Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Israeli military announces the conclusion of several internal investigations of its conduct during the Gaza war (1), while Human Rights Watch deems the investigations an attempt to cover up misconduct (7). The Jewish Daily Forward speculates on the growing differences between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (2), and MJ Rosenberg offers his assessment of the issue (4). An Egyptian American Muslim woman is appointed as an advisor to President Obama (3). After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi pledges strong support for a two-state solution (9). Jordan’s King Abdullah II meets with U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (10).

Israeli Military Says Actions in Gaza War Did Not Violate International Law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli military on Wednesday presented the conclusions of several internal investigations into its conduct during the war in Gaza and stated that it had operated in accordance with international law, countering widespread international criticism over its actions and continuing accusations of possible war crimes.

Bibi and Obama: Could a Clash Be in the Offing?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Are they headed for a diplomatic divorce? Or can this relationship be saved? The growing number of differences between the new Obama administration and the newer Netanyahu government is coming into view at a sensitive time. American envoy George Mitchell seemed, during his recent Middle East visit, to draw attention to the apparent disconnect between his vision and Benjamin Netanyahu’s by making a mantra of the very policy that Netanyahu has declined to support — the “two-state solution.”

Muslim woman's appointment as Obama advisor draws cautious optimism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Noha El-Hennawy - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptians are cautiously rejoicing over the recent appointment of a veiled Egyptian American Muslim woman as an advisor to President Obama. Dalia Mogahed, senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, was appointed this month to Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Reading Obama Wrong
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

It seems to me that none of the key figures in the Israeli leadership (Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, or Minister of Defense Ehud Barak) "get" Barack Obama. This is no surprise. Israel was one of the only countries in the world that preferred Obama's opponents in the primaries and then in the general election. In fact, if Israelis could have chosen our President, they would have given George W. Bush a third term. (On the other hand, 78 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Obama last November).

Hezbollah cell worries Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Jumana Al Tamimi - April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Egypt's arrest of purported Hezbollah operatives marks a dangerous escalation of tension between Iran and the Arab world, analysts say. Egypt's public prosecutor is investigating 49 people it claims planned to carry out "hostile operations" on orders from Hezbollah, the militant Islamist group in Southern Lebanon that bested Israel in a monthlong war in the summer of 2006. The case against the purported Hezbollah cell in Egypt "sums up all the region's issues together," Egyptian analyst Nabeel Sharaf al-Deen told The Washington Times.

Israel defies US and destroys Palestinian home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Brushing aside international criticism, Israel demolished a Palestinian house in East Jerusalem in the latest in a series of actions that critics say is racheting up tensions in the city, harming chances for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ammar Hudidon, a resident of the Jebel Mukaber neighbourhood and a father of seven children, said a bulldozer flattened his home yesterday after the Jerusalem municipality said he lacked building permits. Palestinians complain that the permits are virtually impossible to obtain.

Rights Group Challenges Israel's Gaza War Probe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Human Rights Watch said on Thursday that the Israeli army's investigation of troop conduct during its war on Gaza appeared to be an attempt to cover up "violations of the laws of war." The army defended its conduct during the massive 22-day offensive against the Hamas rulers of Gaza in December and January, saying five military probes found its forces "operated in accordance with international law." But Joe Stork, a deputy director of Human Rights Watch, said: "The conclusions are an apparent attempt to mask violations of the laws of war by Israeli forces in Gaza."

White phosphorus in Gaza: from flat denial to final admission
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Catherine Philp - April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The “media buzz” to which Israel claims to have bowed began on the morning of January 5. The Times broke news that Israel was using white phosphorus against Gaza and carried a photograph of the distinctive white plumes above densely populated civilian streets. The Israeli military was quick to deny the story, but as the days and weeks wore on, the evidence mounted.

China vows strong support for Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Wednesday pledged strong support for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement based on a two-state solution. China "will pursue its efforts to advance the Middle East peace process and strongly supports a settlement based on two states," he said after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Jordan King: Arabs must do more on Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah II said Wednesday it was time for Arab and Muslim countries to help the United States do "the heavy lifting" needed to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. "Too many times in the past, America has been asked to do all the heavy-lifting," the king said as he met with Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi one day after delivering the same message at the White House.

Lieberman won't accompany Netanyahu to Egypt, says Mubarak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would not accompany Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on an upcoming visit to Egypt. "Some say... that [Netanyahu] will bring his foreign minister with him," AFP quoted Mubarak as saying during a speech to mark the end of Israel's 15-year occupation of the Sinai peninsula in 1982. "The Israeli prime minister is coming alone. His cabinet chief will come with him. He will not bring any other minister with him," Mubarak said, according to the news agency.

Netanyahu's Mideast policy damaging EU ties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The foreign policy of the Netanyahu government, which deems unacceptable the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict as an outline for negotiations with the Palestinians, has damaged Israel's relations with the European Union.

Connect Gaza and West Bank now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

US presidential envoy George Mitchell is touring the region searching for signs of progress to report back to his boss and to move the peace process forward.

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