January 29th

Egypt’s MB Pressuring Hamas Chief to Continue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

The Hamas movement has postponed selecting a new Political Bureau chief in a clear bid to persuade incumbent, Khalid Mishal, to nominate himself for a fifth term. An Informed Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that delaying the convening of the Hamas Shura Council is meant to give Arab, Palestinian, and Islamic parties’ more time to pressure Mishal to change his mind.

Putting Bibi and Barack on the Couch
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - January 27, 2013 - 1:00am

As Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama look toward new terms in office, their long, tense relationship will now feature a new twist: The re-inaugurated American leader launches his second term greatly emboldened, while the Israeli prime minister emerges from a jolt of an election that has greatly weakened him. Nevertheless, psychiatrists and political analysts alike believe that the impact on their forced marriage will be four more years of pretty much the same thing — pronounced disagreements alongside pragmatic attempts to prevent their relationship from falling apart.

'PM said he'd okay provisional Palestinian state'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sam Sokol - January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

While not ready to sign a comprehensive peace deal, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is willing to establish an interim Palestinian state without a final agreement, former deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin said on Monday. Speaking during a debate with outgoing settlement council head Danny Dayan, Beilin stated that he had heard from Netanyahu that he would be ready for establishing a “provisional border with the Palestinians.” “This is something that I heard from him that he would be ready to do it,” he stated.

Palestinian villagers take IDF to High Court over military drills
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

The army has been carrying out training exercises for about a week near three Palestinian villages in south Hebron, in violation of a High Court of Justice order that also forbids the villagers' eviction from their homes, said local farmers backed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The farmers of a-Tabban, Mirkez and Jinba reported that military drills in a "firing zone" adjacent to their villages started last Monday with no warning, damaging their fields, pasture areas and wells.

Murdoch apologizes for ‘offensive’ cartoon of Netanyahu using blood-red mortar to build wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

Media baron Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a Sunday Times cartoon depicting Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using blood-red mortar, an image Jewish leaders said was reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda. The political cartoon, which was published on Holocaust Memorial Day, shows Netanyahu wielding a long, sharp trowel and depicts agonized Palestinians bricked into the wall’s structure. It was meant as a comment on recent elections in which Netanyahu’s ticket narrowly won the most seats in the Israeli parliament.

Israeli PM meets with Mideast Quartet envoy Blair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 29, 2013 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the international Quartet's envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair on Monday evening. Netanyahu told Blair, who represents the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union, that he looks forward to continuing working with Blair regarding the challenges Israel is facing.

Hamas says next inter-Palestinian talks in Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Jamal Halaby - January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

AMMAN, Jordan — Reconciliation talks between Palestinian militant group Hamas and its rival Fatah are on track and will resume in Egypt on Feb. 9, Hamas' political leader said Monday. Khalid Mashaal said that "obstacles" over crucial issues such as elections and a future government remain, but that he expected progress in talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli Secularlists Appear to Find Their Voice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Speaking to a group of ultra-Orthodox men shortly before he officially entered politics, Yair Lapid, a proudly secular talk-show host, declared that in a century-long competition to define Israel’s character, “we lost and you won.”

January 28th

Hamas Maintains Ties With Iran Despite Difference Over Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Abeer Ayyoub - January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

The positive outcomes of the Arab uprisings far outweighed the negatives for Gaza’s ruling Islamists, Hamas. The revolts led to the rise of fellow Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia, allowing Hamas to open up to the regional environment. But the ongoing uprising in Syria did not fit well for Hamas, which found itself caught between two hard options: siding with President Bashar al-Assad and thus losing popular support in other Arab countries, or showing solidarity with the Syrian people and losing Iran, Hamas' main financial backer.

NEWS: Israel appears to be preparing for potential fallout from the conflict in Syria. Palestinian refugees are fleeing Syria in growing numbers. Pres. Abbas says he asked Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to be relocated to the occupied West Bank. A human rights group says Israel has frequently used excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators and violated its own rules of engagement. Israeli soccer fans object to their club adding Muslim players to the squad. The Israeli cabinet approves a plan for regulating Bedouin lands. Abbas addresses a summit of the African Union. Occupation forces arrest two Palestinians in the West Bank. Hamas says it will release a group of journalists it has been holding in Gaza. Hamas leader Mishaal will reportedly meet Jordan's King. Al-Aqsa University in Gaza says it will enforce an "Islamic" dress code on women so they "avoid attracting male desire”. Israel admits for the first time to having given Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth control injections without their knowledge or consent. Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenues is undermining Palestinian security services. Reports suggest Hamas is maintaining links to Iran despite differences over Syria. COMMENTARY: The Daily Beast interviews outgoing DM Barak, who suggests the US has military plans regarding Iran. Ha'aretz says Israeli soccer fans' bigotry is a reflection of broader Israeli society today. Ilan Baruch says Europe must recommit itself to the peace process. Adrian Daniels says Israelis who hope for a breakthrough on peace from their next government should prepare for disappointment. Smadar Peri says Palestinian officials are taking a keen interest in who will be the next Israeli FM. Elias Harfoush says Israel's election shows a society in denial. Michael Koplow argues the elections really showed Israel continuing to drift towards the right, and Rami Khouri agrees. Nasser Chararah says Hezbollah is pleased with the results of the Israeli election.

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