Ongoing violence in Egypt, this time against the backdrop of celebrations marking the 1973 “October War,” dominated the front pages of Israeli newspapers Monday.
“The army and security forces insisted on holding the celebrations at any price, despite the fear of riots and Muslim Brotherhood threats to conquer the squares anew, primarily Tahrir Square, the symbol of the Egyptian revolution,” Haaretz reported.
Security forces and Islamist protesters clashed around the country Sunday, leaving 51 killed, as a national holiday celebrating the military gave way to mayhem, with supporters of the military and Muslim Brotherhood battling one another.
Several neighborhoods of the capital, Cairo, resembled combat zones after street battles that raged for hours. Morsi supporters fired birdshot and threw firebombs at police who responded with gunshots and tear gas. Streets were left strewn with debris, and the air was thick with tear gas and smoke from burning fires, as the crack of gunfire rang out.
An Egyptian security expert told Haaretz that military forces were told to prevent Muslim Brotherhood supporters from reaching the celebrations at any price.
“All the routes leading to Tahrir Square, the main stage of the celebrations, were blocked and anyone trying to enter had to pass a security check in order to prevent weapons from being brought in,” he said. The expert claimed that the instructions to resort to live fire to prevent clashes between supporters of the Brotherhood and those backing the military prevented even greater bloodshed, as the two sides would have butchered each other had they both been allowed to occupy the same square.
Israeli newspapers continued to follow the shooting of Noam Glick, a 9-year-old girl, in a West Bank settlement Saturday night, focusing on the unknowns that continue to vex investigators. Maariv’s article, headlined “The security establishment is checking: Did the attacker act alone or did he have help?” laid out outstanding issues: Was it a shooting attack or a stabbing? Did the perpetrator act alone? Was he part of an organized terror cell?
Israel Hayom covered the visit of three Likud MKs — Tzipi Hotovely, Ze’ev Elkin, and Ofir Akunis — to the home of the Glick family. The three called on the Israeli government to stop the freeing of prisoners in the framework of political negotiations with the Palestinians.
“Just as [Netanyahu] is working to reveal to the world the Iranian deception,” the newspaper quoted Hotovely as saying,”he must reveal the deceptive process by the Arabs in Judea and Samaria.”
Elkin, the deputy foreign minister, said Israel should intensify its settlement activities in response to the attack. “If the Arabs understand that in a place there is terror, a new community or neighborhood will be built, the terror will stop…This is not the first time the other side has interpreted our desire to enter into negotiations as weakness, and they must understand we will not give in to them.”
Amid violence across the region and concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, Yedioth Ahronoth’s main story was about the price of apartments in Israel, which have reached unprecedented heights, according a new report from the Central Bureau of Statistics. The paper shows graphics comparing the price of apartments in major cities today versus 2007. Haifa saw an increase of 289 percent, Ramat Gan 107%, Tel Aviv 87%, and Jerusalem “only” 61%.
“The report also shows that despite the continued rise in apartment prices, there was a period in which they actually went down. It might seem like a distant memory, but between 2000-2006, the price of apartments went down 12%. By the way, in those years, the demand was negligible, because of the “Israeli herd mentality — when the price is high people buy, and when the price is low they wait for it to go even lower.
“The report states that the Israeli consumer is becoming more and more ‘exclusive.’ Over the years, the preferred type of apartment for the Israeli consumer has changed in favor of bigger apartments and taller buildings. In 1976, five-room apartments were just 4% of all apartments, but in 2012 they were 55%.
“The factors influencing the change in apartment prices are many, and some are connected to supply and demand,” the report explains. “The population growth in Israel causes demand from the new households, while the supply is limited in terms of available land and contractors.”
Despite the worrying trend, there is a positive nugget to come out of the report. In the last decade, Israelis have become more satisfied with their lives from an economic perspective, and more confident in their ability to maintain a household. Eighty-eight percent said they were satisfied in 2011, compared to 83% in 2002.