Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A new museum of archaeology is set to open in Gaza this summer (1). Barack Obama’s recent Middle East visit continues to draw a range of reactions (2) (4). The investigation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continues (6) while polls assess the possibility of new leadership (5). Tensions between settlers and the IDF heat up following recent clashes in the West Bank (8). The United States files an official protest with Israel regarding harsh treatment of Palestinians (10).





Bombings Hit Gaza Strip Targets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
July 25, 2008 - 1:13pm


A bombing outside a cafe in Gaza City has killed one person and injured four others, Palestinian police reported. The blast, just after midnight local time, caused extensive damage. It is unclear why the area was bombed, but there have been attacks on internet cafes, music shops and Christian institutions in Gaza in recent months. Police also reported a bombing near the home of Marwan Abu Ras, a Hamas official who issues fatwas, religious edicts, in Gaza. No-one was injured.


Israelis, Palestinians: Mixed Feelings About Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - July 25, 2008 - 1:15pm


Both Israelis and Palestinians came away from Barack Obama's visit to the Holy Land with the feeling he would do more for Mideast peace than President Bush has. But neither side seemed fully convinced that Obama would have their interests at heart. Israelis fear that an Obama administration would be too soft on Iran and too hard on them, and his visit didn't seem to fully dispel those concerns. And Palestinians spoke of a clear bias toward Israel.


Livni Advantage Narrows In Israel Party Leadership Race: Poll
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 25, 2008 - 1:17pm


Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's advantage as front-runner in the leadership race for her centrist Kadima party has narrowed, according to a public opinion poll published on Friday. Kadima, currently headed by Ehud Olmert, will hold a September primary that could lead to the embattled prime minister's replacement. It is unclear whether Olmert, facing several corruption investigations, will choose to stand.


Israeli Police To Quiz Olmert Next Week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
July 25, 2008 - 1:19pm


Occupied Jerusalem: Israeli police plan to question Prime Minister Ehud Olmert next week as part of an investigation that could force the Israeli leader out of office, officials said on Friday. A government official said Olmert's office has agreed to allot two hours for the August 2 session, less time than police had requested. It would be the fourth round of questioning in a case probing allegations Olmert took bribes from a US businessman and whether he made duplicate claims for travel expenses.


Us Still Hopes For Palestinian-israeli Peace Deal By Yearend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
July 25, 2008 - 1:21pm


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday there was still time to reach a peace deal between Palestinians and Israelis by the end of 2008. Rice plans to host peace talks between chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurie and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Washington on July 30. Rice said the latest round of talks, which began in the United States in November 2007 had laid a "firm foundation on which these two parties can finally end their conflict".


Settlers Threaten To Exact 'price' In Response To Evacuations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - July 25, 2008 - 1:28pm


Settlers had uncommonly harsh words for the IDF's conduct on Thursday following a day of violent clashes in the West Bank. The most scathing criticism, however, was directed not towards the army's behavior during the evacuation of the Adi-Ad outpost, but rather its portrayal of the settlers in the media. "We're not the IDF's punching bag," they proclaimed, pointing towards several instances throughout the day when the army accused settlers of violently attacking soldiers. The settlers vehemently denied troops were assaulted, and threatened to sue the army for libel.


The Glass Menagerie
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Sarid - July 25, 2008 - 1:32pm


As long as the Israel Defense Forces continue to coin lies and half-truths, don't sell me the story about the army that has rehabilitated itself, where a new spirit has arisen. When commanders and their subordinates continue to grow on the lie culture's bed of rotting straw, they are bound to leave their boots in the sand, and if not their boots then shabby illusions. The Second Lebanon War was the stinking fruit of an all-embracing and disgraceful culture of whitewash (and so was the first), we were warned. Trust is more important than training, always.


U.s. Protests Eviction Of Arab Family From East Jerusalem Home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - July 25, 2008 - 1:37pm


The United States this week filed an official protest with Israel for harming Palestinians, including the eviction of the al-Kurd family from their home in the Shimon Hatzadik complex in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The U.S. also demanded explanations for the harassment of Palestinian residents in the West Bank by Israeli settlers.


Report: Pa Mulling Unilateral Declaration Of Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 25, 2008 - 1:39pm


The Palestinian Authority is considering cutting off its diplomatic contacts with Israel and unilaterally declaring statehood, the Arabic-language a-Sharq al-Awset daily reported on Friday. "In light of the crisis we have encountered in talks with Israel, the Authority is testing a number of options," one Palestinian official told the daily. According to the report, the Palestinian Authority is also re-evaluating how to proceed with consolidating its security services.


Matters Of Deterrence / Shin Bet Head Diskin: Cease-fire With Hamas Unlikely To Hold
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel - July 25, 2008 - 1:41pm


A seven-minute ride from Talansky, a minute's walk from Obama, the murderous tractor driver who launched his attack on Tuesday afternoon in central Jerusalem provided a reminder from real life. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not going anywhere in the near future. The day after the terrorist attack, the newspapers gave prominence to what was said by Yuval Diskin, the head of the Shin Bet security service, at a briefing he gave to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee some two hours before the bulldozer attack.





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