Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The International Herald Tribune assesses the possibility of a peace between Israel and Syria (1). A colonel in the IDF faces allegations that he ordered a soldier to shoot a Palestinian detainee at close range (2). A report issued by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency shows that poverty in Gaza has reached an all time high of almost 52 percent (4). Pressure mounts on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down (5). Israel demolishes a Palestinian home near East Jerusalem which was allegedly built without planning permission (7).





Israel Suspends Shooting Colonel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
July 29, 2008 - 3:54pm


An Israeli colonel has been sent home for 10 days amid allegations he told one of his soldiers to shoot a Palestinian detainee at a checkpoint. The soldier says Col Omri Borberg ordered him to shoot the man at close range with a rubber-coated bullet. Unknown to the Israelis, a Palestinian girl filmed the incident and the video was published by a human rights group. Media reports say Col Borberg failed a lie-detector test about his claim not to have ordered the soldier to shoot.


Hamas, Fatah Pursue War Of Words Over Detentions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - July 29, 2008 - 3:58pm


Hamas warned its Fatah rivals on Tuesday that a crackdown against the Islamist group by forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could spark a revolt in the occupied West Bank. A senior Palestinian security official in Ramallah dismissed the threats by "irresponsible people". Abbas's security forces have detained at least 150 Hamas supporters in the West Bank in response to a sweep in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas seized nearly 200 Fatah sympathizers after a bomb blast killed five Hamas militants and a girl on Friday.


Poverty In Gaza Hits "unprecedented" Level
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Omid Memarian - July 29, 2008 - 4:00pm


In both the West Bank and Gaza, young people aged 15 to 24 are the most likely of any group to be unemployed, while the number of households in Gaza below the poverty line has reached an historic high of nearly 52 percent, according to a new report by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) issued Thursday.


Livni Says Kadima Lost Way Under Olmert
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 29, 2008 - 4:01pm


Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stepped up a campaign to oust Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, charging on Monday that their centrist Kadima Party had lost its way under his leadership. Livni, a favourite in public opinion polls to succeed Olmert, whose tenure has been threatened by a series of corruption probes, spoke at a rally in Jerusalem ahead of a party leadership vote scheduled for mid-September.


Mideast Deal Seems Beyond Reach As Rice Hosts Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - July 29, 2008 - 4:03pm


Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet this week to work toward the long-shot U.S. goal of achieving a comprehensive peace deal this year that even Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says is out of reach. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to meet separately, and then together, in Washington on Wednesday with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian Prime Minster Ahmed Qurei, the two sides' lead negotiators.


Israel Blows Up "illegally Built" Palestinian Home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 29, 2008 - 4:07pm


Israeli security forces blew up a Palestinian four-storey apartment block near East Jerusalem on Monday because Israel said some of the structure had been built without planning permission. An Israeli police spokesman said security forces had surrounded the structure in the Palestinian suburb of Beit Hanina north of central Jerusalem, before bulldozers began preparing it for demolition. It was blown up in the evening.


Israel ‘chokes’ Jordan Valley
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - July 29, 2008 - 4:11pm


Jasser Said Daragmeh is an obstacle. The ramshackle hut that houses the 34-year-old farmer, his wife and six children on land his family has been cultivating for generations, lies in the middle of a cluster of small Jewish settlements on surrounding hilltops in the northern Jordan Valley.


Engage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - July 29, 2008 - 4:12pm


There seem to be two schools of thoughts among Palestinian politicians and analysts regarding the coming elections in the United States. Some, including President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of the negotiating delegation, Ahmed Qurei, believe that this last year of President George W. Bush is a year of opportunity that must not be wasted. Others, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, are convinced that no progress can be expected in the Palestinian-Israeli political process before a new administration has settled in.


The Arabs Will Look Differently Upon America
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ron Pundak - July 29, 2008 - 4:15pm


On January 20, 1993 we departed--Yair Hirschfeld and myself--for our first meeting in Norway with the PLO delegation headed by Abu Ala (Ahmed Qurei). This meeting would eventually lead to the Oslo accord, signed nine months later on the White House lawn under the auspices of the president of the United States. That same evening, we watched the inauguration ceremony of President Bill Clinton. A new president, a wave of hope: we asked ourselves how involved the new administration would become in the Middle East peace process.


Cash-strapped Palestinian Government Seeks World Bank's Help
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 29, 2008 - 4:20pm


Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has appealed to the World Bank to help him secure emergency financing to bridge a shortfall in donor funds and pay public workers, Palestinian and European sources said Tuesday. Fayyad is seeking a so-called comfort letter from the international lending agency to obtain short-term private bank funding, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. His unusual appeal underscores the extent of the Palestinian Authority's budget crisis despite billions of dollars in aid pledged last year as part of a US-backed peace drive.


Provocateurs Vs. Defeatists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 29, 2008 - 4:22pm


The outgoing commander of the northern West Bank, Colonel Amir Baram, says he is "not surprised" by the settlers' recent rioting. Nor were his predecessors. There is really nothing new under the West Bank sun - things repeat themselves. Officials in the Israel Defense Forces, police and prosecution know mainly how to summarize events, warn of similar ones in the future, write reports and hold meetings summing up their failure to deal with the West Bank lawbreakers.





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