IsraelAmerica

IsraelAmerica
IsraelAmerica

Sunday, February 26, 2012

News Summary:

Dismay over the closure of a local factory and hope for an Israeli film were key stories in Israel along with an attack of Arab youth on Jewish youth in Haifa and the latest IAEA report. On the sidelines, the papers reported about the rising tensions after weekend clashes in E. Jerusalem led to the killing of a young Palestinian man. And while Hamas expressed support for the anti-Assad rebels, some Israeli Arabs expressed support for Assad.

The Iranian defense minister made one of the strongest statements yet on how Iran would respond to an Israeli strike: An attack will lead to Israel's collapse, he said. More here. And what timing. Just as an IAEA report determined that Iran has tripled the rate at which it enriches uranium. Netanyahu called that proof that Iran’s nuclear program is advancing ‘uninterrupted.’ Israel Hayom ran a piece titled Israeli attack on Iran might pull US into new war, analysts say. And after Haaretz ran a front-page headline claiming that Israeli President Shimon Peres planned to tell the US president he opposed an attack on Iran, Peres gave Haaretz an interview where he said, “A nuclear Iran would be a catastrophe.”

Ahead of his meeting with US President Barack Obama next week, Netanyahu has called on everyone to keep their mouths shut regarding Iran. He has also called for a construction freeze in E. Jerusalem. And the Interior Ministry was instructed not to carry out any "surprise" moves in the near future. Yedioth reports that entrepreneurs who submitted construction plans over the Green Line were surprised to hear that for now at least, their meetings have been postponed "for political reasons."

A Palestinian community activist was shot to death during clashes near Qalandiya checkpoint Friday. Sources say Talat Ramieh, 25, was killed by a live IDF bullet. More clashes ensued following his funeral yesterday with nine more Palestinians injured. And before Ramieh was killed, clashes on the Temple Mount led to injuries of Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators. All the papers reported that the police are preparing for more acts of violence. Haaretz’s Avi Issacharoff says this may be the preface to an eruption in the West Bank. Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad criticized the Mideast Quartet’s policies saying inaction by the international community emboldens Israel to kill unarmed Palestinian protesters. Maariv's Shai Golden wrote an Op-Ed titled "The terrible lightness of shooting" where he said that "if Israel does not restrict the use of live fire in demonstrations it is likely to find itself at the opening of another and unncessary round of violence." (NRG Hebrew)

Today Qatar is hosting a conference about East Jerusalem. Arab MKs and other prominent Israeli Arabs are attending. The gathering, sponsored by the Arab League, will discuss among other things, the Judaization of the Arab side of the capital. More information here. Interestingly, Yedioth's Friday Jerusalem supplement reported that the Arab E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan - in whose heart Israel is building an archaeological center - hosted 'a very honorable guest': CEO Qatari Organization for International Development Sheikh Jassem Ben-Salem Al-Ansari. The Qatari arrived at the Palestinian protest tent in what Israel calls the 'City of David.'

For many months, Hamas has been refusing to express support for the Assad regime in Syria. Now, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh gave an official endorsement of the anti-Assad rebels saying that Hamas 'salutes the Syrian people's fight for freedom, democracy and reform.’  However, at a conference in Haifa, Israeli Arabs and Druze did express their support for the brutal dictator. Others said that the conflict needs to be resolved internally.
 
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