Teen Killed in Attack from Syria

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 9:59am

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Today’s Top Stories 1. Israeli teen killed in attack from Syria.

An Israeli teen from the Galilee was killed and two others, including the boy’s father, were injured in an explosion on Israel’s side of the border with Syria. It was the first fatality inside Israeli territory emanating from the civil war in Syria. The boy was reportedly accompanying his father, a defense contractor, to work.

Israeli tanks fired back immediately.

2. Netanyahu begins sharing evidence of Hamas involvement in kidnapping of teens.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel has hard evidence that Hamas is behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, and has begun sharing it with several countries before preparing to release it to the public.

Additional coverage of the kidnapping included an article by Richard Behar in Forbes about his contact with the father of one of the kidnapped teens, and a sympathetic story by the New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren profiling Sherri Mandell, whose son Koby was killed by Palestinian terrorists when he was 13 years old. But Rudoren can’t let go of “the settlements” as a vital reference point:

There were so many connections. Like Koby, one of the three missing now is a citizen of both Israel and the United States. Ms. Mandell’s second son graduated from the prestigious Mekor Haim yeshiva, where two of the three were students; her future son-in-law teaches there. If only these three boys had not hitchhiked in occupied Palestinian territory — if only Koby and his friend, Yosef Ishran, had not ditched school to go hiking in the canyon behind their West Bank homes.

Meanwhile, a senior Fatah leader said a strong majority of Palestinians support the kidnapping if the goal is to exchange the teens for Palestinian prisoners. Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Alan Johnson said the time has come to stop treating the Palestinians as children who are incapable of taking responsibility for themselves:

Yet, despite all this whooping and cheering about the trauma and possible death of Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, the Palestinians will likely pay a very small price in the international community or global public opinion. Why?

3. Presbyterian Church narrowly passes divestment vote.

In a vote of 310-303, the Presbyterian Church decided to divest holdings of $21 million from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions due to their affiliation with Israel. According to CNN, the church made it clear that the decision was not a sign of support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Sources familiar with the decision, however, issued statements that appeared to support the aims of the movement:

The top Presbyterian legislative body has been considering divestment for a decade. Representatives of the Presbyterian socially responsible investment arm told the national meeting in Detroit that their efforts to lobby the three companies for change had failed. Carol Hylkema of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, a Presbyterian group that advocates for Palestinians and spearheaded the drive for divestment, said their action was modeled on the divestment movement to end apartheid in South Africa. The 2012 assembly had endorsed a boycott of Israeli products made in the Palestinian territories.

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Rest O’ the Roundup

• Twisted headline of the Day from the AFP:

The headline not only gives the impression Israel is trying to intimidate a UN representative but also leaves out the fact that he is allegedly trying to funnel money to Hamas:

Avigdor Lieberman said Robert Serry, the world body’s special envoy on the Middle East peace process, had first tried to convince the Palestinian Authority (PA) to transfer $20 million (14.7 million euros) from Qatar to resolve a pay crisis for Hamas employees in Gaza.

But after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas refused to do so, the rightwing ultra-nationalist Lieberman charged, Serry proposed UN help in making the transfer, the broadcaster reported.

Serry’s spokesman Murad Bakri told AFP it was the PA that approached the UN envoy over the issue, and insisted that no decision would be taken without Israeli agreement.

For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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