Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An ATFP translation of an article by Hasan Khader in Al-Ayyam daily suggests that there may be a double standard in the Arab world for judging human rights violations (1). Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faces three no-confidence votes as the investigation into alleged bribery continues to challenge his position (3). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces that he will remove his troops in the West Bank if the IDF does not cease their operations there (4) (7). Barack Obama pledges to take up the Palestinian-Israeli issue immediately after taking office (5). The ceasefire is holding in Gaza but Hamas warns that it will not last much longer if Israel continues the current state of siege (9). Meanwhile, YNet News reports on Gazans reliance on underground tunnels for smuggling in the goods that they cannot access (11).





Israel's Ehud Olmert Survives 3 No-confidence Votes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 23, 2008 - 3:42pm


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government survived three no-confidence motions in parliament Monday, even though one of them saw a majority voting against him for the first time. One motion was approved by 41 votes to 40 after Olmert's Shas coalition partner boycotted the vote. But under Israeli law, 61 votes are needed to pass a no-confidence motion, which would lead to the dissolution of the 120-member parliament and herald new elections.


Abbas: I'll Pull Out West Bank Forces
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
July 23, 2008 - 3:44pm


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told supporters on Tuesday that he will withdraw his forces from West Bank cities unless Israel halts its army operations there. Parallel to negotiations with Israel, Abbas has been trying to exert more control in the West Bank and to rein in terrorists. At the same time, the international community is training Abbas's forces, with hopes they will one day take over from Israel.


Obama Arrives In Israel, Vows To 'plunge' Into Mideast Peacemaking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
July 23, 2008 - 3:47pm


U.S. presidential contender Barack Obama arrived in Israel Tuesday night, facing a full schedule of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders after pledging to work for peace as soon as he takes office. Obama flew to Israel late Tuesday from Jordan, where he condemned an attack a few hours earlier by a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem who rammed a bulldozer into passing cars in central Jerusalem, injuring at least 24 people before being shot dead by a civilian and a Border Police officer.


Palestinian Wounded In Northern Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
July 23, 2008 - 3:49pm


A Palestinian youth was wounded here on Wednesday after being shot by the Israeli forces, who were firing from the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources stated that the Israeli forces shot a group of Palestinians north of Beit Hanoun, resulting in wounding Mohammad Hamdan in the leg. He was taken to Beit Hanoun Hospital for treatment.


Abbas Serious About Withdrawing Forces From Nablus – Erekat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
July 23, 2008 - 3:50pm


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is serious about withdrawing Palestinian forces from Nablus if Israel does not stop executing incursions into the city, a Palestinian official said Wednesday. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the Palestinians would not allow the continuation of incursions into Palestinian cities, especially Nablus, adding that that was to the disdain of the Palestinian authority.


Barghouthi Spins Highlights Faults In Mideast Media
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Rachelle Kliger - July 23, 2008 - 3:51pm


Contradictory reports in the Israeli and Palestinian media are placing question marks over the reliability of the Middle Eastern media.   Reports are abounding regarding the inclusion of two senior jailed Palestinians in a possible deal to release Israel soldier Gilad Shalit from captivity in Gaza.   One is Marwan Barghouthi, a senior Fatah member, who is serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli jail for his involvement in terrorism.   The other is Ahmad Sa’dat, who heads the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and who is in jail in c


'to Hell With The Ceasefire' If Israel Doesn't Let Up, Hamas Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - July 23, 2008 - 3:53pm


In an unusual display of frustration, moderate Hamas official Ahmed Yousef, the adviser on foreign affairs to de-facto Gaza prime minister and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, has told the Middle East Times that Hamas' patience with Israel is wearing thin. "I don't know what game the Israelis are playing but quite frankly if the siege isn't lifted and Gaza's borders remain closed, the ceasefire can go to hell, Yousef said by phone.


Youths Injure Two Arabs In Jerusalem Assault
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 23, 2008 - 3:54pm


Several hours after Tuesday's terror attack in Jerusalem, a group of youths assaulted two east Jerusalem residents, Army Radio reported. The incident occurred in the Makor Baruch neighborhood, home to both Orthodox learning institutions, and hardware stores and other such outlets that draw many Arab shoppers and employees. According to eyewitnesses, two battered and bleeding Arabs barged into the yard of a family sitting shiva (the seven-day Jewish mourning period), followed by a mob of furious yeshiva students.


A Peek Into Gaza's Underground Lifeline
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - July 23, 2008 - 3:57pm


For the right price, residents can have almost any commodity smuggled into Gaza through elaborate tunnels. 'This is a full-fledged competitive business that requires maintenance,' source says Ever since Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in June 2006, the Strip's residents have had to rely on underground tunnels to smuggle in the most basic necessities, as well as cell phones and petrol from Egypt. Over the past few months an entire industry emerged in which, for the right price, people can have almost any commodity smuggled into Gaza through elaborate tunnels.


Pa: Israel Pardoned Another 24 Wanted Fatah Men
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - July 23, 2008 - 4:01pm


Israel has informed the Palestinian Authority that it is willing to pardon 24 wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades' members as part of the prisoner release deal signed between both sides in 2007, Palestinian sources said Tuesday. The decision was made following defense establishment assessments. Four of the men will be fully pardoned and would be able to move freely within Palestinian territories. The rest would be able to move freely within Palestinian Zone A and will no longer be included on Israel's most wanted list.


Polygraph Confirms Idf Officer Didn't Order Soldier To Shoot Cuffed Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yuval Azoulay And Shahar Ilan - July 23, 2008 - 4:03pm


The Israel Defense Forces officer accused of ordering a soldier under his command to shoot a bound and blindfolded Palestinian detainee has passed a polygraph test verifying his testimony that he did not give the order to open fire. Lieutenant colonel Omri Fruberg, commanding officer of IDF regiment 71, took the polygraph on Tuesday in a private institute at the recommendation of his lawyers.





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