Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel proposes ideas for the West Bank, the terms of which the Palestinians find unacceptable (1). A recent poll of Israeli citizens finds that three in ten would like former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to return to power after Ehud Olmert steps down (2). Israel announces that it will close its Gaza border crossings with Gaza after a recent rocket attack (3). The impoverished Gaza strip faces a serious cash shortage (4). Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank intensifies (6) (8).

Three-in-ten Israelis Want Netanyahu As Pm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
August 12, 2008 - 4:25pm

Three-in-ten Israelis would like to see former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu return to power, according to a poll by Dialog published in Haaretz. 29 per cent of respondents think the right-leaning Likud leader is the most appropriate candidate to become head of government. Foreign minister Tzipi Livni of Kadima is second with 22 per cent, followed by Labour leader and defence minister Ehud Barak and transportation minister Shaul Mofaz both with eight per cent. 29 per cent of respondents say none of these four candidates is fit to be prime minister.

Israel To Close Gaza Crossings After Rocket Attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
August 12, 2008 - 4:27pm

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said it would shut its border crossings with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to a rocket attack that further strained a ceasefire between the Jewish state and Gaza fighters. The rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Monday struck near the centre of Sderot, a town in southern Israel often targeted by militants, causing no damage or injuries, Israeli police said. Israel’s defence ministry said in a statement later crossings between Israel and the Hamas-controlled territory would be closed on Tuesday in response to the attack.

Gazans Line Up Outside Banks As Cash Runs Out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
August 12, 2008 - 4:28pm

GAZA CITY (AP) - A severe cash shortage gripped the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Monday as tens of thousands of people were unable to withdraw money from banks in the poverty-stricken territory. Israel promised to transfer more money to Gaza on Tuesday. But the shortage highlighted the daily hardships still faced by Gaza’s 1.4 million residents despite a June ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that has brought some badly needed relief.

Easy-listening West Bank Station Goes Off Air
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Aron Heller - August 12, 2008 - 4:29pm

JERUSALEM (AP) - A West Bank radio station that sought to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to the tune of easy-listening rock music has gone of the air because of a lack of funding. RAM-FM had been broadcasting English-language talk shows and artists like Michael Bolton and Air Supply from a studio in the town of Ramallah since last year. An official from the station confirmed Monday it went off the air last week. In a statement, the station said it was unable "to generate sufficient advertising revenues to sustain its ongoing operation."

Israel To Move Wbank Outpost To Existing Settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Allyn Fisher-iian - August 12, 2008 - 4:34pm

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel will expand a Jewish enclave in the occupied West Bank to absorb dozens of settlers listed for eviction from a hilltop outpost built six years ago without government authorisation, an official said on Tuesday. A U.S.-sponsored "road map" for peace, reaffirmed at an Annapolis summit last year, calls for Israel to freeze all settlement activity on land Palestinians want for a state.

Palestinians Prepare State Funeral For Poet Darwish
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
August 12, 2008 - 4:39pm

RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank: Palestinians were making plans on Monday for a funeral of pomp and ceremony for their national poet Mahmoud Darwish, whose writings captured the spirit of the Palestinian struggle. Thousands of Palestinians including President Mahmoud Abbas are expected to attend what will effectively be a state funeral on Wednesday of the kind not seen since Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was laid to rest in 2004.

Israel Mulls New Settler Enclave In West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
August 12, 2008 - 4:40pm

Jerusalem: Israel has proposed building a new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem, a spokesman for the main settlers organization said on Monday. The Defence Ministry, which oversees the issue, made no comment on a move that would be seen by Palestinians and by Israel's US and European allies as a breach of commitments to halt settlement activity on land Palestinians want for a state.

Hamas Says Searching For Qassam Violators
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 12, 2008 - 4:43pm

Hamas officials vowed on Monday it would track down the parties responsible for the firing of a Qassam rocket from northern Gaza towards Israel on Monday. The rocket landed in an open area near a kindergarten in the town of Sderot, causing no injuries or damage. Though the region has been relatively quiet since Israel signed the ceasefire agreement with Hamas and other Palestinian groups in June, intermittent rocket and mortar fire has been recorded every several days. The last rocket landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Saturday.

Just Fire A Rubber Bullet At Him?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) August 12, 2008 - 4:45pm

Last Thursday an indictment was served at the Military Court in Tel Aviv against Lt. Col. Omri Borberg and against the soldier under his command who at a range of less than half a meter, fired a rubber bullet at the legs of a shackled and blindfolded Palestinian. Borberg, the battalion commander, did report the shooting to the brigade commander, who reported it to the division commander, but until the video that was taped by a Palestinian girl from the window of her home came to light, it was not exposed publicly - no one thought it was a grave incident.

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