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Today’s Top Stories
1. Mahmoud Abbas threatened to dismantle PA if Israel continues pushing E1 development. The man who just got “statehood” from the UN is now quoted in media reports saying:
Speaking at the opening session of the Fatah Advisory Council in Ramallah, Xinhua news agency reported, Abbas said that he is considering asking Israel to resume full control of the West Bank, saying it is impossible to act as a leader without being granted power.
Au contraire, PA officials told AP that if Netanyahu is re-elected, they’ll take steps to isolate Israel:
Emboldened by their newly upgraded status at the United Nations, the Palestinians are talking of filing war crimes charges against Israel, staging mass demonstrations in the West Bank, encouraging the international community to impose sanctions, and ending the security cooperation that has helped preserve quiet in recent years.
2. According to the Sunday Times, Hamas sleeper cells in the West Bank are poised to violently take over the West Bank. But Iran’s the puppetmaster behind the scenes. Uzi Mahnaimi’s report is behind a paywall; more at the Times of Israel.
This would create a third proxy force — after Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza — through which Iran could retaliate for any Israeli attack on its nuclear programme . . .
However, as Assad’s position has weakened, the relationship between Iran and Hamas has been restored. Iran regards Hamas as a strategic asset in the struggle against Israel. According to Israeli defence sources, Hamas militants are financed through Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Iran is losing its strongest Middle East ally, Syria. It can’t afford to lose its Palestinian outposts surrounding Israel,” one defence source said.
3. Tis the season for big media to try squeezing a story out of Bethlehem.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The NY Times is having a difficult weekend. A Friday staff-ed criticizing E1 directly contradicted a correction the paper made a few days earlier. Then, the paper’s bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, erroneously tweeted about Palestinian village inside Israel. Jisr a-Zarka’s an Israeli-Arab village near Haifa.
The tweet’s sloppy, but I’m more amazed at the staff-ed. Why bother making corrections when your own newsroom
regrets repeats the error?
• Israel and Egypt are quietly putting together a new understanding on Gaza. According to the Jerusalem Post, many restrictions would be eased, but prevent Hamas from quickly re-arming.
• AP: The UN actually condemned human rights violations in Iran, Syria and North Korea. I suspect they wanted to do the right thing before the Mayan apocalypse. The world won’t come to an end, and it’ll be Israel-bashing business as usual at Turtle Bay.