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April 11, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Israelis Warned to Leave Turkey Immediately - Barak Ravid (Ha'aretz)
    Israel's Counterterrorism Bureau on Friday warned Israelis to leave Turkey immediately due to the threat of an imminent terror attack.
    The threat applies to all tourist sites in Turkey. Citizens planning to travel to Turkey were urged not to make the trip.
    See also U.S. Warns of "Credible Threats" to Americans in Turkey (Fox News)

PA Denies Pushing for UN Resolution in April - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki denied on Sunday that the PA has presented a draft resolution against settlements to permanent members of the UN Security Council.
    Malki said the Palestinian mission in New York provided Arab ambassadors to the UN with a copy of the draft resolution for consultations, as a first step toward bringing it to the Security Council, but ruled out the possibility that it would be brought for a vote during PA President Mahmoud Abbas' visit to New York on April 22.
    Malki said the new draft resolution is not different from the one the Palestinians presented in 2011.

Three Palestinians Killed in Gaza Tunnel Collapse (i24news)
    Three Palestinians were killed on Sunday in the collapse of a tunnel between Rafah in Gaza and Egypt, Palestinian media reported.
    Tunnel collapses in Gaza have killed at least 16 Palestinians since January.

Three Palestinians Arrested with Hand Grenades, Guns - Yasser Okbi (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
    Palestinian security forces arrested three Palestinians on Saturday after finding grenades, guns, and an M-16 semi-automatic rifle in their backpacks.
    According to Palestinian sources, the three were on their way to carry out a shooting attack against Israeli targets.

New Hospital in Ashdod Seeking Medical Professionals - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    A new hospital being built in Ashdod will open next year and is seeking 200 doctors and 450 nurses.
    "Our goal is for at least 20% of the hospital staff to be new immigrants, specifically from France and the U.S.," said Prof. Chaim Bitterman, the hospital's manager.

Toronto Lawyer Looking for Local Victims of International Terror - Paul Lungen (Canadian Jewish News)
    Toronto lawyer Leo Adler, Canadian counsel for The Lawfare Project, wants to bring those who violate international humanitarian law by their terrorist campaigns against Israel to justice.
    Adler is appealing to Canadian victims of Palestinian terrorism, either of the Gaza wars or of other terrorist attacks, to come forward.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Rejects U.S. Call for Missile Negotiations
    Brig.-Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, on Friday rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's calls for missile negotiations with Tehran and urged Iran's Foreign Ministry to respond "firmly to the impudence." "We are stressing what has been said several times: the missile power is non-negotiable and among the red lines of the Iranian nation and for developing its defense capabilities, Iran doesn't get permission from anybody." He added that the Iranian nation is "a victim of American aggression."  (Press TV-Iran)
  • Egypt Gives Saudi Arabia Two Islands in a Show of Gratitude - Declan Walsh
    Egypt's cabinet announced on Saturday that it was transferring sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir, arid and uninhabited islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia had transferred Tiran and Sanafir to Egyptian control in 1950 amid concerns that Israel might seize them. The move came during a visit to Cairo by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who has promised Egypt aid and investment. (New York Times)
        See also Egypt and Saudi Arabia Sign Loan Agreements Worth $24 Billion (Al Ahram-Egypt)
        See also Report: Egypt-Saudi Maritime Border Deal Requires Change to Peace Treaty with Israel - Yasser Okbi
    Egypt and Israel have recently held talks about Egypt's demarcation of its maritime border in the Gulf of Aqaba with Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported. According to the report, Israel did not express any opposition to the Red Sea islands of Sanafir and Tiran coming under Saudi sovereignty. (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
  • Brussels Attackers Planned to Strike France Again, Belgian Authorities Say - Louise Dewast and David Caplan
    The terror group that unleashed deadly attacks on the Brussels airport and subway on March 22 had planned to launch a second attack on France, but instead turned their attention to Brussels, Belgium's Federal Prosecution Office said Sunday. "The terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again. Eventually, surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels." The announcement follows the arrest Friday in Belgium of Mohamed Abrini, who was caught on video alongside the other bombers in the Brussels airport bombing. (ABC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Security Agency: Substantial Decline in "Significant" Palestinian Attacks in Last Two Weeks - Herb Keinon
    Over the last two months, and especially the past two weeks, there has been a substantial decline in "significant attacks" by Palestinians on Israelis, a senior Israel Security Agency official told the Cabinet on Sunday. The number of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings has dropped from 78 in October to 20 in March, and 3 in the first third of April.
        The official added that 290 "significant attacks" have been prevented since the beginning of 2015, and especially over the last six months, by Israel's security services, including 25 attempted kidnappings and 15 suicide attacks.
        The official noted that all of the steps taken by Israel to thwart attacks were done while trying to retain, as much as possible, the normal fabric of daily life for the Palestinian population not involved in terrorism, and preserving security cooperation with the Palestinian security services. This has resulted in a common feeling among the Palestinian population and prospective attackers that escalation is useless. (Jerusalem Post)
  • New Radar Gives Gaza-Area Israelis 15 Seconds to Take Shelter from Mortar Shells - Tamar Pileggi
    The IDF Home Front Command has finished work on a new radar that will improve the warning system for incoming mortar shells to residents of Israeli communities adjacent to Gaza, allowing them a 15-second warning, Army Radio reported Monday. While Israel's current alert system warns of incoming rockets, it has proven less effective against short-range shells, often leaving residents little or no warning of incoming fire.
        Alon Schuster, head of the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, welcomed the new warning system, saying, "Those 15 seconds are important. They improve the response time for anyone needing to find shelter." During the 50-day conflict with Hamas in 2014, mortars proved to be one of the deadliest means of attack, claiming the lives of 10 IDF soldiers in a single week, three Israeli civilians and a Thai national. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Clinton, Sanders Clash on Israel's Actions During 2014 Gaza War - Jeremy Herb
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touted Israel's right to defend itself after her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders called Israel's response against Hamas "disproportionate." In an interview on CNN Sunday, Clinton said that when "your soldiers are under attack, you have to respond....Hamas provokes Israel. They often pretend to have people in civilian garb acting as though they are civilians who are Hamas fighters. It's a very different undertaking for Israel to target those who are targeting them. And I think Israel has had to defend itself, has a right to defend itself."
        Sanders has been criticized by some Israeli officials for his comments in an interview with the New York Daily News in which he overestimated the number of Palestinian civilians who were killed in the 2014 war. "Of course we're going to support Israel, but you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people," Sanders said on CNN. "We will not succeed to ever bring peace in that region unless we also treat the Palestinians with dignity and respect."  (Politico)
        See also Gazan Casualties: How Many and Who They Were - Lenny Ben-David
    The 50-day Hamas war against Israel left 66 Israeli soldiers and six civilians dead; there were a total of 842 Israeli casualties during the conflict. UN and Palestinian sources claimed that 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza were killed. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported in its detailed, name-by-name analysis that 55% of those killed were combatants. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also Israel, Gaza and Humanitarian Law: Efforts to Limit Civilian Casualties - Lt. Col. (res.) David Benjamin
    On November 6, 2014, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Israel went to "extraordinary lengths" to limit civilian casualties and collateral damage during the 2014 Gaza war. He added that the Pentagon had sent a team to Israel to see what lessons could be learned from the operation. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also Video - U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey on Israel's Efforts to Limit Civilian Casualties in Gaza (Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs)
  • Real Rapprochement with Israel Requires Turkey to Tackle Anti-Semitism - Aykan Erdemir
    Both Turkey and Israel have a lot to gain from detente, and any step toward easing tensions in the Middle East should be cause for celebration. However, I have serious concerns about the shaky foundations of Turkish-Israeli rapprochement, and remain unconvinced about its sustainability. Turkish analysts are expected to turn a blind eye to years of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli propaganda disseminated by Turkey's top officials and their mouthpieces. But it would be a mistake to do so.
        Turkish society needs to recognize and confront the pervasive anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment that has taken hold of wide segments of the population, due in large part to the influence of the ruling AKP. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former member of the Turkish parliament. (Times of Israel)

Abbas' Attempt to Blunt the Palestinian Knife Terror Wave - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Ha'aretz-Hebrew)

  • PA President Mahmoud Abbas' recent successful effort to reduce the Palestinian terror wave reflects the pressure he is facing and his role in initiating and controlling it. The knife terror campaign has more or less exhausted its capacity to return the spotlight to the Palestinian issue.
  • The terror attack in Brussels has again pushed the Palestinian issue to the margins of the international system, and the association being made between anti-Western terror and anti-Jewish terror in Israel is not to the Palestinians' benefit.
  • The terror campaign has only reconfirmed the Israeli Jewish public's sobriety about the chances of real peace in this generation, along with their opposition to a settlement based on granting the Palestinians a state without having to renounce their goal of eventually ruling the rest of historical Palestine and vanquishing Zionism.
  • The international attitude toward boycotting Israel is also beginning to change dramatically. There is now more of an inclination to condemn BDS for its fundamentally anti-Semitic stance which denies the Jewish nation-state's right to exist.

    Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

        See also Video: Abbas Gave the Green Light to Terrorism in September; Now He's Sending a Message to the Palestinians to Stop It and Is Quite Successful - Yossi Kuperwasser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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