Daily News Issue Date: 
September 2, 2008

A new television series based in the West Bank provides a unique perspective on life under occupation (1). Ongoing turmoil surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dampens the peace effort (2), though some remain hopeful (4). The Muslim holiday of Ramadan begins while the Israeli blockade of Gaza continues (3). Egypt recloses its Gaza border after a brief opening allowed thousands to pass through (5). Al-Qaeda oriented groups train in the Gaza strip (6). Thousands of medical workers in Gaza go on strike in response to the Hamas-run health ministry?s recent spate of firings (8).

Boy meets girl - it's a Middle Eastern EastEnders with checkpoints
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Sheera Frenkel - August 29, 2008 - 7:00pm


There's a small but telltale moment in the first episode of Matabb, the new - indeed, first - Palestinian soap opera, when the camera shows a flashy, cherry-red BMW with the yellow licence plate starting to fall off. It is meant to tell you everything you need to know about its slick-haired driver, Abdallah - glossy on the outside, but really a thieving braggart not to be trusted with young ladies.


Olmert Turmoil Slows Mideast Peace Effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli and Palestinian officials on Sunday played down the prospect of any immediate peace agreement as Ehud Olmert, the discredited prime minister of Israel, begins his final phase in office. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Olmert, noted "considerable gaps" in the negotiating positions and said it was unrealistic to expect to resolve all the issues on the table "in the next two or three weeks."


No joy for besieged Gazans during Ramadan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


As most of the rest of the Islamic world welcomes Ramadan with festive treats and family get-togethers, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip wearily brace for another holiday under a crippling Israeli blockade. Israel has sealed off the impoverished territory from all but a trickle of humanitarian aid since the Islamist Hamas movement seized power in June 2007, and it is during the holidays that weary residents say they feel the sanctions the most.


ISRAEL: Olmert Has a Last Go at a Legacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Peter Hirschberg - August 28, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may have announced that he will resign as soon as his ruling Kadima party has chosen a new leader next month, but that doesn't mean the prime minister has given up hope of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians or the Syrians. Details of Olmert's peace proposal to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas were recently leaked to the press, and the prime minister's aides are scheduled to head back to Istanbul for another round of indirect talks with Syrian officials.


Egypt closes Gaza border after thousands cross
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
August 31, 2008 - 7:00pm


Egypt on Monday closed the border crossing between Sinai and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after a brief opening allowed thousands in and out of the besieged territory, a security official said. "The border crossing has been closed and there is no agreement between Hamas and Egypt over a new date to open the crossing," the official told AFP. The crossing was opened for the first time in weeks on Saturday. In that time, "Egypt has allowed 4,545 Palestinians and Egyptians to cross, including 3,437 who came into Egypt and 1,108 Palestinians who headed to Gaza," the official said.


Pro-al Qaeda Fighters Train in Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


The masked gunmen threw themselves to the ground, rolled over and came up firing their assault rifles at an imaginary target. Jaysh al-Ummah, or the Army of the Nation, a Palestinian Islamist group modelled on the ideology of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, was training for battle with Israel. "We are coming, Jews," read graffiti daubed on a wall inside its private training base in the Gaza Strip, where Reuters journalists were allowed rare access. "Run, run, take the ground, shoot," Abu Hafss, Jaysh al-Ummah's leader, cried as some 25 gunmen, all clad in black, performed drills.


Palestinian Authority may face damages claim
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


An Israeli judge says a U.S. court ruling that the Palestinian Authority must compensate the family of a U.S. citizen killed by Palestinian militants is enforceable here. The judgement means the family's lawyers can claim around $117 million dollars from Palestinian Authority assets in Israel. The Palestinians are expected to appeal. Sunday's court ruling was the latest development in a long-running lawsuit filed by relatives of Yaron Ungar, who also holds Israeli citizenship, and his wife Efrat, who were killed by Hamas gunmen in June 1996.


Gaza medical workers go on strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


Thousands of doctors in the Gaza Strip have gone on strike in protest at what they say was the politically motivated firing of at least 50 doctors and administrators by the Hamas-run health ministry. Government employees, medical workers and teachers affiliated with Fatah are also participating in the strike, which began on Saturday. "Today we have begun a total strike in the government-run health sector in the Gaza Strip and there is good participation, with 70 per cent taking part," an official in the health workers' union was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.


Israel on Global High Alert for Kidnapping of Citizens
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel's Counter Terrorism Bureau, a section of the Prime Minister's Office, has issued an urgent warning to Israelis abroad to be vigilant against possible kidnappings by Lebanese resistance organization, Hezbollah. Although the bureau has specific information about where these possible kidnappings could take place, the warning applied to Israelis traveling abroad in general.


Palestinian seriously wounded in Ni'lin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - December 31, 1969 - 7:00pm


Ayed Sroor, 40, was critically wounded by the IDF early Monday morning when soldiers entered his family's home to arrest his brother in the Palestinian village of Ni'lin, outside of Modi'in Illit. Ni'lin has been the site of numerous anti-fence demonstrations in the last few months, many of which have turned violent. The IDF said Ayed's brother, Aqal Sadeq Sroor, was suspected of throwing a smoke grenade at security forces during one of those demonstration and the IDF had come to his home to arrest him.


Palestinian seriously wounded in Ni'lin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


Ayed Sroor, 40, was critically wounded by the IDF early Monday morning when soldiers entered his family's home to arrest his brother in the Palestinian village of Ni'lin, outside of Modi'in Illit. Ni'lin has been the site of numerous anti-fence demonstrations in the last few months, many of which have turned violent. The IDF said Ayed's brother, Aqal Sadeq Sroor, was suspected of throwing a smoke grenade at security forces during one of those demonstration and the IDF had come to his home to arrest him.


Two Border policemen convicted of manslaughter in killing of Palestinian teen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


Two Border policemen were convicted of manslaughter Tuesday for their part in the kidnapping and wrongful death of a Palestinian teen from Hebron in 2002. The two, Shahar Botbeka and Denis Alhazov, were posted in Hebron in 2002 when they along with two other patrolmen abducted several Hebron residents, among them 17-year-old Amran Abu Hamadiya, and took them for a ride in their jeep. They abused the men and beat them with truncheons and rifles. They hurled Abu Hamadiya out of the moving vehicle, causing his death.


Sources: Hamas' inflexibility, Egypt tensions stalling Shalit talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel - September 1, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli and Palestinian sources seem to agree on one thing: The negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit are stuck. Israeli security sources involved in the negotiations over the abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier said no significant progress was achieved in recent weeks' talks. The ministerial meeting Sunday to reevaluate the criteria for releasing Palestinian prisoners was meant to send Hamas a message that Israel is willing to show a certain degree of flexibility, the sources said. However, Hamas has taken an even tougher stance, the sources said.


Forcing the neighbors into play
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - September 1, 2008 - 11:00pm


The Israeli strategy for dealing with the Palestinians has changed significantly since the first agreement was reached between the two sides in 1993. This change is forcing Jordan and Egypt, unwillingly, to adapt.



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