Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Hopes are dim for the next round of Egyptian-mediated Palestinian accord government talks (1) (4). Speculation continues about the state of US-Israel relations following the installation of the new Netanyahu government (2) (3). Hamas agrees to investigate the deaths in custody of two men it accused of being collaborators with Israel (5). US Mideast Envoy George Mitchell plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Israel's stance regarding a two-state solution (8) (9). Al-Ahram Weekly features an interview with UNRWA Commissioner General Karen Abu-Zayd (10).

What is Left of Egypt's Mediation between the Palestinians?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

If there was any hope for negotiations between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo to reach an agreement that would end the state of division between the Palestinians, such a hope has become less likely today as a result of the repercussions of the exchange of smear campaigns between the Egyptian government and Hezbollah, on the background of the cell arrested by the Egyptians, who claim that it had been planning activities that pose a threat to Egypt's security.

So many words, but so little action
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama definitely talks a good talk but when it comes to implementing his stated foreign policy goals, he appears to be dragging his heels. He's certainly been decisive on the economy and has upset many in the process. But three months into his presidency, his Middle East policy is still vague and he has yet to officially approach Iran to hold what he terms mutually respectful talks.

US-Israeli relations on shaky ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) April 13, 2009 - 12:00am

The US administration and the new right-wing Israeli government may be on a collision course over Middle East peace as well as how to deal with Iran's nuclear programme, although any disputes are likely to be muted or behind firmly closed doors. It is the policy of Israeli and American governments to be viewed by the outside world as being joined at the hip with neither side wishing to air their dirty laundry in public.

Why new Palestinian talks will fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by George Giacaman - (Opinion) April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The second round of Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo have been postponed for several weeks, and even if they resume toward the end of April as announced, it is not likely that they will succeed. At best the parties might agree on the composition of the new Cabinet, but all other issues, even if there is agreement in principle over them, will not be implemented any time soon.

Hamas agrees to probe deaths of alleged Israel collaborators
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh approved last week the recommendation of the local interior ministry's special investigative committee to dismiss and court-martial 11 policemen on suspicion of causing the death of detainee Zayad Ayash Jaradat. A decision on the death of another detainee is still pending.

Egypt's rage at Hezbollah isn't on Israel's behalf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

It is sometimes hard to believe the remarks coming out of Cairo over the past 48 hours are actually directed at Hezbollah. The Egyptian press has tagged its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, with denigrating epithets like the "monkey sheikh," and remarks from security officials in Cairo to the Israeli press sound reminiscent of how generals speak in times of war.

Hizbullah planned 3 simultaneous attacks in Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Hizbullah planned three simultaneous terror attacks against Israeli and Egyptian targets in three different tourist spots in Sinai, head of a Hizbullah cell in Egypt Sami Shihab told police in his investigation. Parts of Shihab's investigation were published in Egyptian daily al-Ahram on Tuesday, and according to the report, the organization planned to publish an announcement after the attacks claiming responsibility for them.

Mitchell visit to see if Netanyahu really against 2-states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Prominent voices from within Benjamin Netanyahu's government have already made it clear they oppose the two-state solution and the understandings agreed upon at the Annapolis Peace Summit. Ascertaining whether this is indeed the genuine position of the new Israeli government is the top priority for US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, during his visit this "It's one thing to hear statements in the press, it's another to hear it in a one-on-one meeting," a source in Washington told Ynet on Monday evening.

Candidly Speaking: Netanyahu & the two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Isi Leibler - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

When our government enters into formal discussions with Washington, it will be obliged to make decisions that may set the tone for its long-term relationship with the new administration. President Barack Obama has yet to fully show his hand, but his policy of engaging with jihadists is likely to encourage efforts to pressure Israel into additional unilateral concessions to the Arabs that will need to be vigorously resisted.

'Sounds worrying'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Dina Ezzat - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Karen Abu Zayd is commissioner general of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Her job is to make sure that relief and human development are accessible to Palestinians under occupation, in Gaza, the West Bank and refugee camps scattered in countries neighbouring the occupied Palestinian territories. This mission is met through providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to over 4.6 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The other face of fascism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Muqtedar Khan - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

A foreign minister is to the rest of the world the face of the nation he or she represents. They epitomise the values and politics of the nation and personify its culture, identity and values. Israel has a new face now and that face is the ugly visage of fascism. Currently it travels under the name Avigdor Lieberman.

Syria seen keen on new peace talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Khaled Yacoub Oweis - (Analysis) April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Encouraged by President Barack Obama's overtures toward Washington's adversaries, Syria is pushing to restart peace talks with Israel, diplomats and political analysts say. Damascus has intensified its quest to relaunch the Turkish-mediated talks, diplomats in the Syrian capital said, despite the formation last month of a right-leaning Israeli government that has shown little interest in a U.S.-backed two state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.

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