New Team of Nuclear Sleuths to Investigate Iran

Everything you need to know about the weekend coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.

Today’s Top Stories

1. The IAEA’s forming a special team of nuclear sleuths to investigate Iran’s nuclear program. AP got the scoop:

Creating a unit focused on only one country is an unusual move for the International Atomic Energy Agency, reflecting the priority the U.N. nuclear watchdog is attaching to Iran amid fears that it is moving closer to the ability to make nuclear weapons. It also indicates frustration by top agency officials over Iran’s refusal to cooperate with IAEA experts who are trying to follow up on suspicions that Tehran was — or is — secretly working on an arms program.

2. The Arab media’s up in arms over Danny Ayalon’s proposal for a summit addressing Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Ayalon discussed the matter with YNet.

The summit’s main purpose is to push forward the matter of property rights of Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries after the establishment of the state of Israel and to turn the Jewish refugee issue into a bargaining chip which would make it clear that if the Palestinians voice demands for refugee compensation – demands would also be made from the Israeli side.

3. An American free-lance journalist disappeared in Syria. Austin Tice contributed to McClatchy News and the Washington Post. He’s from Houston, so see the Houston Chronicle for more. This was Tice’s second to last tweet before going missing:

Tice isn’t the only missing journalist. The LA Times picks up on fears for a Syrian documentary film-maker who disappeared. Orwa Nairabiya was apparently arrested as he prepared to board a flight to Cairo.

And Maan News picks up on Palestinian reporter Bashar Fahmi Amin al-Qaddoumi. I don’t have high hopes for Qaddoumi: he’s believed to have been with Mika Yamamoto — the dead Japanese reporter’s body was found in Aleppo with nine bullet wounds.

Israel and the Palestinians

The PA’s urging EU to follow South Africa’s lead on labeling settler products. The Irish Times says they’re making headway:

Speaking in Brussels after EU foreign ministers issued a communique saying the settlements threatened to make a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict impossible, Mr Gilmore set an early autumn deadline for EU action. “I think we may have to look at the question of banning products from settlement areas into the EU. We have always resisted the idea of boycotts in relation to Israel, but I think a distinction has to be drawn here between Israel and the settlements.”

Jonathan Schanzer (Jerusalem Post) addresses Hamas corruption. You’d be surprised how much we know about it is already on the record.

Hamas scales back hopes of an open border with Egypt. Bottom line: There is no Gaza blockade.

Hamas said it won’t attend the Non-Aligned Summited in Tehran. By the way, Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi is. Dore Gold wonders Where will Morsi’s embrace of Ahmadinejad lead?

•  Gaza rockets struck Sderot’s industrial zone. Two workers were lightly injured and buildings took some damage. Details at the Times of Israel.

Continued on Page 2