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:
A strong trade bond with Egypt could break Gaza’s last tentative ties with the West Bank, further hurting Abbas’ efforts to establish a state in both of those territories, along with east Jerusalem.
“This is a very dangerous step,” Abbas aid Mohammed Ishtayeh, said of Hamas’ appeal to Egypt. “It would be the end of the two-state solution,” he said.
2. Tycoons like Ron Lauder, Patrick Drahi, and Sheldon Adelson are using their media holdings to promote Israeli views. Haaretz wonders if there’s a pattern.
3. The International Red Cross formally declared the Syrian conflict to be a “civil war.” AP explains what this has to do with the proverbial price of eggs:
On Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it now considers the Syrian conflict a civil war, meaning international humanitarian law applies throughout the country.
Also known as the rules of war, humanitarian law grants all parties in a conflict the right to use appropriate force to achieve their aims. The Geneva-based group’s assessment is an important reference for determining how much and what type of force can be used, and it can form the basis for war crimes prosecutions, especially if civilians are attacked or detained enemies are abused or killed.
Israel and the Palestinians
• A Palestinian security official told the Israeli media that Arafat was murdered by other Palestinians. Maan News writes:
Shabana said that two Palestinian figures were involved in Arafat’s death, a security figure from the Gaza Strip and a political figure who helped cover up the crime.
The Palestinian leadership has information on the death of Yasser Arafat which it will never make public, Shabana said, adding that the Al-Jazeera’s report aimed to end President Abbas’ political career.
• A Palestinian accused of collaborating with Israel — in the form of selling land to Jews — committed suicide. The Jerusalem Post explains why the PA’s especially shocked by Osama Hussein Mansour:
The source said Mansour had been in charge of a department that was created by the PA to prevent Palestinians from selling lands to Israelis.
“We discovered that the man who was responsible for thwarting such land deals was himself involved in such transactions,” the source told The Jerusalem Post.
The source pointed out that PA law bans Palestinians from conducting real estate deals with Israelis – a crime punishable by death in the Palestinian territories.
• President Obama concedes he has failed to move the Mideast peace process forward. He told WJLA TV News:
“I have not been able to move the peace process forward in the Middle East the way I wanted. It’s something we focused on very early. But the truth of the matter is that the parties, they’ve got to want it as well.”
It’s at the 1:51 point of the full interview.
• Welfare dependency (i.e., the UNRWA) harms the Palestinian people. So argues Asaf Romirowsky.