Mon, 09/01/2014 - 9:01amToday’s Top Stories
3. Did Iran actually stage the downing of an Israeli drone? Experts explained to the Jerusalem Post four reasons why they’re skeptical of claims Iran shot down an Israeli Hermes unmanned aerial vehicle near Natanz. In a nutshell:
a. The remnants don’t match those of any known Israeli drone. b. Natanz is beyond the range of the Hermes UAV. c. Israel would use a Heron UAV for a mission like that. d. Iran has an impressive history of wild claims.
4. Israel’s Boycott-Proof Economy: Will re-energized BDS movement cripple Israel’s economy? Probably not. Here’s why.
Israel and the Palestinians
The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
• Israel reportedly seized $55 million from monthly tax revenues it collects for the PA. According to Maan News, portions of the money are being used towards unpaid electricity bills, Palestinians receiving medical care in Israel, and other PA debts. Why does it matter?
The seizure will further jeopardize the PA’s ability to pay civil servant salaries in Gaza, having faced months of crisis over unpaid employees.
The 380 million shekels ($106 million) transferred by Israel will only cover 40 percent of the monthly wages for PA civil servants in the West Bank, the official said.
• The Australian web site, news.com.au rounds up who said what about claims that Iron Dome isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, along with some fresh quotes from both the system’s detractors and defenders.
• Egypt says its willing to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, but only if its guarded by the PA Presidential Guard. According to Haaretz:
During the last weeks of the fighting, Hamas had indicated a willingness to consider the idea, but it hasn’t given a final answer. Israel has no objection to this demand . . .
The Egyptians also want additional units of the Presidential Guard to be deployed along the border between Sinai and Gaza, in the Philadelphi Corridor in the Rafah region. Egypt, however, opposes a European proposal that it train the PA forces for their new mission, nor is it interested in a force of international inspectors at Rafah.
• Artists protest Israeli support of Sao Paulo art fair.
• There’s always a disproportionate media circus when Israeli soldiers post inappropriate photos on social media. Now let’s see if a new selfie controversy spreads beyond Turkey. (I doubt it).
The PA president won’t rebuild Gaza if Hamas stands in his way, and won’t work with Israel in the West Bank unless there is substantive progress toward Palestinian statehood.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Richard Kemp (Post-war, Israel must be supported), Meir Javedanfar (Gaza war no longer main arena for Iran-Israel tensions), Cinnamon Stillwell (Hamas’s academic apologists), and Yossi Beilin (Ruinous Palestinian rivalries). See also a New York Daily News staff-ed blasting the UN Human Rights Council.Rest O’ the Roundup
• Heavy fighting between the Syrian army and rebels for control of the Quneitra crossing continued. According to Israeli media reports, some stray fire has landed on the Israeli side of the border. Times of Israel coverage. Meanwhile, Haaretz says a new order in the Golan is emerging:
Israel’s defense establishment does not foresee an immediate danger due to the border crossing’s falling into rebel hands. According to Arab media, Israel has been improving its relations with villagers east of the border over the last two years, by, among other things, opening a field hospital nearby. Hundreds of injured Syrians have been treated there. The crossing is now held by an alliance of groups considered to be more moderate and not keen on a confrontation with Israel. Nusra Front, which helped them take control of the crossing, was subsequently moved away from the border.
Featured Image: CC BY flickr/Sjoerd Lammers, money CC BY-NC-SA Jared Rodriguez/Truthout (via flickr)
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