January 30th

Israel hits target in Syria border area
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Oliver Holmes - January 30, 2013 - 1:00am

Israeli forces attacked a convoy on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight, a Western diplomat and regional security sources said on Wednesday, as concern has grown in the Jewish state over the fate of Syrian chemical and advanced conventional weapons. The sources, four in total, all of whom declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, had no further information about what the vehicles may have been carrying, what forces were used or where precisely the attack happened.

Israel jets increase activity in Lebanese airspace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Zeina Karam - January 30, 2013 - 1:00am

The Lebanese military said Wednesday that Israeli warplanes have sharply increased their activity over Lebanon in the past week, including at least 12 sorties in less than 24 hours in the country's south.

Israel Skips U.N. Review on Rights, a New Move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Nick Cumming-Bruce - January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

Israel became the first country to withhold cooperation from a United Nations review of its human rights practices on Tuesday, shunning efforts by the United States and others to encourage it to partic

Palestinians face growing food crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 30, 2013 - 1:00am

Fluctuating prices, poverty and border restrictions mean growing numbers of Palestinians are facing food insecurity this year -- one of the key priorities in the humanitarian community’s annual appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory. This year’s Consolidated Appeal Process is for $401.6 million, a slight decrease on last year’s $416.7 million, only 68 percent of which was financed. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which helped coordinate the CAP, estimates that 1.3 million Palestinians do not have enough food.

PNA criticizes Israel for limited release of tax revenues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 30, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Wednesday criticized Israel's decision to release only parts of withheld Palestinian tax revenues. "The decision is incomplete because it only transfers the funds of one month out of four," said an official from Palestinian Ministry of Finance, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official added that the released amount, estimated around 100 million U.S. dollars, would help ease the PNA's financial crisis, which deepened in the past two years due to a drop in international aid.

Israel to Transfer Tax Funds to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 30, 2013 - 1:00am

Israel has decided to transfer tax and customs revenues collected last month on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to help ease the economic crisis there, a senior Israeli government official said on Wednesday.

January 29th

NEWS: Secularists appear to be rising in Israeli politics. Hamas and Fatah officials are expected to meet again in Egypt. PM Netanyahu meets with Quartet envoy Blair. Media mogul Murdoch apologizes for a cartoon critical of Netanyahu which many found offensive. Palestinian villagers are suing Israeli occupation authorities over military drills. Former deputy FM Beilin says Netanyahu might agree to a "provisional" Palestinian state. Some psychologists question whether Netanyahu and Pres. Obama can overcome their differences. Sources claim the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is pressing Hamas leader Mishaal not to step down, while others say some Arab states are pushing for him to chair the PLO. Occupation forces injure a man in northern Gaza. Israeli and Palestinian officials will meet to discuss Palestinian tax revenues. COMMENTARY: Roger Cohen interviews Amos Oz. Anshel Pfeffer says he doesn't find the Netanyahu cartoon to be anti-Semitic. Aluf Benn says the foundations of Netanyahu's rule remain very strong. Barak Ravid says Yesh Atid leader Lapid may not be as opposed to compromise on Jerusalem as he tries to seem. Shlomi Eldar says Lapid should call Pres. Abbas. Gershon Baskin says good governance and peacemaking go hand-in-hand. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says Israel has a stake in a weakened Syria, which is almost certain to emerge from the current conflict. Omar Shaban says a new group of Palestinians is getting rich from tunnel smuggling. Gilead Sher says Israel is greatly in need of a two-state solution. Trudy Rubin says Israel's recent election didn't settle much.

Trudy Rubin: Little settled by Israeli vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Trudy Rubin - (Opinion) January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

Here's a pop quiz for those who have been too busy to notice the surprising results of Tuesday's Israeli election: Was the key issue (1) Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's testy relationship with President Barack Obama; (2) whether Israel should bomb Iran's nuclear sites; or (3) whether to revive the mummified peace process?

Time has come for 2 states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Gilead Sher - (Opinion) January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

In about a month and a half Israel's 33rd government will be sworn in, and, regardless of the make-up of the next coalition, it must succeed in determining the country's borders.

New Class of Palestinians Get Rich On Gaza Tunnel Trade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Omar Shaban - (Opinion) January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

One of the challenges for reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) is to reaccommodate 55,000 PA employees — who had been asked to refuse to work with the Hamas government — in the Gaza Strip.  Another important challenge is how to assimilate hundreds of newly rich Palestinians who have amassed vast fortunes from illegal trade as well as legal economic activities, and re-incorporate hundreds who had halted economic activity because of the blockade. The tunnels are not new

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