Middle East News: World Press Roundup

New Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that peace talks with the Palestinians are “deadlocked” (1), while Prime Minister Netanyahu pledges that the talks will continue (10). In an article for Foreign Policy, Professor Stephen Walt examines the American-Israeli political relationship (2). In an op-ed for the New York Times Paul McGeough discusses the change in attitude of Hamas’ senior leadership (3). The BBC reports on the state of affairs in postwar Gaza (5). The once-notorious West Bank town of Jenin shows serious improvement since the introduction of Palestinian Security Forces (6). An unmanned fishing boat explodes off the Gaza coast (7). U.S. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell returns to the region (11).

Top Israeli diplomat: Don't rush us back to peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Dion Nissenbaum - April 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman has been Israel's foreign minister for a week, and his blunt, undiplomatic style already is threatening to overshadow the new government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Can the United States put pressure on Israel?: A user's guide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Stephen Walt - April 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama have all publicly stated that the United States seeks a "two-state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In other words, the United States supports the creation of a viable Palestinian state in virtually all of the West Bank and Gaza. The new Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu opposes this goal, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has already said that he does not think Israel is bound by its recent commitments on this issue.

Hamas Comes Out of Hiding
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Paul McGeough - (Opinion) April 12, 2009 - 12:00am

JUST a year and a half ago, visiting Khalid Mishal, the supreme leader of Hamas, was a cloak-and-dagger affair. In September 2007, I climbed into the back of a curtained Mercedes to make the dash from central Damascus to the southern suburbs, where the Palestinian group operated from a high-security enclave reserved for senior officials of the Syrian government.

Borderline outcast?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck, Roula Khalaf - (Analysis) April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

It has been a tough few months for Israel's diplomatic corps. At the start of the year, diplomats were fending off accusations that Israel was using excessive force in its offensive against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. After that conflict they faced a torrent of allegations that their actions had amounted to war crimes, claims that they deny.

Little hope in Gaza aftermath
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jeremy Bowen - April 9, 2009 - 12:00am

I can't imagine what Gaza would be like if it didn't have the sea. The other morning its tiny piece of the Mediterranean was coming in lazy and calm, and a light breeze was blowing down the beach. If you are Gazan and your soul is troubled, or if you just want some space, the beach must be one of the better places to go. GAZA AFTER THE CONFLICT # 80% living on less than $2 a day # 35,000 without running water # 20,000 homes destroyed or damaged # 80% living on less than $2 a day # 10% without electricity # 800 private businesses destroyed or damaged

Restoring tranquility to a wild West Bank town
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Globe and Mail
by Patrick Martin - April 10, 2009 - 12:00am

By day, this northern West Bank community – once considered the Tombstone, Ariz., of the Palestinian territories – is the picture of calm, its old market bustling, farmlands in full production and a friendly policeman on every corner. By night, however, it becomes vulnerable to raids and targeted assaults, not by the Palestinian militants who once ruled the streets, but by Israeli military patrols that invade the town and nearby villages at will.

Gaza boat explodes in apparent attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

An unmanned Palestinian fishing boat exploded off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Monday in an apparent attempt to hit naval patrols in the area, the Israeli military said, reporting no casualties. An army spokesman said the nearest Israeli vessel was "a safe distance" from the Palestinian boat when it blew up about 300 metres off the northern Gaza shore near the border with Israel.

Egyptian guard killed on border with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

An Egyptian security official says a border guard has been killed while patrolling the frontier with Israel. The officials say Magdi Abdellah Hamza was shot in his neck early Monday while on duty, the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media. The official said an investigation is underway. Security is tight along porous border area where local Bedouins engage in drug, weapons and human trafficking.

Netanyahu and Obama Prepare for First Round
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

The new U.S. administration and the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are preparing for a possible confrontation on the future of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as several other issues. A collision course between the two countries seems inevitable as U.S. President Barack Obama reiterates his support for a two-state solution to the protracted conflict while Netanyahu's new Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman states that Israel is no longer obliged to honor previous peace agreements with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu pledges Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
April 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Benyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has said he will hold peace talks with the Palestinians. Netanyahu's comments on the stalled peace process - his first since he took office at the beginning of the month - came in a phone call with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, on Sunday. Abbas had called Netanyahu to extend holiday greetings for the Jewish Passover ceremony. The two had a "friendly and warm" conversation, according to a statement from Netanyahu's office.

US envoy in fresh bid to kickstart peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, returns to the region today for the first time since the new Israeli right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu took power in a bid to push forward the stalled peace process.

Israel: New govt and old policies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Lest it not be clear or be forgotten, Palestinians and other Arabs are spelling out what a peace settlement in their view entails: The two-state formula in accordance with the agreed references, particularly the Arab peace initiative. These policy positions, recently expressed by the chief Palestinian negotiator in Palestine, and in neighboring Jordan where Arab foreign ministers met to review of the Middle East peace process, were meant to reiterate the ways of reaching peace.

Pride and empty words
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eitan Haber - (Opinion) April 12, 2009 - 12:00am

At the height of the settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, when thousands of settlers danced before Ariel Sharon and sang songs of praise for him, I used to tell my friends in the settlement movement: Arik, and none other than him, will kick you out of all the settlements one of these days and won’t look back.

Washington Watch: Might Lieberman be the Arab world's best friend?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) April 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Even those who expected friction between the Obama and Netanyahu governments over pursuing Israeli-Arab peace were surprised that it came so quickly. About 20 minutes, by one count. Tzhat's how long it took Israel's new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to scrap the US-led Annapolis peace talks on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, take the Golan Heights off the negotiating table with Syria, and reject the long-standing concept of land for peace, threatening a US-Israel rift if his government turns that rhetoric into policy.

If we give, we'll get
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

It's a good thing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak didn't listen to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Instead of going to hell, as Lieberman has recommended, he sent his police to stop would-be terrorists planning to send many Israelis to that destination. I wonder what Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, well known for his fondness of Egypt, might have to say about the operation against Hezbollah in Egypt.

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