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. The European Union unanimously agreed to designate Hezbollah as a terror organization. Sanctions to follow include travel bans and asset freezes. It’s a good start, but AP points out a big flaw: only Hezbollah’s “military wing” was proscribed.
But the implementation would be complicated since officials would have to unravel the links between the different wings within Hezbollah’s organizational network and see who could be targeted for belonging to the military wing.
Top Hezbollah officials themselves dismissed distinctions between their military and social “wings” years ago. Stay tuned . . .
2. The UN ordered Israel to pay $1.1 million in damages to UN peacekeepers in Lebanon for defending itself from Hezbollah rocket fire back in 1996. The Washington Free Beacon described the idiocy at Turtle Bay, along with fresh quotes from Ambassador Ron Prosor.
The 1996 incident in question occurred after Hezbollah terrorists fired Katyusha rockets and mortars on Israel from behind the U.N. compound. Palestinians and Lebanese terrorist routinely fire rockets at Israel from public areas and hide behind sensitive targets in order to increase civilian casualties.
Israeli military forces responded to the terror attacks with airstrikes that mistakenly hit the U.N. compound, where the terrorists were hiding.
The report caught the attention of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. You don’t often see staff-eds with headlines like this:
3. Israeli media’s reporting that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp. The Jerusalem Post writes:
Palestinian sources said that 22 people have been killed in the area, most from inhalation of poisonous gases.
Can you imagine the outrage if Israel did that?
4. Who’s Right on a Referendum? Does talk of an Israeli referendum on any peace deal dampen or boost hopes for a breakthrough? And how did two journos arrive at diametrically opposite conclusions anyway?
Israel and the Palestinians
• If reports picked up on by the Jerusalem Post are accurate, this should be the kiss of death for any negotiated settlement. Hamas will never allow a referendum to take place in Gaza.
Report: Abbas to hold referendum on any future peace proposal
• Although Palestinians are iffy about resuming peace talks, Haaretz says the buzz in Jerusalem and Ramallah is that both sides approve of Martin Indyk serving as US envoy/mediator. This NY Times headline suggests a thumbs up from the Gray Lady:
Seasoned Hand in Mideast May Shepherd Peace Talks
- Did Kerry give Abbas written guarantee that talks will be based on ’67 lines?
- Egyptian navy restricting Gaza fisherman.
- Arabs irked by zombie movie’s potrayal of Israel.