Obama says the darnedest things, and the US president’s statement about Iran’s nuclear program being over a year away from the bomb turns some heads in the Israeli press Sunday morning.
But the story that grabs the most headlines is the shooting of a nine-year-old girl in the West Bank settlement of Psagot late Saturday night. Haaretz reports that the girl’s condition was initially serious after the shooting, but later downgraded to light after treatment at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The paper adds that residents of the town were instructed to stay in their homes with the lights out, doors locked and shutters drawn while security forces scoured Psagot for a suspected terrorist.
Yedioth Ahronoth reports that soldiers from the elite Duvdevan and Yamam units of the IDF and Border Police searched house-to-house for the suspected terrorist.
According to Israel Hayom, which retells the victim’s account of the incident, the girl was playing in the yard outside her house when “she discerned a man wearing a black stocking cap approaching her.”
“The girl recounted that the suspect approached her with a pistol,” it writes, adding that the injured girl managed to enter her house and inform her parents what happened.
Dr. Danny Fink of Shaare Zedek Medical Center tells Maariv that initial inspection of the patient found that “she suffered from a deep, half-centimeter cut on the left side on the base of the neck, and from another wound next to her left ear.” He added that the girl will not require surgery and that there was no damage to any major blood vessels.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, citing Shin Bet statistics, violence in the West Bank is on the rise. “In the month of August, 68 attacks were carried out in Judea and Samaria, including small arms fire, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices. In the month of September 104 attacks were recorded,” the paper reports. It quotes security officials saying that “there’s no energy on the Palestinian streets for a third Intifada, [but] we are faced with attacks carried out by unorganized individuals.”
Israel Hayom runs a small piece with the tirades of right-wing politicians reacting to Saturday night’s shooting.
Turning to Iran, Haaretz publishes US President Barack Obama’s interview with the Associated Press, in which he said that US intelligence assessments show Iran is still “a year or more away” from building a nuclear weapon. The president acknowledged that Washington’s estimates are “more conservative” than those of the Israelis. The paper quotes politicians in Jerusalem saying that despite the apparent contradiction, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama see eye to eye on the need to prevent Iran from [obtaining] nuclear weapons.”
The anonymous sources who spoke to Haaretz said Netanyahu does not dismiss negotiations with Iran, but that the result must be the dismantling of its nuclear program. “There’s no reason why Iran, which claims that it wants nuclear energy for peaceful purposes alone, should keep enrichment capabilities which would enable the development of fissile material necessary for making a bomb,” they said.
Israel Hayom neglects to publish Obama’s statements contradicting Netanyahu’s evergreen six-month time timeline to an Iranian bomb. Instead it runs a brief about Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejecting diplomacy with the Americans, saying the US is “arrogant, unreliable and irrational.”
“We don’t place any trust in them,” Khamenei is quoted saying. He nonetheless noted that “we support the diplomatic initiative and attach importance to this campaign actions, but some of the things that took place during the journey [to the UN] were unseemly, although we trust our delegates.”
The Supreme Leader is also quoted in Israel Hayom saying about Israel that “we hear the disgusting and repeated threats of Iran’s enemy, [and] our response to any misdeeds will be grave and serious.”
Yedioth Ahronoth runs an exclusive interview with Turkish President Abdullah Gül, in which he says that “Israel apologized too late” for the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, and for that reason relations have not yet fully normalized. Netanyahu called up Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in March, at the behest of Obama, and apologized for the deaths of nine Turkish nationals in an IDF raid on the Gaza-bound boat.
Gül explains to Yedioth that “in order to end the conflict and the disagreement between us, we had expectations from Israel” but “part of our expectations have still not been fulfilled.”