Middle East News: World Press Roundup

As speculation flies about U.S. President-elect Obama’s cabinet, an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by Aaron David Miller outlines the qualities necessary for an effective Secretary of State (1). An Israeli airstrike kills four Palestinians in Gaza (2). A number of Israeli soldiers face trial by court martial for the abuse of a blindfolded Palestinian man (3). Israel opens a Gaza border crossing to allow in a limited amount of humanitarian aid (4). Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggests the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners next month (6).





State of mind
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Aaron David Miller - November 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Having worked for six secretaries of State over 20 years, I have a pretty clear sense of what makes a good one -- and with the economic and financial crisis overshadowing foreign policy these days, the selection of an effective secretary of State is now more imperative than ever.


Israel Kills 4 Militants in Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Taghreed El-Khodary, Isabel Kershner - November 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli officials ratcheted up their tough talk on Sunday after an airstrike killed four Palestinian militants in Hamas-run Gaza, but both sides left the door open to restoring a truce that has broken down.


Israeli troops face abuse trial
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
November 13, 2008 - 7:00pm


The Israeli military has said it will try by court martial a number of soldiers in connection with the abuse of a blindfolded Palestinian man. The video, broadcast by Israeli TV after being posted on YouTube, shows the man kneeling near a barrier being forced to repeat crude Hebrew phrases. The military has condemned the behaviour, which it says goes against its core values and high standards. Palestinians say contact with troops lead to insults and sometimes violence.


Israel Allows Limited Aid Into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel opened a border crossing with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Monday for the first time in two weeks, allowing in a limited amount of humanitarian aid. The move came ahead of talks in Jerusalem between outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who termed Israel's tightened blockade of the Gaza Strip a "war crime." Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner said approximately 30 truckloads of goods entered the Gaza Strip, including meat and powdered milk for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).


Israeli court orders colonists to end takeover of Hebron house
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel's High Court on Sunday gave Jewish settlers three days to evacuate a house in the Occupied West Bank town of Hebron whose ownership is contested. The ruling, which was slammed by settler leaders, follows a series of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and hard-line Jews seeking to erect unauthorized outposts in the Occupied West Bank. All Israeli presence in the Occupied West Bank is illegal under international and stands in violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions.


Officials: Israel to free 250 Palestinian inmates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday promised to release 250 Palestinian prisoners, a goodwill gesture to the moderate Palestinian president at a summit overshadowed by ongoing violence in Gaza that threatens a cease-fire. Even as Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Jerusalem, Gaza militants were firing rockets, underlining that Abbas has little influence in the seaside territory. Islamic Hamas militants overran the Gaza Strip last year, expelling forces loyal to Abbas.


Analysis: Hamas, Israel trying to rewrite truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karin Laub - November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


A June truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers comes up for renewal next month and it looks like both sides are trying to dictate more favorable terms. That would explain why Israel and Hamas have been trading rocket fire and air strikes for two weeks, even as they keep saying they're interested in a continued cease-fire. But the attempt to establish new ground rules could easily spin out of control, especially if there are civilian casualties. Domestic concerns further complicate the situation.


New dovish faction shaping up in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


A group of high-profile Israeli politicians, intellectuals and business leaders have banded together to form a new dovish faction ahead of February elections, worried by polls that give hardline opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu a strong chance of winning.


8 Qassams hit western Negev
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ilana Curiel - November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


Eight Qassam rockets were fired at communities in the western Negev's Eshkol Regional Council on Monday morning. There were no reports of injuries but several houses were damaged. Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council were ordered to enter fortified rooms. The Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, claimed responsibility for the attack. Following the barrage, the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip was put on hold.


Livni to Miliband: U.K. plan to label West Bank goods is 'exaggerated'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - November 16, 2008 - 7:00pm


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday told her visiting British counterpart, David Miliband, that the U.K. was taking an "exaggerated" stance in its initiative to distinctly label produce imported from the West Bank. Miliband arrived in Israel on Sunday, where he met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Livni, for a two-day visit aimed at advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.





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