Egyptian government bans export of palm leaves to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
August 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Egypt’s Agriculture Ministry has announced a ban on the export of palm leaves to Israel starting this year and for the coming two years, a decision that some news reports have linked with recent violence along the Egyptian border with Israel in the past week. Tensions have been high between the Israeli and Egyptian governments this past week after Israeli military units crossed into Egyptian territory while pursuing alleged terrorists along the border. Six Egyptian police and army personnel were killed by Israeli fire.

Gaza’s Underground Economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omar Ghraieb - August 21, 2011 - 12:00am

RAFAH, Gaza – Just a few months ago, Abu Ola, a 60-year-old Gazan, thought the future of his tunnel business was bleak. Israel had eased its blockade on the Gaza Strip in the spring of 2010, allowing everything from concrete to confections into the Hamas-ruled enclave and putting and a damper on the smuggling trade. Then, Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing last May, making it easier for people to get in and out. With business drying up, Ola dismissed half of his 13-man workforce.

Resentment toward Hamas grows among Gaza's budding middle class
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
August 23, 2011 - 12:00am

A budding middle class in the impoverished Gaza Strip is flaunting its wealth, sipping coffee at gleaming new cafes, shopping for shoes at the new tiny shopping malls, and fueling perhaps the most acrimonious grass roots resentment yet toward the ruling Hamas movement.

Netanyahu tells cabinet: Israel lacks legitimacy for major Gaza operation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The cabinet voted Monday to refrain from any action that could lead to an escalation in the south and to cooperate indirectly with the truce Hamas declared on Sunday. So far, the truce has largely held, although three rockets did hit southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday. The cabinet meeting began at about 11 P.M. Sunday and adjourned at about 3 A.M. Monday morning. The ministers were briefed by senior defense officials, but were not asked to approve any further military action. Instead, the meeting focused on ways to contain the situation and prevent an escalation.

Israel rejects challenge to West Bank barrier path
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Daniel Estrin - August 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli Supreme Court has rejected a Palestinian village's appeal to reroute a section of Israel's West Bank separation barrier straddling the Jerusalem municipal border, saying the petitioners didn't prove the barrier would smother the village. Residents of Walajeh village had claimed the path of the section under construction would cut them off from their farmlands, cemetery and water source. Israel says the barrier, which at multiple points dips inside the West Bank, is crucial to keep out Palestinian attackers.

UN report on Israel's flotilla raid delayed again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Louis Charbonneau - August 22, 2011 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The handover of a long-postponed U.N. inquiry report on an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship in 2010 that killed nine Turks has been delayed again, a U.N. spokesman said on Monday. The U.N. announcement came as Israel and Turkey traded blame for the delay in the delivery of the final report to the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "At this stage, the report is not complete," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

Abbas postpones local elections in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 23, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on Monday postponing local West Bank elections scheduled for October 22. The presidential decree postpones elections "until appropriate circumstances" exist, the statement said, and gives time "to provide the Central Elections Commission with the opportunity to continue preparations for holding elections in all Palestinian districts." The postponement will also provide the "appropriate environment" for efforts to end "division and reaching reconciliation and national unity," the decree said.

Israel's Iron Dome system reassures nation on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - August 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Ashkelon, Israel A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas took hold on Monday, ending four days of rocket attacks and air strikes across the Gaza border that brought the sides to the brink of a major military conflict for the second time in five months. A key factor supporting the cease-fire was a new weapons system that allows Israel to protect its citizens and thereby lessen public pressure for swift retaliatory strikes on Gaza.

Glenn Beck's Israel tour raises eyebrows
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem Perhaps it was only a matter of time before conservative American commentator Glenn Beck, viewed by many supporters as a modern-day prophet, brought his messianic message to Jerusalem. But even in an ancient city that has seen its share of religious enthusiasts, Beck's high-profile Holy Land tour this week, culminating Wednesday in a rally just a stone's throw from the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock mosque, is raising eyebrows.

Al Qaeda linked to Israeli bus ambush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Eli Lake - August 22, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating reports that al Qaeda-aligned groups played a key role in the deadly commando-style attack near the Israeli resort town of Eilat last week. A U.S. government assessment of the incident Thursday concludes that either the Palestinian group Popular Resistance Committees or the Gaza-based Army of Islam (or Jaish al Islam), a Palestinian group sympathetic to al Qaeda, carried out the commando assault and bombing raid that emanated from the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula.

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