August 25th

Ramadan discounts lure customers back to West Bank's ghost town
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
August 25, 2011 - 12:00am

An unlikely noise can be heard in the Old City of Hebron in the southern West Bank - the sound of Ramadan bargain hunters dipping in and out of shops and buying cut-price goods. The crowds milling in the ancient streets are a change of pace for vendors here, who for years have suffered the consequences of Israeli-imposed security restrictions that brought business to a near standstill. Israel says the restrictions are necessary to protect 600 hardline Jewish settlers who live in the heart of the city among a Palestinian population of about 6,000.

Israel, Ukraine and the mysterious case of Dirar Abu Sisi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Gabriel Gatehouse - August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

On the evening of 18 February, a Palestinian engineer boarded a train in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov. Dirar Abu Sisi was the manager of Gaza's main electricity power plant. He hoped to obtain Ukrainian citizenship, and was travelling on the overnight sleeper to Kiev. He spoke to a friend on the telephone just as the train was pulling out of the station. All was well, he said, he was settling into his bunk for the night. But when the train arrived in Kiev the following morning, he was nowhere to be seen. Somewhere along the line, Dirar Abu Sisi had vanished.

September report to remain secret?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 25, 2011 - 12:00am

As the situation in the South escalates and the Palestinians prepare for their statehood bid in the United Nations next month, the Knesset has been busy arguing over a report criticizing Israel's readiness for this upcoming September. The report, initiated by the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) Chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), is set to be publicized on Sunday. However coalition members have been hard at work to try and prevent its publication.

UN's Serry 'deeply concerned' over South, Gaza violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
August 25, 2011 - 12:00am

UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry on Thursday expressed deep concern over a resurgence of violence in Gaza and southern Israel. "In the interest of protecting the lives of civilians and for the calm to succeed, a complete halt to the firing of rockets from Gaza and a display of maximum restraint by Israel are required,” Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Serry as saying. The UN official urged all sides involved "to immediately take steps to prevent any further escalation.”

Rights group: Rockets injure Palestinians inside Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Eight Palestinians, including two children and three women, were injured this week by rockets fired in populated areas across the Gaza Strip, a human rights group charged Wednesday. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights says a woman was seriously injured. After one incident, according to the PCHR, an ordinance disposal unit arrived at the scene and collected the rocket's shrapnel, but the civil police never showed up to investigate.

7 killed in overnight airstrikes on Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Seven Palestinians were killed and at least 30 injured as multiple Israeli airstrikes targeted Gaza overnight Wednesday. Hisham Adnan Abu Harb was killed as an airstrike hit a smuggling tunnel in Rafah, southern Gaza. Earlier, reports said that three people were unaccounted for after the Rafah airstrike. Four bodies were later pulled from rubble in the Rafah area. Hamas official Imad Muhammad Hamada had earlier said that crews were searching for the missing persons.

Gaza cease-fire tested by Israeli airstrike, Palestinian rocket fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

A tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was punctured Wednesday by a deadly Israeli airstrike that triggered rocket and mortar fire at Israel. After 48 hours in which air attacks were suspended, an Israeli drone strike killed Ismail Asmar, a senior member of the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, in his car in Rafah, near the border with Egypt, according to the military and local medical officials.

Glenn Beck hosts rally in Old City of Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Aron Heller - August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck capped a contentious visit to Israel Wednesday with a strong call of support for the Jewish state in a rally alongside a hotly disputed holy site in Jerusalem's Old City. The conservative commentator has won fans among Israel's far-right with his unabashedly pro-Israel, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and 2,000 people turned out to hear him speak next to the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

August 24th

Don't believe the hype
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli politicians and its media and PR machine have filled the news in the last two weeks with exaggerated and sometimes fabricated news and analysis about practical preparations on the ground for the upcoming Palestinian bid to the United Nations. Israel, which has two major difficulties with the Palestinian plan to ask the UN to discuss the stalled peace process, is having trouble fighting this move politically and diplomatically. Instead, it is resorting to its comparative advantage in public relations to try to reduce growing international support for this move.

September can still produce something useful
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

September 20 is the day the PLO has targeted for submitting to the United Nations its request for state recognition. It is still not clear how that request will be worded and whether it will be submitted first to the Security Council or directly to the General Assembly. But despite this lack of clarity, or perhaps because of it, both Palestinians and Israelis are actively preparing on three fronts for some sort of confrontation.

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