December 16th

Hamas rule to use plastic coin to resolve liquidity crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Hamada Hattab - December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Gaza university student Mohamed Abu Suleiman had this week a tough argument over the change with a taxicab who took him from Tufah neighborhood in eastern Gaza city up to al-Azhar university in the west. The driver insisted on giving Abu Suleiman a piece of biscuit instead of half an Israeli Shekel (about 0.13 U.S. dollars) because he did not have enough change, after the student paid him two Shekels (0.52 dollars).

Jewish radicals get off hook in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

A rash of audacious attacks on mosques, Muslim cemeteries and Israeli military bases have trained a light on the rising threat of Jewish extremists — and the country's long history of failing to rein them in. Over the past two years, few extremists have been arrested and fewer still prosecuted in dozens of assaults. This week alone, extremists were blamed for a pair of mosque burnings as well as an attack on a West Bank military base that injured a top Israeli commander.

Israel forms special ops command; experts eye Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel said on Thursday it was unifying its special forces under one command, a move experts say could help Israel strike countries like Iran, whose nuclear programme the Jewish state deems a threat to its existence. "The primary task of the Corps will be to extend joint IDF (Israel Defence Force) operations into the strategic depth," said a statement from the military, announcing the formation of the "Depth Corps".

Israel's far right-wing is real threat to Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

The undersigned was educated in a religious boarding school near Kfar Hasidim in the north. Boys and girls studied together. The girls would crochet skullcaps for the boys, and the institution was under the sponsorship of Hapoel Hamizrahi, a moderate Zionist party, from which the first advocates of Greater Israel eventually emerged.

Iceland recognizes state of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 15, 2011 - 1:00am

Iceland on Thursday became the first west European country to formally recognize a Palestinian state, three months after the Palestinians began to seek full membership of the United Nations with peace talks with Israel frozen indefinitely. "(This) will surely have positive influence on other states to follow the same steps," Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told a news conference in Reykjavik.

Factions warn of 'last chance' ahead of unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian political groups have called their upcoming meeting in Cairo the last chance for implementation of a reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas. Seven months after the agreement was signed in the Egyptian capital, the factions say nothing has moved on the ground to implement the terms of the deal that would end four years of divided government in Gaza and the West Bank.

Palestinian aid to continue, with strings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter - December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Despite Congress’ unhappiness with the Palestinian leadership, top appropriators have agreed to continue funding the Palestinian Authority provided that it does not press any further with its campaign to win more diplomatic recognition at the United Nations. An appropriations bill for the coming fiscal year that was released this week by House Republicans would allow a continuation of aid as long as the Palestinian Authority does not join any more U.N. organizations in its bid to increase its global diplomatic standing.

Israeli police call to cancel election result after women prevented from voting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli police say they have urged Jerusalem’s city hall to cancel some results from a recent local election after a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews prevented some women from voting. TV video showed a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews screaming at a few dozen women at a polling station and then pushing them away. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police at the scene saw “a large number” of women obstructed from voting. Rosenfeld said Friday police are investigating the incident, the latest attempt by extremely pious Jews to try impose their practices on others.

December 15th

NEWS: PM Netanyahu says Israel may subject violent settlers to military trials, but says he does not consider them “terrorists.” Israeli experts say the new “crackdown” is a "bluff,” and unlikely to change the status quo in the occupied territories. Extremist settlers torch another mosque in the occupied West Bank. Pres. Abbas says Israeli-Palestinian peace is the key to Middle East stability. Analysts think Israel is unlikely to launch a major offensive in Gaza in the immediate future. Sec. Clinton says Newt Gingrich's recent verbal attacks on Palestinians were “unhelpful.” At a Gaza rally, Hamas leaders again call for the elimination of Israel. A New York-based charity is accused of helping fund settler violence. COMMENTARY: Tom Perry says both Fatah and Hamas are facing a crisis of legitimacy. Ari Shavit says Israel's political realities have never been so ugly, but it's not too late to salvage them. Yossi Sarid says Israeli politicians who denounce settler violence are really responsible for it. Yakir Elkariv says extremist rabbis are most responsible. Hanoch Daum says violent religious extremists are an existential threat to Israel. Nahum Barnea says that in Washington, “Netanyahu” is the new “N-word.” Andrew Friedman says the Arab uprisings provide new opportunities for Israel to build stronger ties to Arab societies.Hussein Shobokshi says Gingrich “isn't fit to run a bath” let alone a state. James Lindsay says the discussion about Palestine at the last Republican debate was a sorry spectacle indeed. Hussein Ibish looks at the actual history of the formation of contemporary Israeli and Palestinian identities.

New York charity abets Israeli settler violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Jared Malsin - December 14, 2011 - 1:00am

On the June 18, 2007, a nonprofit organization called the Hebron Fund held a fundraiser on a cruise ship in the Hudson River to support Israel settlers’ occupation of a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron. Some 250 people paid a minimum of $65 each for the “Cruise ‘n’ Schmooze.” The proceeds went to support the settler who had taken the property from the Rajabi family, who denied the settlers’ claims that they had legally purchased the home.

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