European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 13/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 13/09/2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel and PA to sign deal on massive Palestinian electricity bill

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reportedly reached a deal to cover the Palestinians’ outstanding debt of almost NIS 2 billion to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Under the agreement, which is expected to be signed on Tuesday, the PA will pay Israel NIS 500 million, the Times of Israel reports.

It was not immediately clear if and when the PA would later pay off the remaining NIS 1.5 billion deficit.

The deal will also see the PA take responsibility for the power lines that supply electricity to Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

Under an economic agreement signed with the PA in 1994, Israel collects around NIS 600-700 million each month in customs duties, which are levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.

It transfers the money after deducting approximately NIS 100 million for expenses such as Palestinian hospitalisations in Israel, sewage treatment and covering part of the electricity debt, which has remained largely stable in recent months.

In January 2015, the IEC cut power to Palestinian cities for a number of hours every day over a similar debt, only to permanently renew the electricity supply a few weeks later.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Minister says Facebook removed 95 percent of anti-Israel incitement

Facebook cooperates with authorities the vast majority of the time when the government asks the network to remove content inciting to terrorism, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Monday.

Shaked made the comments shortly after she and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan met with a senior delegation from the social media site, the Jerusalem Post reports.

According to Shaked, Facebook removed 95 percent of 158 inciting posts, and YouTube, owned by Google, removed 80 percent of 13 videos, at the government’s request.

“These are impressive numbers; however, we understand that there is too much online incitement, and we must continue to increase our efforts,” Shaked said at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s World Summit at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya.

Shaked and Erdan and officials in their ministries met with Facebook’s Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy, and Monika Bickert, head of product policy and counter-terrorism. 

A Facebook representative called the meeting constructive and said the delegation visited Israel “as part our ongoing dialogue with policy makers and experts around the world to keep terrorist content off our platform and support counter-speech initiatives.

“Online extremism can only be tackled with a strong partnership between policy makers, civil society, academia and companies, and this is true in Israel and around the world. We had constructive discussions about these important issues and look forward to a continued dialogue and cooperation,” the representative stated.

Click here to read the full article in Jeusalem Post


  • Sharansky invokes Soviet gulag after court upholds force-feeding of prisoners

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky recalled his traumatising experience being force fed as a political prisoner in the former Soviet Union, after Israel’s High Court of Justice approved force-feeding hunger-striking prisoners, the Jerusalem Post reports.

“I was force fed in Soviet prison at least 35 times,” he said in an interview with Army Radio on Monday.

“I remember it vividly, I was very weak and I felt like I was going to die. They would ask me if I am willing to eat and when I refused, one guard held me by my feet, another by my head and they would put a long pipe down my throat.

“It was difficult to breathe. They would put inside me a few litres of liquids, probably soup. My heart suddenly started beating very hard and it would hurt. Your body starts to feel like it just wants to stop already.”

“To put it simply, it was very unpleasant,” he said.  Speaking about Israel’s techniques, Sharansky said he was not “equating Israel and the Soviet Union, but force feeding prisoners is definitely a sort of torture,” adding, “I really hope and am sure that in Israel it is done in a different way.”

Sharansky said he was definitely willing to die in prison.

“When fighting my ideological war for Soviet Jews, I made a decision that there are more important things than my physical survival,” he said. “When you start a hunger strike, you go into it knowing that if they break you and you eat, then they will never take you seriously again.”

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


Tuesday, September 13, 2016
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