Israel and the Palestinians
• UNESCO passed six resolutions condemning Israel on Friday. According to the Jerusalem Post, five of the resolutions had been postponed several months ago as part of a compromise to allow international engineers to inspect sites in Jerusalem’s Old City. In the end, the delegation wasn’t allowed to enter after the PA politicized the inspection. By UNESCO standards, that’s quite a backlog of Israel bashing.
• Julie Burchill slams the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement.
• Egyptian security officials told Maan News they destroyed 794 smuggling tunnels so far this year.
The Syrian Situation
• Times of Israel: A Lebanese parliamentarian says Hezbollah has long-range missiles capable of carrying chemical weapons.
• There’s a big rift in Hezbollah over the organization’s involvement in Syria. Lebanese Shi’tes and the families of the dead are inceasingly open with their criticisms. Hezbollah has few answers, and has taken to terrorizing and silencing critics. See Memri‘s detailed report.
• Worth reading: Video Games and Cigarettes: Syria’s Disneyland for Jihadists
• Talk about cutthroat campaigning: Bashar Assad may seek re-election. More at The Lede.
• According to the Times of London, Hezbollah cut back on its people fighting in Syria.
Diplomatic and intelligence sources in Beirut said that there had been a reduction in the number of Hezbollah fighters in Syria recently.
However, sources close to Hezbollah denied that it had acted because of political pressure, claiming it was due to tactical considerations on the ground . . .
A decision to withdraw from Syria would have to be sanctioned by Iran, Hezbollah’s chief paymaster.
• The US was so sure it was going to attack Syria that American officials formally notified Benjamin Netanyahu that strikes would be carried out within 24-48 hours. The Times of Israel picked up on Israeli media reports.
• For more commentary/analysis, see AP.
In the leaked six-minute clip of a private meeting led by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi in the period before his July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, the officers express their dismay at public scrutiny of the army, unknown in Egypt until after the 2011 uprising. Calling even mildly disrespectful news coverage “dangerous” and abnormal, the officers call for a restoration of “red lines” that had protected the military for decades. And they urge General Sisi to pressure the roughly two dozen big media owners into “self-censorship.”
• Egypt is moving to seize the Muslim Brotherhood’s assets. BBC coverage.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Israel to run for UN Security Council seat in 2019. Reuters explains why it’s going to be an uphill battle:
Winning a Security Council seat requires a two-thirds majority in the 193-nation General Assembly.
(Image of Khamenei via YouTube/CLIKATV)
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.