Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An Israeli airstrike kills two Palestinian youths in southern Gaza (1). An Israeli military court convicts the Speaker of the Palestinian parliament of being a member of Hamas (2). The humanitarian situation in Gaza grows increasingly desperate (3) (4) (7). Following yesterday's violent protests, settlers in Hebron prepare for a forceful evacuation from the city center by Israeli forces (5) (6). Hamas frees three Palestinian journalists it arrested last month for allegedly fabricating stories that were critical of the party (8). The Palestinian Authority announces plans to replace the leadership of all Hamas-controlled town councils in the West Bank (11). An op-ed in Haaretz encourages the incoming Obama administration to help rid Israel of its "territorial addiction" (12).

Israel: Airstrike Kills 2 in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

An Israeli airstrike aimed at a militant squad in southern Gaza killed two Palestinian youths on Tuesday, and a militant was shot and killed in the West Bank when he tried to elude arrest. Palestinian medical officials said the two killed in Gaza were brothers, ages 15 and 17. An Israeli military spokesman said the target was a squad that had fired a mortar shell 20 minutes earlier. The armed wing of Hamas said it fired eight mortar shells at Israeli forces on Tuesday.

Israel convicts top Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

An Israeli military court has convicted the Speaker of the Palestinian parliament of being a member and officer of an illegal organisation. Abdel Aziz Dweik belongs to the Hamas movement, which controls Gaza. He has been in prison since his arrest by Israeli forces in 2006 and will be sentenced at a later date. Dozens of Palestinian legislators were arrested by the Israeli army in 2006. Thirty lawmakers remain in Israeli custody. They were detained following the capture by Hamas-allied militants of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

It's grim in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Anne Penketh - (Blog) December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

I met Karen AbuZayd, the head of UNRWA, when she was sitting in the basement dining room of a trendy London hotel beside a mirror on which an artist has written in gold letters: "this is shit."It is understandable that Mrs AbuZayd, whose UN agency looks after the welfare of Palestinian refugees, did not wish to be photographed in front of the art work. But the message on the mirror aptly sums up the dramatic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, as she was the first to point out.

The slow death of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Andrea Becker - November 24, 2008 - 1:00am

Hebron settlers brace for forceful evacuation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Michael Blum - December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

Hundreds of Israeli settlers and supporters prepared on Wednesday to battle a forceful eviction after Israel declared a closed military area around a house in Hebron, occupied in defiance of a court order. The military decree followed violent protests on Tuesday involving settlers and their far right-wing supporters who hurled rocks at Palestinians, security forces, homes and cars and desecrated Muslim tombstones.

Israeli forces stand by as ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers go on rampage in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

At least 13 Palestinians and one Israeli were wounded on Tuesday as ultra-nationalist Israelis went on the rampage in the Occupied West Bank city of Hebron, clashing with residents and Israeli security forces. The Israeli rioting broke out as rumors spread that security forces were set to evict 100 Jewish settlers from an occupied house the Israeli high court has ordered evacuated.

Gaza cash drought to delay state wages payment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

Government employees in Gaza Strip will not receive salaries this month because of a severe cash drought in Palestinian banks there, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday. Fayyad said the state would transfer funds to Gaza banks on Wednesday but an Israeli blockade had prevented moving enough cash to the Hamas-run coastal enclave in time to cover salaries of more than 77,000 government employees.

Hamas forces free three journalists arrested for fabrication
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

Hamas security forces on Wednesday freed three Palestinian journalists whom they arrested last month and accused of fabricating news critical of the Islamist group, officials said. The journalists worked in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for the Palestine Press, a local news agency with ties to the group's main rival, President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction. A Hamas internal security official said the three men were released after they confessed that they had "fabricated reports" critical of the Hamas cabinet and its security forces.

Palestinian man stabbed by Jews in Occupied Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

A Palestinian man was seriously wounded after being stabbed in an attack carried out by Jews in Occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday, officials said. Police were searching for a number of suspects who stabbed the 31-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesman said. The man told Israel police four men wearing skullcaps attacked him near the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim. The spokesman did not confirm the attackers were Jews, but said police believed it was a "nationalistically motivated" assault.

Israel arrests 14 Palestinians in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

Israeli forces arrested 14 Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, reports Wednesday said. The Palestinian prisoners' club said in a press release that three Palestinians were arrested in Arraba and Barqin towns near Jenin.

PA to purge Hamas-controlled councils
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority is planning to replace all the Hamas-controlled municipalities and village councils in the West Bank in the coming weeks, PA officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. They said the decision was aimed at undermining Hamas's influence in the West Bank and paving the way for the extension of PA President Mahmoud Abbas's term in office after it ends on January 9.

Obama must help Israel break its territorial addiction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Alex Sinclair - December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

The Republican Party pulled every trick in the book to scare the American public against voting for Barack Obama. He will raise taxes for the middle class, they warned, he's a socialist, he's a Muslim, he'll turn social security into a welfare system?

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