Palestinian president belittles Hamas claims of summer war victory


Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday openly mocked boasts still being floated by top figures from the Palestinian Hamas faction - the most significant rival to his own Fatah faction - to the effect that the terror group had emerged victorious from its confrontations with Israel over the summer. Hamas had through a range of gambits drawn Israeli security forces into both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with Jerusalem launching Operation Protective Edge and Operation Brother's Keeper respectively. Jerusalem's Gaza campaign was initiated due to an escalation in months-long Palestinian rocket barrages, and escalated further into a ground conflict after Hamas commandos began launching attacks inside Israeli territory via underground attack tunnels. Hamas broke 11 ceasefires over the 50 days of fighting, before finally capitulating and accepting long-offered terms in the face of heightened Israeli moves to decapitate its command and control infrastructure. The summer West Bank campaign, Operation Brother's Keeper, was triggered by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists. Israel eventually captured and killed the terror cell responsible for the attack, in the process exposing and uprooting a massive terror plot aimed at seizing control of the West Bank. Hamas leaders nonetheless responded to the immediate cessation of active violence by claiming victory, triggering sometimes arch responses from observers. Abbas on Wednesday blasted Hamas on Egyptian television - with the comments being conveyed by various Israeli media outlets - demanding "for what did we suffer through those 50 days? We had 2,200 fatalities, 10,000 injured, 40,000 homes and facilities and factories destroyed. Tell me, what did we achieve?" Responding more specifically to Hamas's positive assessment of the conflict, Abbas emphasized "I don’t want to delude myself by saying: It was a victory... [w]hat victory?" The stakes in the debate are not academic. Regional and even global actors are engaged in ongoing diplomatic and geostrategic jockeying in the area, and Hamas is seeking to position itself as both willing and able to reignite a war should its post-conflict demands not be met. Top analysts in the American intelligence community have been explicit in assessing that the Gaza war constituted the literal definition of military defeat for Hamas, and losing a war of choice constitutes a particularly weak position from which to be making demands.


Israeli-made television formats are once again a hot ticket at MIPCOM, the annual entertainment and TV market held in Cannes every October. Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Sweden and Spain have all signed deals for new original Israeli game shows and reality formats. Armoza has signed four deals for their new and recently launched prime time show The People’s Choice with Endemol Turkey, Germany’s Tresor TV Produktions, Italy’s Sony-owned Toro and Sweden’s Elk Productions. The People’s Choice entertainment format was developed in partnership with TF1 France. “We know that it’s getting harder to keep viewers at their screens, and ‘The People’s Choice’ addresses this broadcaster need by taking audience engagement to the next level in a live interactive TV event where the viewers create the content in a fun, quick and simple way,” said Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats. Shine France picked up Help! I Can’t Cook! from Keshet International. The show features 10 celebrities who are self-proclaimed flops in the kitchen and who have to spend three weeks at a culinary institute. The show recently proved to be the second highest-rated launch for a reality series ever in Israel (after Rising Star), pulling in a record 46.2 percent audience share. “The culinary competition is definitely a genre that we know very well at Shine France. Help I Can’t Cook! fits into the DNA of our programming perfectly: a great quality entertainment show combined with ‘feel-good TV’. We look forward to working on the project,” said Thierry Lachkar, CEO of Shine France. And Israel’s Studio Glam sold a new game show format, 300 Sec. Ride to Endemol Spain. The show allots players 300 seconds to answer eight questions in order to win a monetary prize. (via Israel21c)

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