Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The two IDF soldiers who were caught on video abusing a Palestinian detainee have been indicted and the commanding officer has resigned his post (1) (2), though the leniency of reassignment has prompted outrage among human rights organizations. (5). A Gaza-based militant group warns that the truce which has been tenuously holding between Gaza and Israel for the past month is in danger of collapsing (7). Israel approves the construction of 447 new homes in the settlements around Jerusalem (8) (12).

Israeli Officer In Prisoner Abuse Video Quits Post
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Steve Weizman - August 8, 2008 - 3:37pm

JERUSALEM (AP) - An officer filmed ordering a soldier to abuse a bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner was indicted Thursday and has resigned his command of an army battalion but will continue to serve elsewhere, the Israeli military said. Lt.Col. Omri Borberg and the soldier were charged in a military court with "unworthy conduct," the military said in a statement.

Israel’s Court Demands New Route For Wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Mel Frkyberg - August 8, 2008 - 3:38pm

BIL'IN, West Bank | The Israeli High Court of Justice has given the state 45 days to submit a new route for part of the separation wall that cuts through this Palestinian village near Ramallah in the central West Bank. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and Justices Eliezer Rivlin and Ayala Procaccia also criticized the state's representative for ignoring a previous court ruling on the issue just over a year ago after the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements took the state to court.

Civil War In Gaza Isn’t In Israel’s Interests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Prospectsforpeace.com
by Daniel Levy - August 8, 2008 - 3:39pm

When a bomb exploded in the Shaja’iyyah district of Gaza last month, killing four Hamas operatives and a 5-year-old girl, Hamas blamed Fatah, and moved violently against its remaining Gazan enclaves. Fatah forces then pursued retribution against Hamas in the West Bank. Another round of intra-Palestinian conflict and bloodletting ensued, with the leading pro-Fatah family in Gaza, the Hilles clan, fleeing to Israel in the hopes of making it to the West Bank.

Fury After Israeli Officer In Charge Of Prisoner's Shooting Is 'reassigned'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - August 8, 2008 - 3:40pm

Outraged Israeli human rights organisations have united in challenging the military's decision to invoke only minor penalties against a senior officer over the shooting of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner by a soldier under his command.

Commentary: Holocaust Ii?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
by Arnaud De Borchgrave - August 8, 2008 - 3:41pm

    WASHINGTON,  Aug. 6 (UPI) -- To bomb or not to bomb Iran is now a matter of time, according to the principal players, but none could agree this week on when the clock runs out. For Israel, it runs out before the U.S. elections on Nov. 4. After that Barack Obama may be the next president of the United States, and Israeli powers that be fear he may disassociate himself from any Israeli military action against Iran.

Gaza Militants Warn Israel Truce May End In 3 Weeks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 8, 2008 - 3:43pm

GAZA (Reuters) - Gaza's Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) militant group on Thursday warned Israel that a truce between Israel and Hamas which went into effect on June 19 was in danger of collapse, saying it could end in three weeks. Abu Mujahed, one of the group's leaders, told dozens of fighters undergoing military training that Hamas, the PRC and other factions were disappointed at Israel's slow action on opening Gaza's border crossings and prisoner release talks.

Israel To Build New Homes On Occupied Land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 8, 2008 - 3:44pm

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel issued on Thursday a tender for the construction of 447 housing units in settlements in the Jerusalem area, drawing fire from Palestinians who accused the Jewish state of sabotaging chances of peace. Under the tender, Israel will build some 130 housing units in Har Homa, an area Palestinians refer to as Jabal Abu Ghneim. The tender also calls for construction of 317 housing units in Beitar Illit, a settlement near Jerusalem.

Palestinians: Israel To Allow Bank Notes Into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 8, 2008 - 3:47pm

Israel will allow banks to transfer 72 million shekels ($20 million) into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to ease a shortage of bank notes, Palestinian officials said on Friday.

British Consulate: Settlers Attack U.k. Diplomats On Hebron Tour
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 8, 2008 - 3:48pm

A small group of settlers attacked a delegation of British diplomats during a visit to the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, the British Consulate said. The consulate in Jerusalem said the diplomats were attacked while touring the area in an armored car. None were injured. A Palestinian security official in the city said one of the settlers kicked the car after trying to open one of its doors.

Israel Opens West Bank Roadblock For Trucks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 8, 2008 - 3:49pm

Israel, under international pressure to ease curbs on Palestinian movement, opened a roadblock in the occupied West Bank to commercial traffic on Thursday. The Israeli army said the checkpoint between the city of Hebron and a commercial crossing point into Israel would be open for trucks for six hours a day. Private vehicles remain banned. Residents said the measure reduces travel time between Hebron and the Tarqumiya crossing to less than 20 minutes from about 45.

Eu Deeply Concerned By Decision To Build New Israeli Settlements -- France
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
August 8, 2008 - 3:50pm

The French Presidency of the European Union said Friday that the 27-member EU was "deeply concerned" by an Israeli decision to approve the construction of more illegal settlements in defiance of agreements and calls not to do so. "The Presidency of the European Union Council is deeply concerned by the decision of Israeli authorities to approve the construction of 400 housing units in the Neve Yacov colony and to issue tenders for 286 units in Beitar Illit and 130 units in Har Homa," a statement issued in Paris said.

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