Middle East News: World Press Roundup

CNN correspondent Paula Hancock visits the training facilities and rocket factories of The Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza (1). Israeli security officials are reportedly disturbed by the increase in violence by Jewish settlers in the West Bank (2). A rocket fired from Gaza lands in southern Israel but causes no injuries or damage (4). Protest against the separation barrier in the West Bank town of Naalin continues (10). Jordan restores relations with Hamas following a series of meetings in Amman (11).

Jordan Restores Relations With Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 15, 2008 - 12:00am

The Hamas movement on Friday released a statement welcoming the restoration of its ties with Jordan, following a series of meetings held over the past weeks between a Hamas delegation and representatives of the Jordanian government. The Hamas delegation, headed by member of the group's political bureau Mohammed Nazzal, met Thursday with Jordanian Intelligence Director Mohammed Zahabi in order to discuss the relations between the parties and the restrictions on the movement's activity in Jordan.

2 Police Officers Hurt In Naalin Riots
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - August 15, 2008 - 12:00am

More violence in Naalin: Two Border Guard police officers and an Israeli photographer were hurt Friday during riots at the West Bank village of Naalin, near Ramallah. Officials said the policemen were hurt after being stoned by demonstrators protesting the construction of the West Bank security fence. Meanwhile, the protestors said seven of them sustained light injuries in clashes with forces at the site.

Boundaries For Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
August 15, 2008 - 12:00am

Early this week Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reportedly handed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Israel's detailed proposal for a "shelf agreement." Olmert offered an Israeli pullback from 93 percent of Judea and Samaria, "compensating" the Palestinians with territory from the Negev. A 40-km. link would provide unfettered passage between Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinian state would be demilitarized and "right of return" for refugees would be exercised almost entirely within "Palestine." The Jerusalem issue would be put off by mutual consent.

Jaffa Pool Restricts Entry Of Arab Residents
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Omer Ori - August 15, 2008 - 12:00am

Jewish and Arab relations in the city of Jaffa have always been tense, and Jewish residents' committees of some of Jaffa's neighborhoods have decide to do something about it, at least where the city pool is concerned: They rent out the pool every two weeks – to Jews only. "There was quite a bit of violence at the pool on the Arab residents' part and we had to figure out what to do," said a source familiar with the subject.

The Murder Of Fadel Shana
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) August 15, 2008 - 12:00am

THERE has been worldwide condemnation by journalists of yet another decision by an Israeli military tribunal to clear Israel troops of killing journalists. The death in April of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana while filming an Israeli tank during an incursion into Gaza roused media protests that Israeli soldiers were deliberately targeting members of news organizations sent to cover their activities.

Hope Amidst Despair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - August 15, 2008 - 12:00am

The demise of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who was laid to rest on Wednesday, evokes a complex of emotions in the Palestinian people themselves, in Arabs and in all advocates of stability and peace all over the world. What can one say on such an occasion? Naturally, one wants to say a great deal. However, compared to what Darwish himself has said, what we say, no matter how elaborate and elegant, is a drop in an ocean. And that is why my advice to readers is: rather than read what people say about Darwish, read Darwish himself. It is way superior, and way more elegant.

Behind The Scenes: Blindfolded For Trip To Gaza Rocket Factory
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Cnn
by Paula Hancocks - (Commentary) August 15, 2008 - 3:09pm

(CNN) -- It starts with a phone call at 8:30 p.m. as we are sitting down to dinner in Gaza City. The PRC tells us to be at a certain place in half an hour; they are training. No further details. After a phone call to our Jerusalem bureau chief to weigh up the risks, we all decide it is rare enough an opportunity not to be missed.We grab our equipment and jump into the armored car.

Israel 'worry' At Settler Attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
August 15, 2008 - 3:10pm

Israeli security officials are reported to have raised concerns about an increase in violence by Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The Israeli Haaretz newspaper said officials had found an increase in incidents of settlers causing harm to Palestinians and to Israeli soldiers. There were 429 incidents in the first half of 2008, against 551 in 2007. There are frequent reports of settlers harassing Palestinians, with two attacks recently captured on video. These have been widely broadcast and have brought the issue to greater prominence.

Lawyers To Us Witness Against Olmert - Stay Home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
August 15, 2008 - 3:12pm

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AP) - Lawyers for Morris Talansky have recommended that he refuse to come back to Israel to testify in a corruption case against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to a letter released Thursday. The American businessman already gave direct testimony and then was questioned at length by Olmert’s attorneys. Talansky told the court he gave Olmert envelopes stuffed with tens of thousands of dollars before he became prime minister.

Rocket From Gaza Hits Southern Israel: Police
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 15, 2008 - 3:13pm

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Friday but caused no injuries or damage, police said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the rocket struck near Sderot, a town often targeted by militants. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Rocket attacks have become rare since an Egyptian-brokered truce took effect in June. Earlier this week, Israel closed its border crossings with the Hamas-controlled territory, saying it did so in response to a similar attack.

Timely American Wisdom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Rami G. Khouri - August 15, 2008 - 3:15pm

Few observers expect the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli negotiations between the governments of Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert to achieve any significant breakthrough during the remaining months of President George W. Bush’s term. One reason for the low expectations from the negotiations spawned by the Annapolis meeting in the United States last November is the low-key mediating role of the United States itself.

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