Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Via Smartphone


September 20, 2010

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

Palestinians Plan to Fire Rockets at Israel from Sinai (Maan News-PA)
    Egyptian security forces have received information that a group of Palestinian militants had attempted to infiltrate Egypt's Sinai to launch rockets toward Israel, an Egyptian security source said.
    One report suggested that the group had already smuggled the rockets into Egypt. Egyptian security forces were combing Sinai for the militants, the source added.
    Egypt declared a state of emergency along its border on Saturday after receiving reports that Gaza militants were attempting to infiltrate Egypt through the tunnel complex.
    See also Egypt Detains Top Hamas Security Chief (Al Arabiya-Dubai)
    "Mohammed Khamis Dababesh, head of the Hamas-run General Security Service, was arrested on his arrival in Cairo from Damascus late last week," Egypt's state-owned daily Al-Ahram said on Monday.
    Dababesh is "suspected of involvement in activities harmful to Egyptian state security" and is accused of being responsible in his capacity as security chief for the death in January of an Egyptian policeman during an exchange of fire at the Gaza border.

Hamas Won't Let PA Manage Gaza Border Crossing - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Hamas said Saturday it is strongly opposed to plans to bring the Palestinian Authority back to the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza.
    It was reported last week that in an effort to increase the PA's influence inside Gaza, Israel and the PA have been finalizing plans to deploy Palestinian officials at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Hamas Closes Tourist Facilities in Gaza - Emad Drimly (Xinhua-China)
    Mo'een Abul Kheir, the owner of al-Samak (Fisherman) restaurant on Gaza City's seaside, is not optimistic about the future of his business and the future of the tourist industry in Gaza "in case the government (of Hamas) continues its harassment against coffee shops, hotels and restaurants."
    Abul Kheir, a founder of the Palestinian Corporation for Hotels and Restaurants, was detained by the Hamas government on the eve of the Eid al-Fittr Muslim holiday last Friday and was kept for one week for letting the Palestinian Cinema Forum hold a ceremony in his restaurant. He was forced to promise not to hold such ceremonies in the future.
    Hamas recently closed a restaurant on Gaza City's seaside for three days "because the management of the hotel did not abide by the terms and laws which prohibit mixing between males and females and holding parties," said the order signed by the police.
    Early this month the Hamas government closed the "Crazy Water" resort for three weeks after a singing party was held there.
    See also Gunmen Torch Gaza Beach Club Shuttered by Hamas (AFP)
    Masked gunmen on Sunday set fire to the "Crazy Water" beach club that had earlier been ordered closed by Hamas, Alaa al-Araj, one of the owners of the club, said.
    Al-Araj, a former Hamas minister, said about 40 gunmen had tied up and blindfolded a night watchman before setting fire to the restaurant.
    "The fire engulfed different parts of the club, including an administrative building, and then spread to the main restaurant and cafeteria, which is three storeys high," he said.
    See also Video: Gaza Water Park (Middle East News Watch)

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Former Israeli PM: U.S. Was Ready to Take 100,000 Palestinian Refugees - Michael Schwartz
    "The United States was ready to take in 100,000 [Palestinian] refugees as citizens of the United States" as part of a Middle East peace deal, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday. (CNN)
        See also Former Israeli Premier Details Failed Peace Offer - Matti Friedman
    Israel's former premier gave his most detailed description yet of his 2008 peace offer to the Palestinians. The Palestinians deemed Ehud Olmert's offer insufficient at the time, but wanted the premier who replaced him, Benjamin Netanyahu, to use it as a starting point for negotiations. Instead, Netanyahu has taken it off the table. Olmert said Sunday, "There is no choice but to say that this agreement was not achieved when that was possible because the Palestinian side was not prepared to make the extra step that I believe we made."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • In Syria, Iranian President Disparages U.S. Peace Efforts in Mideast - Albert Aji
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday in Damascus that countries in the region would "disrupt" U.S. and Israeli peace plans. President Obama has tried - unsuccessfully, so far - to pry Damascus away from its alliance with Tehran. (AP Washington Post)
        See also Ahmadinejad in New York: "The Future Belongs to Iran" - John Daniszewski and Edith M. Lederer (AP-Washington Post)
  • Woman Bomber Planned to Blow Herself Up in Central Paris - Ian Sparks
    A female suicide bomber plotted to blow herself up in a "busy part of Paris" on Thursday, French spy agencies revealed to RTL radio on Monday. Intelligence services uncovered and thwarted the threat.
        French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said security had been stepped up around Jewish institutions in Paris after the arrest of a terrorist who planned to bomb an Israel Defense Forces fundraising event. He said there had been 47 physical attacks against Jewish institutions in France this year, and another 190 threats. (London Evening Standard-UK)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Report: Hamas Planned to Abduct Bodies of West Bank Shooting Victims - Jack Khoury
    Hamas terrorists had planned to abduct the bodies of four Israelis they killed in the West Bank earlier this month in order to force the Israel Defense Forces into undertaking a mass operation for their return and thus foil the resumption of direct peace negotiations between Israel and the PA, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Monday. A car that pulled up to the scene of the murder thwarted this plan and the terrorists fled the scene instead. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Hamas Militia's Secret West Bank Stronghold - Jon Donnison
    Just over a week ago at the Bani Nayim junction in the southern West Bank, four Israeli settlers were shot dead - their car riddled with bullets - in a drive-by attack by Hamas militants. The following day near Ramallah, two Israeli settlers were injured in a similar attack. Both attacks were carried out by Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades.
        Wasfi Kabaha, a Hamas politician in the West Bank, says Hamas remains strong. "Hamas supporters are everywhere, in every town, in every village." He said the crackdown by the Palestinian security services has only driven the al-Qassam Brigades underground. Ronan Bergman, an Israeli expert on intelligence, says the efforts of the Palestinian Authority have made it much more difficult for Hamas militants to operate. However, if the peace talks progress, "I would expect further Hamas operations on the West Bank against settlers and even against the Palestinian Authority," he says. (BBC News)
  • Report: Hizbullah Successfully Tests 200 Km. Missile in Iran
    Hizbullah units in Iran have successfully tested an Iranian "Fatah 110" missile with a maximum range of 200 km., according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai. This means it is capable of reaching Jerusalem and Ashdod if it was to be launched from the Israel-Lebanon border. (Jerusalem Post)
  • PA Court: Sale of Land to Israelis Is Punishable by Death
    The sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death, a Palestinian Authority court ruled on Sunday (Ha'aretz)
  • PLO Ambassador: Peace Talks a Stage in Delegitimizing Israel - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
    The PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on Sept. 9: "The PLO's representative in Lebanon, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah, emphasized yesterday that the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, which have started in Washington, are not a goal, but rather another stage in the Palestinian struggle....He believes that Israel will not be dealt a knock-out defeat, but rather an accumulation of Palestinian achievements and struggles, as happened in South Africa, to isolate Israel, to tighten the noose on it, to threaten its legitimacy, and to present it as a rebellious, racist state."  (Palestinian Media Watch)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Why Iran Won't Engage the West - Ray Takeyh
    In an autumn ritual, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once more arrives in New York this week. The international community is more confident that its forceful economic sanctions have finally made Tehran appreciate the cost of its belligerence. A closer look, however, reveals that the calculations of Iran's principal protagonists are largely unaffected by mounting financial penalties imposed by the West because the Islamic Republic is too wedded to its ideological verities. In August, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei once again confirmed his opposition to reconciliation with the U.S.: "The change of behavior they in fact a negation of our identity."
        He appreciates that engagement with the U.S. is subversive and could undermine the pillars of the Islamic state. Dialogue, trade and cultural exchanges could expose Iran to the unrelenting pressures of modernization and transform the revolutionary republic. The politics of resistance and nuclear empowerment affirm Iran's identity as a Muslim nation struggling against American encroachment. Economic sanctions can hardly disabuse Khamenei of such well-entrenched animosities. The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Washington Post)
  • Why Not Condemn Hamas? - Tariq Alhomayed
    The King of Jordan and President of Egypt's participation in the U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis means that there is genuine Arab support for this peace process. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's meeting with U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Thursday in Damascus means that Syria, while not announcing a genuine desire to join the negotiations, has also not announced a hostile position. Who is supporting Hamas' position that is seeking to sabotage the ongoing peace negotiations in accordance with the [Arab] proverb: "Either I'm involved, or forget it"?
        The Arabs must participate [in the peace process] and announce a clear condemnation of the futile actions that Hamas has undertaken. All the Arabs today are aware that the only genuine solution to the conflict with the Israelis is through continuing the negotiations and concluding the peace process. There must be a decisive Arab stance towards Hamas in order to put things in perspective, and in order to strengthen the position of Mahmoud Abbas at the negotiations. (Asharq al-Awsat-UK)
  • At UN Rights Council, Israelis Are Left Standing in the Hall - Anne Bayefsky
    Despite promises made by the administration that by joining the UN Human Rights Council the U.S. would not become part of the problem, U.S. Ambassador Eileen Donahoe chose to attend and fully participate in a meeting that deliberately excluded anyone representing the Jewish state. Israel is the only UN state not permitted to be a full member of any of the UN's five regional groups. Throughout the Human Rights Council sessions, these groups hold key planning meetings in which countries negotiate and share important information behind closed doors. Even the Palestinian Authority, though not a state, is permitted into the Asian regional group.
        Israelis are allowed into the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in some parts of the UN. But WEOG members have chosen to exclude them totally in all of their meetings associated with the Human Rights Council. While Israelis are left standing in the hall, this week for the first time Libya took its seat as a full-fledged Council member. (Fox News)
  • Observations:

    Israel Provides Stability in the Middle East - Guy Bechor (Ynet News)

    • Despite the show in Washington, the Israeli-Palestinian track faces a complete impasse and there is no real way of reaching a breakthrough. There is an Israeli desire to progress in order to get rid of the Palestinian problem, yet Abbas and his people do not have a mandate to make any decisions.
    • The more Iran's nuclear program advances, the more scared Tehran becomes about being attacked, and this is the reason for the daily missile displays - the result of weakness rather than strength. Iran knows that its army is weak and obsolete and would not be able to contend with the U.S. and Israel.
    • Hizbullah and Hamas already sustained IDF blows in recent years and they will not forget them so quickly. Meanwhile, Syria's Assad understands that his minority regime may not survive a war with Israel. The Palestinians too will not be rushing to repeat their intifada experience, which ruined them, their economy, and their chances of getting a state.
    • Above all, the IDF's power is the most important guarantee for Mideastern stability. The current-day IDF, after an immense build-up process and demonstrated achievements, is the region's most powerful army and its strength serves as a deterrent.
    • Once upon a time, American power provided stability for Israel; yet today, Israeli power grants stability to American interests in the Middle East.

    Unsubscribe from Daily Alert