Despite closure, the pain remains
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Hebrew media review

Despite closure, the pain remains

The death of a terrorist who murdered a rabbi offers little comfort to his loved ones, Hebrew media finds

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

An image of Hamas terrorist Muhammad Fakih, who shot dead Rabbi Miki Mark and was killed by Israeli troops on July 27, 2016 (Hamas's Twitter account)
An image of Hamas terrorist Muhammad Fakih, who shot dead Rabbi Miki Mark and was killed by Israeli troops on July 27, 2016 (Hamas's Twitter account)

The overnight killing by Israel’s security forces of the Hamas terrorist who murdered Rabbi Miki Mark in a July 1 shooting attack in the West Bank tops the agenda for the country’s Hebrew-language papers, though each media outlets peers at the matter through a different lens.

In Yedioth Ahronoth‘s front page, Mark’s teenage daughter, Tehila, is shown alongside a small photo of her father, as the paper views the killing through her eyes. Muhammad al-Fakih, Mark’s murderer, was killed when clashes broke out between the Israeli troops and an armed cell in the West Bank village of Surif, north of Hebron. “The death won’t bring back my father,” Yedioth quotes Mark’s 14-year-old daughter in big, bold letters. “But these terrorists shall not strike again.” In the daily’s interview with the rabbi’s young daughter, we learn that representatives of the IDF contacted the Mark family only moments after the clashes took place to notify them that the terrorist had been killed. “In the morning, Itzik Cohen, the Judea Brigade commander in the Hebron region, told us that since the day of [my father’s] murder they had tried in every way to close the circle.”

Mark was killed in a drive-by shooting as he traveled on Route 60 with his family, close to the Otniel settlement where they lived. Mark’s wife, Hava, was seriously injured and two of his children were wounded in the shooting attack.

Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack near Hebron on July 1, 2016 (Courtesy)
Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack near Hebron on July 1, 2016 (Courtesy)

Fakih, from the West Bank village of Dura, had been on the run since the shooting attack. Three other members of the terror cell that planned and executed the attack were arrested early Wednesday morning. In the interim, Fakih’s three brothers, sister, cousins and nephew were arrested by the IDF and his mother was brought in for questioning.

Israel Hayom‘s main headline about the incident is direct, even aggressive. “The bill has been paid,” reads the daily’s front page. Israel Hayom makes it a point to stress that Fakih had previously served four years in an Israeli prison starting in 2006, and that his cousin, Ahmed Ayad al-Fakih, was killed in 2002 while carrying out a terror attack on the Otniel Yeshiva in which four Israelis were killed.

Meanwhile, in Haaretz, reporter Ilan Lior writes that the Tel Aviv Municipality is establishing no fewer than 46 new kindergartens and nurseries for the children of migrants and asylum seekers currently living in the bustling city. While the municipality has repeatedly stressed it is not deliberately separating Israeli citizens from the children of migrants and asylum seekers, Lior notes that only four of these establishments will also include Israeli children. In recent years, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers have settled in Tel Aviv’s southern neighborhoods after fleeing their home countries of Eritrea and South Sudan.

Back in Yedioth, the daily informs its readers of what seems to be an apparent cereal crime, as the Telma company, which produces some of Israel’s most famous breakfast foods, has shut down its cornflakes factory due to contamination at the site. The company will begin destroying tons and tons of cereal boxes due to the discovery of germs upon the crunchy flakes. Nevertheless, Telma insists that all of its cereal that has already been released to the market is safe to eat. But for the next couple of days, cornflakes lovers might feel a real shortage.

Demonstrators burn a flag during a protest on the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Demonstrators burn a flag during a protest on the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Israel Hayom’s Boaz Bismuth, in his commentary about the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, chooses to focus, unsurprisingly, on the anti-Israel elements that were present on the outskirts of the gathering, and attempts to tie the extreme behavior to the Democratic Party’s policy toward the Jewish state at large. Bismuth writes that protesters who burned an Israeli flag outside the convention are “ideologically close” to the Democratic Party, and notes that while speakers at the Republican Convention in Cleveland made every effort to stress their commitment to Israel, speakers in Philadelphia rarely even mentioned the Jewish state. The Israel Hayom analyst contends that this fact arises from the Democratic party’s inability to distinguish between the good and evil forces in the world. Bismuth goes on to posit that US President Barack Obama does not fully grasp the consequences of his party’s stance on foreign policy. “Obama stated that Donald Trump has no clue when it comes to foreign policy,” Bismuth writes. “In face of the state of the world today, Obama should first take a look in the mirror.”

Is summer vacation starting to bore you and your kids to death? Fear not, for Yedioth reports that Israel’s version of “Sesame Street,” “Rehov Sumsum,” is returning to a screen near you. According to the paper, the Yes satellite TV company will launch a channel dedicated to the beloved muppet characters, who will teach young children the importance of sharing, caring, counting and singing. The furry puppets will be joined by Israeli performers such as Hava Alberstein, Dror Keren, and Shani Cohen. “We are happy to continue to enrich the world of children’s content,” Dana Stern, the head of the Yes procurement division, tells the paper. “The content is made for a family audience and authentically reflects the life of a child and a family in Israel,” she adds.

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