Cops and scum: what the press says about terrorism, terrible jokes and Ukraine
1. The South Rises: Israel is still reeling from, in some ways, the deadliest terror attack in years, with the series of killings and its aftermath front and center in the news.
- On Tuesday, Mohammed Ghaleb Abu al-Qi’an, a resident of Hura, rampaged for eight minutes in central Beersheba, killing four people and injuring several before being shot dead by two bystanders.
- Three days later, shockwaves from the attack continue to reverberate through the media landscape and offer glimpses of more to come.
- In Haaretz, Amos Harel writes that the terrorist’s past – serving time in an Israeli prison for joining the Islamic State and recruiting others – means that Israeli security officials do not link the attack to heightened tensions with Palestinians around Ramadan, though they may still collide.
- “For decades, Israeli security forces viewed the weeks leading up to Ramadan with suspicion. Traditionally, this is a time of heightened religious fervor manifested in, among other things, lone wolf terrorist attacks on Israelis. But, according to security sources, the background to the Beersheba murders is somewhat different – although the final word on this will only emerge in the coming days,” he wrote. “Israeli security officials say what happened in Beersheba is part of a larger global phenomenon. Paradoxically, they say, there may be no connection between the attack and Palestinian terror in the territories. However, the concern now is that [Abu al-Qi’an’s] success will inspire emulated attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, with the approach of Ramadan as the backdrop.
- Channel 12 reports a near tripling of gun license applications immediately after the attack, citing data from the Ministry of Public Security. The network indicates that on the day of the attack, 244 license requests were registered, compared to around sixty requests usually. A ministry source told the network that such jumps are common after terrorist attacks, although the numbers normally level off.
- However, this time around the attack has highlighted complaints from Jews living in the northern Negev, who say the area has been abandoned by police and has become a Bedouin version of Mad Max, or something like that. kind.
- Speaking to Army Radio, Social Affairs Minister Meir Cohen said the government should send the Shin Bet security service, which normally deals with terrorism, to monitor the Negev. “In recent years, there has been a rise in extremism and nationalism, which must be fought by both the Shin Bet and other security services.”
- In Walla, Ben Caspit compares the Negev to 1980s New York when he was a correspondent there, and writes that what worked for the Big Apple should also work for Israel’s great albatross.
- “I saw how [mayor Rudy Giuliani] took the massive, violent, scary and dangerous city it had left and turned it into a clean, safe and secure place in three months. How did he do it? With two cops (average height 2 meters, average width at the shoulders 1.8 meters) on every street corner, at every subway station. The change was quick and amazing. It’s the only way.”
- The fact that it took the police so long to respond that ordinary civilians were the ones who took out the terrorist, doesn’t help the cops either.
- Can broadcasts a minute-by-minute report showing the rampage from its start shortly before 4:08 p.m., when Abu al-Qi’an knocked down Rabbi Moshe Kravitzky, until 4:16 a.m., when he crashed his car while driving the wrong way through a roundabout, got out and stabbed himself last victim to death. The channel publishes CCTV video showing the dagger standing next to his victim waving the knife, as cars drive by. According to Kan, it took four minutes since the last murder for people to start approaching him to disarm him. The police do not enter the frame until 4:21.
- Authorities also question why Abu al-Qi’an served so little time in prison and why he was not monitored after his release. But in Israel Hayom, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked launches her idea to solve this problem: to expel them.
- According to the newspaper, Shaked is preparing to push through a bill that would strip citizenship from Israelis convicted of terrorism offenses, though it likely only targets Arabs.
- “There is no flexibility in the war on terror,” she told the newspaper. “This bill to strip citizenship or residency from terrorists is the appropriate response to the horrific attack in Beersheba.”
2. It’s not a joke: Public Security Minister Omer Barlev would probably like to expel all of his staff. As if running the ministry that oversees the police wasn’t enough of a headache, Barlev now has two sunny eggs on his face thanks to a eulogy for stabbing victim Doris Yahbas promising to capture the dead killer, then deciding to have a very ill-thought-out public laugh about it afterwards by tweeting an erased joke (complete with winking emoji) that’s just a tad too soon.
- “Barlev’s tweet prompted hundreds of angry reactions, including numerous calls for him to be fired,” Channel 12 reports.
- “Mr. Minister of Public Security… you have to understand that the Israeli public prefers its leaders, especially those involved in securities, to be focused and not confused,” disciplined Kan radio host Dov Gil-Har, “Certainly not in a sensitive place like a terror victim’s funeral, and certainly not while joking or winking about your horrible mistake.”
- But Barlev’s misstep seems small potatoes in the face of bigger problems brewing in government. The latest tiff, according to multiple reports, is a little one-upmanship between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz over their awkwardly separate visits to India.
- According to reports, Gantz was to travel to India after Bennett, but brought the trip forward by a week so he could leave a few days before the prime minister. However, his people say Bennett started by scheduling his own trip to India a few days before the one Gantz had already planned.
- Why should anyone give a flying minister? Because “the incident reveals more than anything else the bad relationship between the two, and especially between their offices”, writes Yossi Verter of Haaretz, who describes Gantz as a “free player”, that is to say a nonconformist who does not play well with Bennett and Yaïr Lapid, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- “Fortunately, coalition officials say, he has no faction that will cooperate with his adventure of dismantling the coalition and assembling something else – now, or as part of a rotation,” adds- he.
- In Walla, Tal Shalev writes that Bennett’s headache is no less because of Shaked, his seemingly soon-to-be political partner from yesteryear. “High-level political sources believe that Bennett and Shaked’s partnership is coming to an end and that his commitment to him and his government will soon dissipate, long before Lapid steps in.”
3. Entrance and exit: Ukraine also continues to dominate the conversation in the news, although to a lesser and lesser degree.
- In Yedioth Ahronoth, journalist Ronen Bergman tears up what he says are underground training camps in Ukraine run by former Israeli commandos to help train that country’s troops and civil defense units.
- “Their motivation is crazy, they don’t want to stop training,” one person told him.
- In ToI, Carrie Keller-Lynn writes about Israeli-Ukrainians trying to break out of dodging, aided by Israeli travel documents and a bit of subterfuge.
- “After several hours of waiting, Gonchor, Aaron Groisman and other Ukrainian-Israelis of military age presented their brand new passes at border control, staunchly resisting repeated requests to produce a Ukrainian passport,” writes- her after accompanying a group. from Lviv to the Polish border. “Doubting that Ukrainian speakers with Ukrainian names when leaving Ukraine really do not have Ukrainian citizenship or documentation thereof, the border guard conducted brief interrogations. Finally, she mumbled, “Israelis, huh? and left with their travel documents. After 30 tense minutes, she returned, handed over a stack of papers and left without saying a word. They were free to cross.
- Haaretz’s Adi Cohen reports that Israel is suddenly home to a white-hot luxury real estate market, as Russians with rubles rush to get their money out of the country and seek Israeli citizenship “which would allow them to exploit bank accounts and other assets from here while their financial situation is currently under threat.
- One real estate agent says he’s never seen a rush like this, and another says most of them are looking for homes that rent between $30,000 and $50,000 a month.
- “They are looking for furnished private houses,” says agent Tamir Mintz. “Due to the small number of houses on the market, some of them are approaching people who haven’t put their house up for rent, trying to tempt them with huge sums of money.”
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