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. Peace talks resumed today in Jerusalem. There’s going to be a news blackout, which means there’s going to be a premium on hard info. The blackout means we’ll also see pundits parsing the tea leaves for dubious meaning. The Jerusalem Post explains:
The talks will be held under a complete media blackout, with neither the location nor time of the negotiations made public, let alone any mention of what topics are on the initial agenda.
2. The Israeli Air Force struck a pair of Gaza rocket launching sites after Palestinians fired rockets last night at Israel. Gaza’s Islamic terror groups have a history of trying to spoil peace talks with suicide bombings and rocket fire.
3. The Egyptian army cracked down on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammed Morsi. Precise casualty figures aren’t clear — suffice to say scores killed and injured and the country’s in a state of emergency. Among the dead is Mick Deane, a Jerusalem-based Sky News cameraman.
Some questions worth asking: Is the Muslim Brotherhood getting tips from Hamas on inflating casualty counts? How does the army explain blocking journalists from covering is move to clear out the Brotherhood sit-ins? And is it possible that Gen. Sisi and his cohorts deliberately timed the operation while the world was distracted by the resuming peace talks? Just wondering . . .
4. The Media’s Moral Ambiguity on Palestinian Prisoners: News industry marks prisoner release with false balance and moral ambiguity.
Israel and the Palestinians
• John Kerry: Abbas and I knew ahead of time about this week’s settlement announcement. The Jerusalem Post writes:
“Prime Minister Netanyahu was completely upfront with me and with President Abbas that he would be announcing some additional building that would take place in places that will not affect the peace map, that will not have any impact on the capacity to have a peace agreement,” Kerry said.
• What exactly do Tzipi Livni, Yitzhak Molho, Saeb Erekat, Mohammed Shtayyeh, and Martin Indyk bring to the negotiating table? Time looks at the fab five.
• Bungled headline of the day, courtesy The Independent. If 900 “settlements” is what puts peace talks at risk, reporter Ben Lynfield should sleep easier knowing that Israel only approved 900 housing units.
• Mahmoud Abbas patched up his differences with and
current? former? who knows? caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Hamdallah has five weeks to form a new government. More at the Times of Israel.
• Khaled Abu Toameh: The PA’s hue and cry about Israeli settlements is endangering the lives of thousands of Palestinian refugees stranded in a no-man’s land between Syria and Lebanon. Petty peace politics imperils Palestinians
Abbas and his top officials spent the whole week issuing condemnations of Israeli plans to build new homes in Jewish settlements, completely ignoring the latest Lebanese ban against Palestinian refugees. As far as the Palestinian Authority leadership is concerned, plans to build new housing units are much more serious than the killing or displacing of thousands of Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon.
- Caught on video: UNRWA summer camps teach Palestinian kids to hate Israel.
- A Hezbollah advocate is nominated for key UN human rights position.
- Iranian mullahs invalidate a female politician’s election victory because she’s “too sexy.”