Did Israel Give Green Light to Egyptian Military Action in Gaza?

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Did Israel give Egypt’s military a green light to take action in Gaza? I can’t otherwise imagine Egyptian officials talking to openly like this to Maan News:

The Egyptian army has established a precautionary plan for military intervention in the Gaza Strip if attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula intensify, Egyptian security officials said Wednesday.

Officials told Ma’an that Egyptian reconnaissance planes had entered the Gaza Strip’s airspace and examined a number of locations in Rafah and Khan Younis to be targeted if military attacks against Egyptian troops intensify in Sinai.

2. The US government shutdown could threaten military financing to Israel and other countries. The Jerusalem Post/Reuters quoted State Dept. official Marie Harf:

“Security assistance funding for Israel is typically provided in early- to mid-November, and an extended shutdown has the potential to disrupt this critical military assistance program,” she stated.

Without a continuing resolution or a full-year appropriation,” Harf added, “fiscal year 2014 security assistance funding for Israel will be delayed.”

By the way, Frida Ghitis and Jeffrey Goldberg point out that America’s allies and enemies around the world see the shutdown as another sign of US weakness.

3. Iran’s top cyber warfare commander was found dead. Two bullets in the heart fired at close range sounds like an assassination. Shashank Joshi assesses whodunnit while Israeli officials suggest that Mojtaba Ahmadi was killed in an “internal dispute.” According to the Daily Telegraph report breaking the story, the Revolutionary Guards recommends against online condolences because the cloak and dagger’s not virtual:

The Facebook page of the officers of the Cyber War Headquarters confirmed that Ahmadi had been one of their commander and posted messages of condolence. But Alborz users warned that the openly accessible book of condolence could harm Iran’s national security.

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4. Washington Post: Forget Iran, Israeli Nukes are the Issue: A key factual mistake plus false moral equivalence adds up to an apologia for Iranian, Syrian and Russian agendas in the Mideast.

Fight the Demonization of Israel

Israel and the Palestinians

Worth reading: Michael Oren stepped down as Israel’s ambassador to the US. In a very thoughtful Washington Post exit interview, Oren discussed the peace process, Iran, the Arab Spring, and Israel-US ties.

Hamas hanged Hani Mohamed Alayan for murdering two people. The case gained notoriety because Alayan was a minor when he committed the first murder. Jerusalem Post coverage. Reuters and AFP picked up on the story.

The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) looks at the lawsuit Mahmoud Abbas’s son filed against Jonathan Schanzer. Last year, Schanzer raised questions of corruption surrounding The Brothers Abbas.

Israel froze controversial plans for a national park on the slopes of Mt. Scopus. Critics charged that the park would’ve blocked the growth of two Palestinian neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. According to Haaretz, Environmental Minister Amir Peretz pulled the plug because the area was “devoid of particularly sensitive natural value or unique archaeological remains that justify turning it into a natural park.”

Ian Lustick

Ian Lustick

Over at Open Zion, Professor Ian Lustick responds to critics of his recent NY Times commentary plugging the one-state solution.

Unfortunately, Lustick’s followup is no more readable than his original piece.

Hmmmmm. Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah lays out a bleak situation for Hamas, concluding:

It would be fair to assess that Gaza’s isolation is Egypt’s ultimate goal, since such an objective would meet Egypt’s interests: to consign Gaza to oblivion and reduce Hamas to its real size.

The Palestinian Authority moved its clocks back one hour while Israel falls back later this month. The Financial Times (click via Google News) reports that the PA’s move is creating a lot of confusion for Palestinians who prefer keeping Israeli time.

Two years ago, Gaza was one hour behind the West Bank because of Hamas/Fatah squabbling. And in 1999, three terrorists were killed when their bomb exploded one hour early — having failed to account for Israel’s Daylight Savings Time.

On the next page:

  • Israel and Gulf states discuss alliance to counter Iran.
  • Are reports of a women’s “sex jihad” campaign more Syrian disinformation?
  • UN elects Iran to key disarmament and security position.

Continued on page 2

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