Thursday, February 12, 2009

PalArab press roundup 2-12-09

Smugglers in Rafah are having a significantly harder time, as Egyptian security forces seem to have increased their patrols a great deal and are confiscating goods and shutting down tunnels.

Israel started issuing the first of two thousand "VIP cards" to senior Palestinian Arab security officials to ease their travel through the West Bank.

For the first time in three years, Israel will allow the export of carnations from Gaza to Europe for Valentine's Day. This was at the request of the Dutch government.

An Israeli soldier was jailed for shooting into the air while out of uniform close to some Palestinian Arabs near Kiryat Arba last November. B'Tselem had videotaped the incident. (In Gaza, when someone shoots into the air it is called a "wedding.")

The PalArab media is warning about attempts of Jews in Kfar Saba to take over an (apparently abandoned) mosque and convert it into a synagogue. I cannot find any story on this in the Israeli press so I don't know if this originally was a synagogue. The name translates to "Chapel of Simeon/Shimon" and has a suspiciously similar Arabic name, "Sa'aman." Right now, Jews are apparently placing pictures and Hebrew signs on the structure and the Arabs are removing them.