Haaretz Newsline / April 10

Haaretz brings you the top news items you may have missed overnight.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has enough funds to withstand a total embargo on its oil sales for several years, Iranian media reported on Tuesday. "[Western powers] want to impose sanctions on our oil and we must say to them that we have that much saved that even if we didn't sell oil for two to three years, the country would manage easily," Ahmadinejad said during a visit to Hormuzgan province.

There was no sign of troop withdrawal from restive areas of Syria Tuesday morning, as stipulated by a UN-brokered ceasefire proposal, activists said. "The UN plan was supposed to go into effect at 6 am local time. Instead, several Syrian army tanks which are still positioned at the outskirts of central province of Homs, shelled Al-Khalidiyeh and Bab al-Sibaa neighborhoods," activist Omar Homsi said.

Syria refugee demo - Reuters - 10.4.12

The award given to controversial journalist Helen Thomas by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sparked anger not only in Israel, but in the U.S. Congress as well. Two senior Congressmen sent Abbas a letter denouncing the award and hinting that such a move may hurt U.S. assistance to the PA.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer is considering asking the cabinet to reach a tax agreement with the United States to calm Israeli banks about strict new U.S. tax regulations on Americans living abroad. The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act takes effect at the beginning of 2013. The United States is demanding that banks throughout the world report Americans' financial activities to the Internal Revenue Service. FATCA threatens severe sanctions against banks that do not adhere to its requirements.

Former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa is still considered the leading candidate to become Egypt's next president, according to a poll conducted by the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, which was published on Tuesday.

The Hebrew Writers Association in Israel on Monday denounced a controversial poem by Nobel Literature laureate Guenter Grass in which he criticizes Israel for threatening to attack Iran. The writers association said it would ask International PEN, a worldwide body of writers, to "publicly distance itself from Grass' remarks and to come out against all expressions of delegitimization against Israel and the Jewish people."

Ido Kozikaro, Gilboa/Galil's center, was interrogated under caution by Afula police on Monday because of an off-color post on his Facebook page. "There's nothing like starting the holiday with matza dipped in the blood of Christian and Muslim children," the post read in Hebrew on the basketball player's page.