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HAARETZ

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If you could see Israel naked Bradley Burston Opinion, Page 5

English Edition

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w w w. h a a re t z . c o m

Mercaz Harav students carried out attack on West Bank base, say police Most of the right-wing activists who vandalized the Ephraim Brigade’s base two weeks ago were students at Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, police have discovered. In a related development, the Shin Bet security service has recommended putting at least three right-wing extremists in administrative detention in response to the recent escalation in violent attacks on both Palestinians and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the security services to make use of such detentions two weeks ago, after right-wing extremists perpetrated a spate of attacks within a single 24-hour period, including the one on the Ephraim Brigade base. According to the police, that incident began on Monday afternoon, December 12, when calls went out to rightwing activists nationwide to go to the northern West Bank to protest the planned demolition of an illegal settlement outpost, expected to be either Mitzpeh Yitzhar or Ramat Gilad. Three well-known activists − Effi Chaikin, Eliav Eliyahu and Meir Ettinger, all of whom were barred from entering the West Bank under an administrative order issued by the army and were therefore living temporarily in Jerusalem − then began organizing a group of youths to join the protest. A bus was rented, though police aren’t yet sure by

whom, and told to come to Mercaz Harav, a leading religious Zionist yeshiva that has been a driving force behind the settlement movement. There, some 40 people got on, most of them students at the yeshiva. En route to the West Bank, the bus was told to stop and several tires were loaded on. The driver later told the police that “a man without a beard� was in charge of the passengers. At the entrance to the base, two of the passengers bought containers of gasoline from a nearby gas station. Police have seized the footage from the gas station’s security cameras as evidence. The passengers then burned the tires they had brought at the entrance to the base. At some point, some of them also broke into the base. Most stood at the entrance and shouted “Jews don’t expel Jews.� But others entered the base’s parking lot and vandalized cars belonging to brigade officers. Two days later, on December 14, police raided the three activists’ apartment, which is located near the yeshiva. Yesterday, their remands were extended for the fifth time, until Sunday. Cell phone records indicate that the three were in contact with the busload of students who went to the West Bank, but it’s not yet clear whether the content of their calls provides any evidence that they committed a crime. Police

END OF YEAR SUPP LEME NT

HAARETZ | DECE MBER

2011

Tip of the iceberg

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Tip of The

iceberg

It's been a rough year, and 2012 worse. How to could be even brace yourself for the storm

Meltdown ahead Three possible scenarios for 2012: Two are very bad, and one is unlikely

Learning to love sustainability Out with the greenwashing, in with the green Olivier Fitoussi

Demonstrators in Beit Shemesh last night. The signs read “We’re not giving up on Beit Shemesh.�

Did we grow up here?

Keeping men ‘safe’from singing

Neri Livneh Page 2

Tsafi Saar Page 2

Rich granddad, poor granddad How to avoid poverty in your golden years

See HOOLIGANS, Page 2

Amos Harel

Gantz: A second round in Gaza must be swift, painful

Courtesy of Bamachaneh

Benny Gantz speaking with Ilana Dayan yesterday on Army Radio.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz marked the three-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead yesterday by hailing it “an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas.� However, he warned, cracks have emerged in that deterrence over time, and a second round of fighting in the Gaza Strip is not a matter of choice for Israel. Such a round must be initiated by Israel and must be “swift and painful,� he said, adding, “I do not advise Hamas to test our mettle.� Speaking on Army Radio yesterday in honor of Shirutrom, the IDF’s annual telethon, Gantz gave his most wide-ranging interview since taking office more than 10 months ago. His predecessor, Gabi Ashkenazi, gave no interviews to the civilian media during his four years in office. Only once a year, in honor of the telethon, did he agree to any interviews at all. Gantz appears to be taking the same tack, although sources close to him say he will be interviewed by the civilian media in the future. In response to a question by interviewer Ilana Dayan regarding the timing of such an attack, Gantz said, “We will act when the conditions are right.�

End of year supplement

Demonstrators chant: Beit Shemesh is not Tehran

In reference to the debate over the best way to act against the Iranian nuclear program, Dayan asked Gantz whether his position and that of the new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo were not as strong as that of Ashkenazi and the former Mossad head, Meir Dagan. Gantz rejected the idea, stating, “Whoever should hear, hears my voice loud and clear.� Last November, after Yoav Galant was appointed to succeed Ashkenazi as chief of staff and Gantz retired from the IDF − only to return as chief of staff three months later when Galant’s appointment was rescinded − Gantz told Haaretz he was proud he did not have to compromise his principles in the race for chief of staff. Much of the interview was devoted to high-profile issues in the media of late, such as women singing in the IDF. Gantz characterized an incident last week in which female soldiers were prevented from singing at a Hanukkah ceremony at a basic training camp as “not good.� He said he would act to prevent such occurrences in the future and would order an investigation into the incident. Gantz also made a distinction between official IDF cere-

monies, where he said he would not allow Orthodox soldiers to leave while women were singing, and entertainment, where Gantz said “we can and should respect [Orthodox soldiers’ wishes to leave the hall].� “We don’t quarrel with people. We look for how we can serve them,� he added. “Women’s singing is not banned and ... the person who decides what happens in the room is the commander. The State of Israel and the IDF must make clear that the only authority is that of the commanders,� Gantz told Dayan. Gantz apologized again for a recent exchange with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, interpreted by some as an insult to women. “I was mistaken in the way I expressed myself,� he said, referring to a comment caught on tape during a recent Golani Brigade exercise in the Golan Heights. “Women will serve everywhere they need to serve. They can contribute operationally and can function in an operational environment,� Gantz said. Gantz noted that the defense minister had approved the recent round of top appointments he made. He said the appointment of Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon as GOC Central Command had nothing to do with Alon’s statements against the extreme right. He attributed Alon’s appointment solely to his skills. It appears Gantz successfully navigated his first media test, conveying the messages he wanted to convey and avoiding unnecessary pitfalls. And yet it may be hoped that, next time, Gantz will take somewhat more of a risk and speak on the record to the civilian media as well. Another question, one that did not come up in the interview, remains unanswered: Why does the IDF, with massive funding at its disposal each year, still need to hold a telethon and scrounge for pennies from civilians?

Inside today

By Chaim Levinson

Inside Friday’s Haaretz:

Unfit facility Boy abused at school for at-risk children

Revital Hovel, Page 4

Sleepless in Safra Square

Hoping for the wow factor

Jerusalem city hall sets its sights on bread peddlers

Eli Guttman dreams of taking Israel to the World Cup

Nir Hasson, Page 4

Sports, Page 10

High Court rules: State entitled to exploit natural resources in West Bank By Zafrir Rinat The High Court of Justice has authorized Israel to exploit the West Bank’s natural resources for its own economic needs by rejecting a petition against the operation of Israeli-owned quarries in the territory. In its ruling, issued on Monday, the court adopted the state’s position: that no new Israeli-owned quarries should be established in the West Bank, but existing ones should be allowed to continue operating.

The petition was filed two years ago by the Yesh Din organization. It argued that the 10 Israeli-owned quarries in

Occupied and exploited Aeyal Gross Analysis, page 3 the West Bank violate international law, which states that an occupier may not exploit an occupied territory’s natu-

ral resources for its own economic benefit; it may use such resources only for the benefit of the occupied people or for military purposes. The Israeli quarries sell 94 percent of their yield to Israel and supply almost 25 percent of Israel’s total consumption of the raw materials in question. But until the petition was filed, the state had never seen any problem with this. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, who wrote the ruling, began by accepting the state’s view that the Israeli-Palestinian interim agree-

ment permits the quarries to operate in their present manner until a final-status agreement is signed. She then moved on to discuss what international law has to say, and particularly Article 55 of the Fourth Hague Convention, on which the petition was based. That article requires the occupying power to “safeguard the capital� of the occupied party’s natural resources and “administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct,� meaning the rules governing fair usage.

Yishai’s municipal property tax reform just happens to benefit large families By Revital Hovel Interior Minister Eli Yishai yesterday announced changes in municipal property tax rates that will mean discounts for parents of children under 5, students and nonprofit groups. Yishai said recent social protest was behind the changes; however, it appears they will be especially beneficial to the ultra-Orthodox. According to the new rates, for example, a family of five will have an 80percent discount on city taxes if it earns no more than NIS 6,136, rather than NIS 4,909. A family of eight will have to show an income of NIS 9,401, rather than the current NIS 7,520. However, for an individual to receive, an 80 percent discount, he or she would have to prove an income of no more than NIS 2,500.

Eli Yishai explained the reform is rooted in last summer’s social protests.

Tomer Appelbaum

See TAX, Page 3

But Beinisch accepted the state’s position that Israel’s use of the quarries is limited and does not amount to destroying their “capital,� and hence does not violate international law. This position is bolstered, she said, by the state’s decision not to permit any new quarries to open. Moreover, she said, it is necessary to take account of the fact that the West Bank has been under a prolonged and continuing occupation, so the territory’s economic See QUARRIES, Page 3


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