the exchange for Gilad Shalit.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the arrests were meant as a statement to Hamas.
Israel wants to make clear to Hamas it will pay a high price for the abduction. Netanyahu was swift to praise the latest arrests, which brought the total number of those detained to 240.
“The operation tonight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including some who had been freed in exchange for the return of Gilad Shalit, is a component with an important message in a series of many actions,” he said in a statement.
The message seems to have reached PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is calling for the release of the Israeli teens.
But by expanding the IDF’s mission beyond purely working to find the kidnapped teens, the door opens for cynical headlines like the one below from the LA Times, suggesting Israel is exploiting the kidnapping for ulterior motives.
2. Arab MK Hanin Zoabi continues to deny kidnappers are terrorists.
Radical Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, who made waves this week for saying the kidnappers were not terrorists, is digging in her heels, refusing to apologize, and blaming Israel for creating a “context of occupation.”
Not surprisingly, Hamas issued a statement of support for Zoabi:
“We in Hamas bless Hanin Zoabi for standing her ground,” a spokesman for the terror organization said, “and we hope that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority will follow her example in supporting the homeland, citizens, and the Palestinian problem rather than the disappearance of soldiers, or boasting about security coordination” with Israel.
Labor leader Yitzchak Herzog sent Zoabi an open letter chiding her for complicating relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel:
“Yesterday, at the height of the operation to bring back the boys, you decided to say obscene words encouraging kidnapping,” Herzog wrote. “These statements harm peace and coexistence no less than any ‘Price Tag’ act.”
3. A new low? Palestinians feature children in photos giving the “three finger salute” celebrating the kidnapping.
The three fingers represent “three Shalits,” in reference to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli kidnap victim who was ultimately bartered for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
4.Kidnapping of Israeli Teens: Accurate Media Coverage?
Rest O’ the Roundup
• UN Watch director Hillel Neuer wonders why Human Rights Watch chief Kenneth Roth refuses to issue an unequivocal condemnation of the kidnapping.
• Another problematic headline from the Daily Mail:
The word kidnapped is in quotes to denote suspicion, but the emphasis is clearly on the “injustice” of home searches in the quest to find the teens. Of course, if they were set free, there would be no more searches and no more “trashed” homes.
• Court rules against Mordechai Vanunu in bid to lift travel ban.
For more, see Yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.