Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Washington Post reports that Israel expected a stronger military performance from Hamas during the Gaza War (1). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits Iraq for the first time since the 2003 U.S. invasion (2). The WHO warns that feuding between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is putting the lives of critically ill Gaza patients at risk (3). The Times examines the controversial planned E1 settlement corridor in the West Bank (4). Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups say they have evidence that Israeli troops attacked Palestinian medical workers during the Gaza war (6). Israeli forces shoot and kill a 16 year-old Bedouin girl after she opens fire on a police base in southern Israel (8).

Israel Anticipated a Stronger Hamas in Gaza War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - April 4, 2009 - 12:00am

The small house near Gaza City posed no immediate threat -- there was no sniper fire or evidence it was wired with explosives. But as the Israel Defense Forces approached with plans to position soldiers on either side, Maj. Gur Rosenblat said he still regarded the structure with suspicion, and called in a bulldozer to tear it down. There was nothing inside.

Palestinians Are Focus in Abbas Visit to Baghdad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Campbell Robertson - April 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, visited Iraq for the first time since the American invasion in 2003, meeting with Iraqi leaders on Sunday to garner support for the Palestinian leadership and Iraq’s Palestinian community.

Gaza feud puts patients at risk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Heather Sharp - April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

The World Health Organisation has warned that the latest twist in the feud between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is putting the lives of critically ill Gazans at risk, reports the BBC's Heather Sharp from Gaza City. Faik Abdel-Aal rummages in drawers of baby clothes in his Gaza flat for his favourite picture of his only son. His grief-stricken wife Hanna has hidden it again. Mohammad, who had a hole in his heart, died a week ago, aged a year and nine days. The couple are wondering who to blame.

New town may be death blow to hopes for Israel peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - April 4, 2009 - 12:00am

The sign in big, red Hebrew letters reads “Welcome to Mevasseret Adumim, the Harbinger of the Hills”. A three-lane road with roundabouts leads up the hill to a police station and street lamps line the flyover that links the new town to neighbouring Ma'aleh Adumim, one of the largest Jewish settlements in Israel.

West Bank refugee camp swaps guns for greasepaint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - April 3, 2009 - 12:00am

In the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, political points are traditionally made with guns and beatings. So when the actors of the Freedom Theatre decided to stage George Orwell's classic satire Animal Farm they knew that they were taking a risk. Putting on a play in which the protagonists subvert the glorious revolution and collaborate with the enemy was dangerous enough in a part of the world that brooks little criticism of its leaders. That these same protagonists are pigs was unlikely to make things better before a Muslim audience.

Rights groups: Israel harmed Gaza medical workers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups said Monday they have collected evidence that Israeli troops attacked Palestinian medical workers and delayed the evacuation of wounded people during the recent offensive in Gaza. The Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights, along with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, called for an independent investigation. The groups said they collected evidence from 44 people in Gaza. The testimonies were gathered by five international medical experts commissioned by the groups.

'Israel holding Mideast hostage by shunning Arab peace offer'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah II said Monday that an Arab peace initiative offers a solution for peace in the Middle East, adding that Israel should use the opportunity or risk ongoing conflict in the region. "Israel must decide whether they want to observe this opportunity and become integrated in the region or whether they want to remain a fortress ... and keep the Middle East hostage in conflict," Abdullah said in Bucharest, during an official visit. The king met Romanian President Traian Basescu Monday and discussed bilateral issues and the urgent need for peace in the Middle East.

Israeli forces kill armed Bedouin teenager, militants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed a 16-year-old Bedouin girl who opened fire at a police base in southern Israel and two Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, security officials and medics said. In the rare incident in southern Israel, the teenager opened fire at a guardpost at the base and was gunned down by border police stationed there, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. No police were injured in the shooting.

Palestinian women train with men at academy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The first batch of women set to graduate from the Palestinian military academy marched with their male colleagues on Saturday, in a rare display of women and men training alongside each other in the Middle East. The sight of women in uniform is not a common one in the Palestinian Authority, as only a small number serve in law enforcement, and the sight of them training and serving alongside men is almost unheard of. The joint training marks a first, and a symptom of the growing influence of women in a traditionally male-dominated society.

Abbas lays down terms for peace talks with Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday laid down his conditions for renewing stalled peace negotiations with Israel. The new Israeli government "would have to accept the creation of a Palestinian state, stop construction in West Bank Israeli settlements and remove army roadblocks crippling life in the West Bank so that we can resume dialogue in order to reach a political solution," Abbas said. The Palestinian leader was speaking during a visit to Baghdad.

Arabs urged to continue peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Abdul Jalil Mustafa - April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the Board of Directors of King Faisal Center for Islamic Researches and Studies, yesterday urged the continuation of the Middle East peace process, saying Arabs “have no other option at this stage.” Speaking at the Strategic Studies Center of the University of Jordan, Prince Turki said, “Given the present situation, we don’t have other than the option of the peace process and we have to push ahead with peace which we have accepted as our strategic choice”

Palestinian Deliberateness Is Sound
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Mohammad Salah - (Opinion) April 5, 2009 - 12:00am

There is no reason to be anxious about the delay in an agreement among Palestinian factions to solve pending issues and reach a true national reconciliation. If anything has given cause for anxiety, it was the exchange of pleasantries, hugs and kisses before the cameras and television camera lights, along with the issuing of receptive and affectionate statements, and perhaps ones of praise and "polishing," while each side harbors non-positive sentiments vis-à-vis the others.

Israel demolishes Palestinian house in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli forces on Monday demolished five homes belonging to Palestinians in East Jerusalem, locals said. The demolitions, in Khan al-Ahmar near the illegal Israeli settlement Maale Adumin, displaced 71 people, including 60 children, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. ICAHD, a prominent Israeli non-governmental organization, said Monday that Israel was forcing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem as part of a deliberate policy that might constitute a war crime.

Netanyahu to Evade Two-State Solution- Israeli Official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Nazar Majli - April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

In an exclusive statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, a senior Israeli government diplomat said that the new-old Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, is coming under great pressure from abroad to move forward in the Palestinian negotiations on the basis of a two-state solution. He added that Netanyahu intends to circumvent this principle and to take a new approach that might be surprising.

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