February 28th

NEWS: Two hunger striking Palestinian prisoners have agreed to end their fast as Israel says it will release them in May. (Reuters) Pres. Abbas says Israeli settlement construction in the "E1" area is a Palestinian "red line." (Jerusalem Post) PM Netanyahu demands "military sanctions" against Iran. (Reuters) Hamas addresses the Yasser Arafat Foundation in Cairo for the first time on the subject of reconciliation. (Ma'an) The PA economy minister welcomes an EU report recommending sanctions against Israeli settlement activity. (Ma'an) The Israeli press reports a breakthrough in Netanyahu's coalition negotiations to form a new government. (Xinhua) Israeli police insist that Palestinians fabricated a reported "price tag" arson attack on cars last week. (Xinhua) The PA says it has secured the release of four Palestinian teenagers detained by Israel on Wednesday. (Ma'an) Evidence continues to mount that Israeli-Turkish relations are improving, despite the fact that PM Erdogan has described Zionism as "a crime against humanity" at a UN meeting. (Xinhua/Ha'aretz) Israel is using the Bible to reach out to evangelical Christians as far away as Brazil. (CSM) The Oxford University Student Union votes down a measure endorsing a boycott against Israel. (Ha'aretz) Palestinian fishermen are mystified as hundreds of ray fish wash up on the shores of Gaza. (The Independent) Some Palestinians are trying to encourage food self-sufficiency. (IPS) Some Israeli experts see no real sign of change in Egypt's foreign policy towards Israel and the Palestinians under Pres. Morsi, despite some changes in rhetoric. (Jerusalem Post)

COMMENTARY: Allen Weiner says Israel and the Palestinians need American mediation. (New York Times) Jonathan Schanzer says Palestinians need a succession plan and Abbas needs an heir apparent. (LA Times) Gideon Levy says it's ironic that Israelis, who were so upset by the captivity of a single soldier, seem incapable of understanding Palestinian outrage about thousands of detainees in Israeli jails. (Ha'aretz) Shlomi Eldar says Israel needs to reconsider its policy of administrative detention of Palestinians. (Al Monitor) Matthew Duss looks at the prospects for a third intifada. (The American Prospect) Roger Cohen says although a single state is not going to emerge, the prospects for two states for Israel and the Palestinians are dwindling fast. (New York Times) Eitan Haber says, whether he admits it or not, Pres. Obama is coming to the region with an agenda. (YNet) Sara Hirschhorn says Israelis have to rid themselves of the notion that settlements are irreversible or face a one-state future. (Ha'aretz) Shlomo Cohen says Israel is unfairly taking advantage of Diaspora Jewry. (Ha'aretz) Andy Bachman says BDS rhetoric should be challenged, but not censored, but Martin Raffel says it amounts to hate speech. (JTA) Nathan Guttman looks at different advice offered to Obama in new books by Daniel Kurtzer and Elliott Abrams. (The Forward) George Hishmeh says Obama has a duty to tell Israel it cannot continue with business as usual towards the Palestinians. (Gulf News)

Israeli police deems Palestinians' report on price tag attack " fabrication"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

In an unusual step, the Israeli police said Thursday that despite claims Jewish settlers set fire to six Palestinian cars last week, the case was fabricated by the Palestinians themselves. Last Thursday, the villagers of Qusra in the West Bank told media and the police that Jewish settlers came in and set fire to six residents' car.

Palestinian fishermen mystified after bloodied Mobula ray fish wash up on Gaza beach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian fisherman have been left mystified after hundreds of bloodied Mobula Ray fish were found washed up on a Gaza beach. Around 220 of the fish appeared on the Gaza City beach yesterday, the Times of Israel has reported. It is thought to be the first time in five years that fishermen are catching the ray fish in waters off Gaza.

Oxford student union votes down Israel boycott
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Alona Ferber - February 27, 2013 - 1:00am

The Oxford University Student Union voted down a motion on Wednesday calling for a boycott of Israel, its institutions, goods and produce. According to the record of the vote at the prestigious university, 69 voted against the motion, 10 voted in favor, and 15 abstained.

Aid Hurting Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours - February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Local food for local people. That’s the idea behind Sharaka (‘partnership’, in Arabic), an entirely volunteer-run, Palestinian organisation that aims to bring locally grown products directly to Palestinian dinner tables.

Analysis: Egyptian foreign policy hasn't changed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ariel Ben Solomon - (Analysis) February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Despite public declarations this week condemning Israel over the death of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat, Egypt is attempting to maintain its role as the mediator the US turns to in the region. Under ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt also spoke out in support of the Palestinians, but maintained working relations with Israel behind the scenes.

Israel wields Bible's soft power as far afield as Brazil
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Christa Case Bryant - February 27, 2013 - 1:00am

On a crisp winter morning in Jerusalem, a group of American Christian leaders with Bibles under their arms walk the hilltop where many believe King David first established the Jewish capital some 3,000 years ago.

At UN conference, Erdogan calls Zionism 'crime against humanity'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Zionism a "crime against humanity" at a United Nations conference in Vienna Wednesday, even as efforts at reconciliation continue between Jerusalem and Ankara. In his speech about Islamophobia in Europe, delivered at the opening session of the fifth United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, he argued the UN and European Union are not doing enough to fight hatred of Muslims and intolerance of other cultures. But Zionism was mentioned in passing.

News Analysis: Positive signs show Israel-Turkey ties warming up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Ties between Israel and Turkey have been strained ever since the Israel intercepted the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in May 2010, however lately there have been signs that an improvement might be in sight. Last week an Israeli defense contractor Elta exported equipment for four Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircrafts to Turkey, however the equipment was part of the deal Turkey signed with the American company Boeing and Elta is a sub-contractor for Boeing.

PA liaison says secured release of teens from Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority liaison officials secured the release of four teenagers detained Wednesday by Israeli forces, Palestinian officer Osama Mansour said Thursday. Israeli forces detained Ibrahim Dawod 16, Ahmad Dawod 15, and Sabi Abed al-Raman, 16, from Ein Yabrud village north of Ramallah, and 15-year-old Tahrir from Jericho. The three teenagers from Ramallah were accused of throwing stones and Tahrir was suspected of trying to enter an Israeli settlement, said Mansour, who heads the liaison office in Ramallah.

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