Taliban Joins Syrian Fray

Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast.

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Today’s Top Stories

1. According to the Sunday Times of London, an Israeli submarine-fired missile destroyed Syrian barracks in Latakia where advanced Russian-made Yakhont missiles were stored. A number of papers picked up on the Times’ coverage:

The attack, by an Israeli Dolphin class submarine, is understood to have been closely co-ordinated with Washington . . .

Yakhont missiles pose a threat not only to the Israeli navy but also the US Sixth Fleet and British naval vessels in the eastern Mediterranean.

But Israel denies the reports.


2. The Taliban’s joining the Syrian fray, sending hundreds of men to fight, setting up camps, and generally strengthening Al-Qaeda’s brand of jihad. Media reports picked up on BBC coverage. Al-Qaeda vs. Hezbollah is this summer’s version of Alien vs. Predator. Pass the popcorn.

3. Khaled Abu Toameh: Cairo’s punishing Gaza for meddling in Egyptian affairs:

The Palestinians have a long history of meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries, even if that always proves to be counterproductive and harmful to Palestinian interests. Now, the new rulers of Egypt are extremely angry with the Palestinians, especially Hamas, for supporting Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But instead of punishing Hamas and its leaders, the Egyptian authorities have resorted to collective punishment against the Palestinians, particularly those living in the Gaza Strip.

One hardly hears and reads about these anti-Palestinian measures: they are being carried out by an Arab country, not by Israel.

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4. Success: The Times Decapitalizes Tel Aviv: After referring to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, the Times of London corrects the record.

5. Muslim Brotherhood Engaged in Photo Fraud: How many more people are going to fall for crude fauxtrography?

The Blankfeld Award for Media Critique

Israel and the Palestinians

Imagine the headlines if Israel did this:

5 year-old boy killed by stray bullet in Gaza camp

John Kerry’s returning for his sixth Mideast visit since March.

US sources said that even inside the State Department there is little confidence that Kerry’s efforts will succeed . . .

Happy Ramadan from the PA security services. Move along now . . .

Khaled Abu Toameh

Jonathan Schanzer (CNN) on what the Muslim Brotherhood’s downfall means for Hamas:

Now, Hamas has only two patrons left, and both are Western allies that could be tempted to throw Hamas under the bus for greater financial or political incentives . . .

For the moment, then, Hamas is probably safe. It still appears to have the backing of Qatar and Turkey. Nevertheless, the divorce from Iran and Syria, followed by the collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, give the impression that Hamas has buckled at the knees. Whether it is allowed to stand again may depend upon the new junta in Cairo.

See also Frida Ghitis.

For commentary/analysis, see Michael Gerson (Washington Post), the Jerusalem Post (water issues), and YNet (preconditions for peace talks).

On the next page:

  • Cairo prosecutors investigating Hamas involvement in Mohammed Morsi’s prison escape.
  • Egyptian helicopter overflies Gaza.
  • Is Bashar Assad giving phony Druze ID papers to Hezbollah mercenaries?

Continued on Page 2

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