• Egyptian prosecutors are formally investigating if Hamas was involved in Mohammed Morsi’s escape from prison during the revolution’s early days. AP writes:
Critics in the opposition and judiciary have suggested that proof of foreign intervention on Egyptian soil could lead to treason charges.
• Maan News notes more bad blood: Egypt arrested a Palestinian connected to a bomb blast which sabotaged an Egyptian-Jordanian gas pipeline.
• Reports: Egyptian forces destroyed 805 tunnels.
• An Egyptian military helicopter overflew Gaza, buzzing Khan Yunis and Rafah. The Times of Israel explains:
According to a security source, the helicopter pilot inadvertently strayed over the Strip during an operation against Islamists in Sinai near the Egyptian border with Gaza and was only over the Hamas-controlled territory for a few minutes before the IDF radioed him. The helicopter pilot promptly returned to Sinai.
• Syrian opposition figures told Al-Arabiya that the Assad regime is giving Hezbollah and other foreign Shiite fighters forged Druze identity documents. This is going to complicate the efforts of Israeli Druze leaders to resettle their Syria brethren into Israel.
• Serves them right? Hezbollah’s stepping up security measures around its Beirut neighborhoods. Right now, the Times of Israel only talks about checkpoints. If this is the first step towards inconveniencing residents to wait in line for metal detectors, and traffic jams as bomb squads check suspicious items at bus stops, Beirut’s Shiites won’t get my sympathy.
• Manila laid out conditions for its 300 UN peacekeeping forces to continue in the Golan. AP reports that the main Filipino demands are additional protective equipment and weapons, as well as shorter periods of deployment.
• According to UN figures, there are now more than 604,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. What could possibly go wrong with all those refugees in the Lebanese tinderbox?
The only conclusion to draw from the events in Lebanon and Syria is that the civilized world must rid itself of the Asad-Hizb’Allah-Iran coalition even at the expense of supporting jihadis, because they can be dealt with in a later phase.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Iran will have intercontinental ballistic missiles able to hit the US by 2015, according to a Pentagon report.
• Pro Publica investigates Iran’s Latin American in-roads and the potential terror threats:
The allegations are consistent with interviews in recent years in which U.S., Latin American and Israeli security officials have told ProPublica about suspected Middle Eastern operatives and Latin American drug lords obtaining Venezuelan documents through corruption or ideological complicity.
“There seems to be an effort by the Venezuelan government to make sure that Iranians have full sets of credentials,” a U.S. law enforcement official said. . . .
The foreign policy of new Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is a work in progress. But as Duncan and others pointed out this week, Maduro was a point man for the alliance with Iran when he led served as foreign minister from 2006 to 2012.
While we’re on the subject of Iran’s South American ties, you can hear Capitol Hill rumblings against Argentina. Some congressmen want to economically penalize the country for becoming buddy-buddy with the mullahs. More at the JTA.
• Iran launched its internal internet, by rolling out a “government assigned email address linked to your social security number that makes it easy to trace users and monitor their communication.” Wall St. Journal coverage.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• AFP profiles the IDF’s Bedouin trackers.
• Twitter outed to a French court the names of users who anonymously posted anti-Semitic content.
Twitter argued in court that since it is an American company it adheres to US laws and is protected by the First Amendment and its broad free speech liberties. But the French judge in January said that comments by Internet users in France are subject to France’s stricter legislation against racist and hateful expression.
(Image of Venezuelan flag via Flickr/ruurmo)
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.