Political struggle over West Bank town
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Heather Sharp - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

"The decision was purely political," says Wajih Qawas, fiddling with a string of prayer beads as he explains how he lost his job. Until a month ago, the softly-spoken management systems graduate was the mayor of the West Bank town of Qalqilya, although he has spent much of that time in Israeli prisons. The town of 40,000 was one of several major West Bank towns in which Hamas won control of municipal councils in elections in 2004 and 2005. Locals and outsiders alike wondered how a group known for suicide bombings would handle fixing potholes and sewage pipes.

Israel pulls textbook with chapter on Nakba
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Or Kashti - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The Ministry of Education has taken the unusual step of collecting all copies of the history textbook, "Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East" which was published about two months ago by the Zalman Shazar Center. They will be returned to the shelves only after corrections are made to the text, particularly with reference to the War of Independence. The book had already been approved by the ministry.

Why Israel failed in the Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yehezkel Dror - (Opinion) October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

"Operation Cast Lead was the most planned operation in the annals of Israel's wars," Aluf Benn wrote in these pages over the weekend ("The noose tightens," October 16). Heaven help us for such planning, which was technically sophisticated yet one-dimensional.

Netanyahu: Israel and U.S. have resolved settlements row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last Thursday that talks between Israel and the United States over construction in the settlements on the West Bank had ended. "We solved the matter of the settlements with the Americans," Netanyahu told his Spanish counterpart. "I cannot say more than that. If you are interested in hearing more details, ask in Washington," added Netanyahu.

Russia says won't let Goldstone Report reach Hague
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Russia has made it clear to Israel that it will oppose a Goldstone Report discussion at the United Nations Security Council or at the International Criminal Court in Hague, although its representatives voted in favor of adopting the report accusing the Jewish state of committing war crimes at the UN Human Rights Council, Foreign Ministry officials told Ynet on Sunday night.

Poll: Abbas approval plummets after UN delay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas lost significant public support over his role in delaying international action on a United Nations report that accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, a new opinion poll shows. The survey released on Sunday by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) indicates that if an election were held today, Abbas would receive just 16.8 percent of the vote, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh 16 percent. A similar percentage said they would vote for Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, who is currently in prison in Israel.

UN vote to endorse Goldstone report increases pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 16, 2009 - 12:00am

The United Nations Human Rights Council's decision Friday to adopt the controversial Goldstone report on the Gaza war increases the pressure on Israel to conduct its own investigation into alleged war crimes. The council voted 25-to-6, with 11 abstentions, to endorse the report, which calls for both Israel and Hamas to investigate its allegations within the next few months. If either side fails to comply – and Israel has so far refused to do so – the report calls for the UN Security Council to take up the matter and consider referring it to the UN's International Criminal Court.

U.N. Panel Backs Gaza Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Colum Lynch, Howard Schneider - October 17, 2009 - 12:00am

The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday endorsed a controversial report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip, advancing a process that has roiled Palestinian politics and threatens to further derail the Middle East peace process. The vote drew condemnation from Israel's main political parties, while both the Islamist Hamas movement and the Palestinian Authority hailed the decision.

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