Hamas Caught Between Rival Sugar Daddies

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Deutsche Welle asks, What’s Hamas to do when it’s caught between the competing sugar daddies of Sunni Qatar and the rival Shiite Iran? Seems like a long time ago when the Palestinians owned their national movement.  Where have you gone, Yasser Arafat?

2. Western papers are reporting that Israel was implicated in an attempt to hack French government communications. Is the US trying to deflect criticism?

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3. Moscow’s exploiting Washington’s Mideast struggles: the Sunday Times of London reports that Vladimir Putin’s planning a state visit to Egypt with an eye towards resuming military ties (and weapons sales) and expanding Russian access to the Mediterranean.

At present, the Russian navy uses the small Syrian port of Tartus, but it is seen as inadequate and could be at risk if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime falls. “Tartus is vulnerable and not good enough and the Egyptian ports are perfect for the Russian navy,” an Israeli defence source said.

More at the Jerusalem Post.

4. New York Times Gives Column to Anti-Israel Conspiracy Theorist: Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany believes in anti-Israel conspiracy theories and opposes normalizing Egyptian-Israeli relations. So why is the paper of record giving him a regular platform?

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Israel and the Palestinians

PA officials denied to AFP there were any “understandings” with Israel regarding settlements for prisoners.

A Hamas cell in Hebron was busted planning to launch bomb-laden drones at Israel. According to the Times of Israel, the cell had already tested some unmanned aerial vehicles.

When the UN Human Rights Council meets to review Israel’s  human rights record on Tuesday, will Israeli representatives even be there? Haaretz reports that Israel’s coming under enormous European pressure — including a personal letter from Germany’s foreign minister warning of severe diplomatic consequences if Israel boycotts its review. More at the Times of Israel. See also Anne Bayefsky‘s commentary.

Haaretz corrected its coverage of Rihanna’s concert, which inaccurately said the singer changed the lyrics of one song to support Palestine. Other papers that picked up the story — Huffington Post, and UPI, among others — did update the corrections. And how did the Arab media view this mountain of a molehill? The Amman-based Al Bawaba wrote:

So Rihanna didn’t make a statement on Palestine during her song and it was all a Haaretz rumour — but judging from the angry backlash from those commenting on articles suggesting she did, it would seem that the validity of the Israeli state is dependent on the green light from Ri Ri.

Here’s the scoop on Sarah Netanyahu: The NY Times issued a  correction for this article about her husband and his political isolation lone voice in the wilderness. The paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, also apologized to the Israeli first lady.

For more commentary/analysis, see the Jerusalem Post and i24 News.

On the next page:

  • Is Iran just one month away from a bomb?
  • Demonize the US for cash prizes.
  • Norway unable to destroy Syrian chemical weapons. Now what?

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