Mideast Digs Out of Massive Storm

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. Israelis and Palestinians found common ground working together to save lives and even dig out John Kerry. Meanwhile, Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing to transfer heating equipment and water pumps. Flooding in Gaza forced 5,000 Palestinians to evacuate their homes. More on the Mideast blizzard below.

2. So much for Gaza under siege. Palestinian Islamists aren’t having problems getting out of the strip to fight in Syria. And dozens of Syrian refugees aren’t having problems getting into Gaza either, according to the BBC.

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3. Who is Fernanda Lima, and why does Iran fear her more than Israel?

4. Attacking Journalists to Become a War Crime? The first problem is that the UN has to define who a journalist is, and Israel has no reason to expect they’ll get it right.

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The Mideast Blizzard

The storm gave Hamas a face-saving excuse to cancel a parade marking the anniversary of its founding. The Times of Israel writes:

The unofficial explanation is that Hamas incurred significant public criticism following the military processions held on the anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense last month — and wanted to avoid a repeat. At the time, Hamas celebrated the “victory” with parades of dozens of military vehicles around the city of Gaza and thousands of supporters.

Criticism was voiced then by residents, who asked how it was possible that Hamas had enough money to buy fuel for its vehicles for the festivities, even as it has been claiming that it was unable to buy gas for Gaza’s power stations, causing blackouts for 16 hours a day.

• I’ll never understood how the Kinneret Lake has more red lines than Barack Obama, but in any event, the lake’s water level rose 10 cm, and will continue rising as melting snow runs off from from the Golan and Upper Galilee.

Israelis and the Palestinians weren’t the only people affected by the storm.

  1. Egypt saw snow for the first time in more than 100 years (but don’t be fooled by a faked photo of the Sphinx gone viral).
  2. Reporter Kareem Shaheen spent a freezing night with a family of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
  3. Jordan‘s King Abdullah helped evacuate stranded motorists in Amman.
  4. Flurries even fell in Saudi Arabia.

 Pass the popcorn: A Syrian rebel commander of the Islamist Suqur al-Sham brigades froze to death during the winter storm. AFP coverage.

 De rigueur snow photo essays of Israel, the Mideast, and Syrian refugees.

On the next page:

  • Israel-bashers de-Judaize Jesus for their own purposes.
  • Lawrence Summers slams ASA boycott of Israeli academics.
  • Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as scheduled.

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