Car Bomb Rocks Hezbollah

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. Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold secret negotiations with PLO officials? Depends on which Jerusalem Post sources you want to believe.

Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office denied Ajrami’s statements, stating that claims that Netanyahu held secret talks with Palestinians in his home were “untrue.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) told her faction that no such talks had taken place since Netanyahu’s third government was sworn into office in March.

Ajrami insisted that the talks had taken place both in statements he made at the Geneva Initiative panel and separately to The Jerusalem Post.

2. Massive Beirut car bomb injures dozens in Hezbollah neighborhood. No confirmation yet of casualties and no indications of whodunnit. The LA Times writes:

The explosion, which came as Muslims were preparing for the Ramadan fasting period, struck the mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Beir al-Abed. The area is a stronghold of Hezbollah, a dominant political and paramilitary force in Lebanon.

3. Mass resignations at Al Jazeera protesting biased coverage of Egypt. The 22 quit rather than follow orders to tilt their coverage in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. Business Insider rounded up the relevant links.

Things got even more embarrassing: Al-Jazeera journalists covering a Egyptian army press conference were kicked out of an military press conference in Cairo — by other journalists. AP describes the sorry scene:

During the news conference, one journalist stood up and demanded Al-Jazeera reporters be excluded from the proceedings.

The Al-Jazeera reporters eventually stood up and walked out accompanied by chants of “Out! Out!” from others in the crowd.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Worth reading: Khaled Abu Toameh on why Hamas won’t be toppled like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bad news for the BDS movement: The Detroit Free Press reports that visiting Michigan Governor Rick Snyder hit it off with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What might that mean for trade?

For more commentary/analysis on the peace process, see The New Republic, Moshe Arens, plus staff-eds in the Washington Post and NY Daily News.

The Blankfeld Award for Media Critique

Arab Spring Winter

YNet: Gaza Islamists are infiltrating the Sinai to fight the Egyptian military.

More Egyptian backlash against Hamas: Nilesat, the state-run satellite provider, pulled the plug on Hamas’ Al-Quds TV.

Hezbollah to Tehran: We can’t prop up Assad alone. Send more Iranian fighters to Syria ASAP. Israel HaYom picks up on Arab media reports.

Israeli Arab Hikmat Massarwa agreed to a plea bargain with Israeli prosecutors after he was charged with traveling to Syria to fight with Islamist rebels. Reuters writes:

The Shin Bet said Massarwa’s fellow rebels tried to talk him into carrying out a suicide attack against Assad forces, or a similar strike in Israel, but that he refused.

Jaber denied such requests were ever made of his client. He played down the significance of Massarwa’s discussions with the rebels about Israel’s military capabilities, saying anything he said would not have gone beyond information publicly available.

Egyptian media reports that Mohammed Morsi secretly sought to replace top army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Unfortunately for the president, Al-Sisi learned of the plan.

Ihe 12 year-old Egyptian kid in this video gone viral seems to be one smart cookie. Caveat: I can’t vouch for the translation. For all I know, Ali Ahmed’s really talking about baseball’s All-Star roster, Princess Kate’s due date, or conniving Jews with horns . . .

For commentary/analysis of Egypt’s entropy, see Elliott Abrams, Aaron David Miller, Tariq Alhomayed, Spengler, Tony Blair, Dennis Ross, the BBC, and a NY Times staff-ed.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Fasten your seat belts: Israeli media reports say there’s another Prisoner X anonymously incarcerated.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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