Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An article in the Washington Post examines the outstanding Arab financial commitments to the Palestinian Authority (1). Speculation continues about the prospect of a peace deal by the end of the year (4) (6). An ongoing drought results in severe water shortages for residents of the West Bank (5). Israel has reportedly decided to move a small portion of the West Bank separation barrier closer to the border, allowing Palestinians to recover about 700 acres near the town of Qalqilya (7).





Does “pro-israel” Mean Anything?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - July 28, 2008 - 3:23pm


Watching Barack Obama in Israel it became clear that he knows the Arab-Israeli issue well. Those who hoped he would make some gaffe that would hurt his candidacy were disappointed. He knows the ins and outs of the issue the way President Bill Clinton did. He feels no need to rely on sound bites about “our democratic ally” or Israel’s obvious “right to defend itself.” Maybe it’s because he is so close to the Chicago Jewish community, which has backed him since the start of his career, but he can talk about Israel with fluency and comfort.


Israeli Leaders Find Generous Donors In U.s.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Griff Witte - July 28, 2008 - 3:26pm


American businessman Morris Talansky has riveted Israel with tales of bankrolling the plush lifestyle of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: the expensive cigars and five-star suites, a fine watch and an Italian vacation. While most Israelis have been galled at the extent of the alleged corruption, no one has been surprised by the source of the funds. Politicians in Israel have long known that if they want to raise large amounts of money, for whatever reason, they'll find it in the United States.


Israel Downplays Prospect Of 2008 Peace Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - July 28, 2008 - 3:27pm


Israel's prime minister backed away Monday from a target date - announced with great fanfare at a U.S.-hosted Mideast peace conference last November - for reaching a deal with the Palestinians by year's end. Ehud Olmert said the sides will need more time to bridge differences over Jerusalem, long the toughest sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.


West Bank Residents Face Severe Water Shortages As Drought Continues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
July 28, 2008 - 3:29pm


West Bank Palestinians are suffering a serious water shortage this year as a severe drought has exacerbated already existing supply problems, the head of the Palestinian Water Authority said Sunday.


U.s. Still Hopes For Israeli-palestinian Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Sue Pleming - July 28, 2008 - 3:30pm


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday there was still time for Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peace deal by the end of 2008. Rice said trilateral peace talks in Washington next week between the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be closed to offer the best hope of progress. Rice said the latest round of talks which began in Annapolis in the United States in November 2007 had laid a "firm foundation on which these two parties can finally end their conflict".


Israel To Move Small Part Of West Bank Barrier - Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 28, 2008 - 3:31pm


Israel plans to tear down a small portion of an internationally condemned barrier and move it closer to its border with the occupied West Bank, an Israeli newspaper reported on Monday. The Haaretz daily said a 2.4 km stretch of fencing would be moved in response to a petition filed with Israel's high court by Palestinians from two villages. Palestinians would recover most of some 700 acres Israel had confiscated for the barrier near the West Bank town of Qalqilya, the report said.


Palestinian Factional Fighting Wounds Six In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Sakher Abu El Oun - July 28, 2008 - 3:33pm


Clashes broke out in Gaza City on Sunday, wounding at least six people, as Hamas-run security forces pressed on with a territory-wide crackdown on rival Palestinian factions after a deadly bombing. The fighting erupted when Hamas-run police moved to arrest members of the Army of Islam, a small shadowy group believed to have links to Al-Qaeda. "Hamas forces came to arrest us early this morning, just after midnight," one member of the group who asked not to be identified told reporters.


Hamas Militants Vow Revenge After Israel Kills Top Operative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
July 28, 2008 - 3:35pm


Israeli forces killed a top Hamas operative in an early morning gunfight in the southern Occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to Palestinian security officials who said another three people were arrested in the raid. Hamas' armed wing vowed to take revenge for the killing of Shihab al-Natshe, who Israeli media reported was behind a suicide bombing in February that killed an Israeli woman and wounded 11 other people.


Red-dead Canal Just One Option To Save Endangered Dead Sea - Wb
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Mohammad Ghazal - July 28, 2008 - 3:36pm


A study looking into alternatives to save the shrinking Dead Sea will kick off later this year, according to the World Bank (WB). Experts warn the water body is dropping by one metre every year, calling for a plan to save this "world heritage" attraction and make available much needed water in the area.


Palestinian Family Losing Jerusalem Home After Five Decades
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 28, 2008 - 3:37pm


"I was married here, I had my five children here and I want to die here," says a defiant Fawzia al-Kurd, determined that Jewish settlers will not drive her family from their home in occupied east Jerusalem. But sadly for the Al-Kurds, whose single-storey two-room house of golden stone that has been their home for the past 52 years, Israel's High Court has ruled differently. They are to be expelled, and the house, a wing of which has already been taken over by settlers will be lost forever.


Obama: We’ll Make Sure Palestinians Have A State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - July 28, 2008 - 3:39pm


"The Palestinian people are having a very tough time right now economically, and it is in US interests to make sure that they have a sense of hope and opportunity and a Palestinian state. I think it's in Israelis' interest as well," US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told NBC's Meet the Press Sunday on the heels of his Mideast tour.





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