February 17th

High Court to state: Expedite demolition in illegal West Bank outposts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Aviad Glickman - February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

The High Court of Justice has ordered the state to provide a timetable for the demolition of illegal structures in two unauthorized West Bank outposts within 60 days. The decision to raze the structures drew harsh criticism due to the fact that one of the outposts in question is home to the widow and two children of fallen IDF officer Roi Klein, who was killed during the Second Lebanon War when he jumped on a grenade to save his comrades.

Pro-Mideast in America: Getting past 'Pro-Israel' and 'Pro-Palestine'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Let's face it. Viewed from North America, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dismal read. Seen in full context, the confrontation is suffocatingly complex. As literature, it is paralytic, sullenly wordy. The plot, for all its spasms and blood, goes nowhere. As drama, the Israel-Palestine morass is the geopolitical equivalent of James Cameron's 1997 film "Titanic": interminable, exorbitant, unwieldy, dumb without just cause. Titanic-like, it tempts the observer to bail out in mid-course, seething under the breath "Sink, already! Just #*%&-ing sink!"

'Illegal' Gaza tunnel owners suffer as Hamas economy grows
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Owners of the smuggling tunnels bordering the Gaza Strip and Egypt have been suffering from financial problems due to their tunnels' inactivity, according to Palestinian sources. The reason, it turns out, actually stems from the overall success of smuggling tunnels in Gaza. Hamas has recently set up 'legal' tunnels, which they use to smuggle various merchandise. As a result, existing, non-Hamas run tunnels are suffering financially.

Five Israelis wake up as named 'Dubai assassins'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Danna Harman, Liel Kyzer - February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

At least five Israelis awoke Tuesday morning to find their names tied to the assassination of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room last month. All were stunned to find their names displayed on passports that police in the emirate said were used by the assailants. However, the people pictured in the photos released by police looked nothing like them. All denied involvement in the affair.

PA denies reported arrest of security officer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

A man reportedly detained for plotting to kill Palestinian Authority officials is not a member of the PA security services, a top security official said on Tuesday. PA security spokesman Adnan Ad-Dmeiri told Ma'an that Mujahed Nimer, a resident of Qalandiya refugee camp, has never been a member of the Ramallah government's forces. Nimer was arrested on criminal charges following a warrant issued by prosecutors, Dmeiri said, contradicting a report in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that identified Nimer as "a top official in the Palestinian security apparatus."

Sources: Fayyad to reshuffle cabinet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will dismiss members of his cabinet in the wake of a corruption scandal shaking the Ramallah-based Palestinian government, sources said on Tuesday. Officials said President Mahmoud Abbas approved Fayyad's recommendations at a cabinet meeting on Monday, which Abbas chaired, and offered Interior Minister Said Abu Ali the position of chief of staff. Abu Ali, however, has since denied knowledge of the offer.

Why the West Bank won't crown a Miss Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - February 16, 2010 - 1:00am

The idea to mount the first-ever Palestinian beauty pageant was part political statement, part feminism, and part personal fantasy. When marketing entrepreneur Salwa Youssef began planning a Miss Palestine contest late last year, she knew she was pushing the boundaries of social convention in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where women often wear head scarves in public in deference to traditional Islam.

One long summer in Lebanon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Najla Said - (Opinion) February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Tuesday, July 11, 2006: I am in Beirut. My friend Alex calls and asks if I want to spend the day at the beach in Tyre with him and some other friends. A day on the most beautiful beach in Lebanon -- why would I ever say no? We get down to Tyre and swim in the bluest water you can imagine.

At least some Dubai photos of Hamas 'assassins' appear fake
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - February 16, 2010 - 1:00am

At least some of the passport photos and information released by Dubai this week on 11 suspects in the assassination of an alleged Hamas arms dealer appears to be false, Irish officials and several Israeli citizens said Tuesday. The use of sophisticated fake IDs would match the professional manner in which the Jan. 20 slaying of Mahmoud Mabhouh was apparently carried out.

New Hints of Skulduggery in Hamas Killing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Worth - February 16, 2010 - 1:00am

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The murder was straight out of a cheap spy thriller. At least 11 professional assassins, some wearing wigs and fake beards, tracked a senior Hamas official to his Dubai hotel in January and killed him with cold precision, fleeing the country afterward on European passports, the Dubai police say. But even as the Dubai authorities called Tuesday for an international manhunt, questions emerged about the identities of the suspects, deepening the mystery around the killing.

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