Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Palestinian Authority minister of Agriculture and Social Welfare argues the importance of ending Hamas rule in Gaza (1). UN investigators meet in Geneva ahead of a mission to Israel to assess possible war crimes committed during the Gaza war (3), while Spain announces that it will continue its investigation of a 2002 Israeli bombing on Gaza (9). The Associated Press looks at how Israeli imposed access restrictions on Palestinian police are allowing hideouts for criminals (5). Avigdor Lieberman travels to Europe on his first trip as Israel’s Foreign Minister (6) (7). Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel meets with AIPAC donors and reaffirms the Obama Administration’s commitment to peace based on two states (13).

PA minister: Ending Hamas rule is a national, moral and religious duty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 3, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority minister of Agriculture and Social Welfare on Sunday told an Israeli radio station that "ending Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip is a national, moral and religious duty." The minister, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, added that removing Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip "should be accomplished as soon as possible."

Israel Faces a Hard Sell in Bid to Shift Policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) May 3, 2009 - 12:00am

The new government of Israel is seeking to reorient the country’s foreign policy, arguing that to rely purely on the formulas of trading land for peace and promising a Palestinian state fails to grasp what it views as the deeper issues: Muslim rejection of a Jewish state and the rising hegemonic appetite of Iran.

UN experts discuss Gaza mission
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Imogen Foulkes - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

UN investigators are beginning a week-long meeting in Geneva, ahead of a mission to Israel and the Gaza Strip. The team is mandated to investigate possible war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during Israel's incursion into Gaza last December and January. But it remains unclear whether Israel will grant the investigators access to the former conflict zone. The team, which is led by South African judge Richard Goldstone, was appointed by the UN's Human Rights Council. Other team members include a military specialist and a human rights lawyer. 'Impartial'

Israel Will Accept Palestinian State, Rejects Syria Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Gwen Ackerman, Jonathan Ferziger - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

The new Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu gave the strongest signal yet that it would accept a Palestinian state, while rejecting peace negotiations with Syria. “We do want to see peace and do understand that long-term peace and stability will entail a two-state solution,” Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said in an interview.

Israeli-run zones shield West Bank criminals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

When Nasser Qaout went to investigate strange sounds in his sheep pen late at night, a gang of armed thieves shot him in the leg and made off with half his flock. He and Palestinian police know who the thieves are - and even where they are - but a year and half later, they’re still in their homes about five kilometers (three miles) down the road.

Lieberman takes first foreign trip as minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

vigdor Lieberman embarks today on his first official European tour since becoming Israel’s new foreign minister as his hardline government bids to mitigate escalating tensions with the European Union, prompted by its resistance to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The top diplomat, who has drawn fire for controversial statements against Israel’s Arab minority and his opposition to making territorial concessions in exchange for peace, will meet his counterparts in Italy, France, the Czech Republic and Germany this week.

Mr Lieberman, eyeless in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word that means shameless audacity. Soon, it may have a synonym: to do a Lieberman. Avigdor Lieberman, the right-wing caricature who is foreign minister in the cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu, is taking his first steps on the international stage with trips to Italy, France, the UK and the Czech Republic, and he is making waves even before landing on European soil. According to one of his senior officials, Europe is in danger of making itself irrelevant and losing its seat at the peace process table if its criticism of Israeli policies continues.

The Dangers of the US Submission to the Accomplished Fact with Iran and Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

'Reassurance' could be the title of the current phase of Barack Obama's administration, in anticipation of what strategies it will disclose for the Middle East region, including Iran, Israel, and Pakistan, as well as Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon.

Spain okays Gaza war crimes probe against Israeli officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Spanish National Court judge Fernando Andreu announced Monday that he will pursue his investigation into a 2002 Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip, despite contrary advice by prosecutors at the court. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he would call on the Spanish government to prevent the investigation, reiterating Israel's stance that the Israel Defense Forces is the most "moral" army in the world.

Livni: Iran threat opens door to peace with Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Opposition leader and Kadima party head Tzipi Livni on Sunday said that Israel must view the threat posed by Iran as an opportunity to further peace with other neighbors in the region. "Let me be clear: On the issue of Iran, there is no opposition party in Israel," Livni told an audience at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington. Livni continued: "The threat from Iran has created new possibilities for alliances between Israel and the pragmatic states in the region - countries that realize that Israel is not the source of the problems in the Middle East."

Suspect Arrested in Ramat Gan Bus Stabbing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

The security forces on Sunday night arrested a Palestinian suspected of stabbing an Israel Defense Forces soldier on a bus in Ramat Gan. The man, whose identity has been placed under a gag order, was turned over to the Shin Bet for questioning. The suspect was seized near the place where the soldier was stabbed.

PM Netanyahu’s tank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eitan Haber - (Opinion) May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

There is no doubt that someone at the White House’s protocol department suffered a stroke recently, or at the very least was overcome by consternation: Shimon Peres, the State of Israel’s president, is the first one to arrive for a meeting with President Obama?

Emanuel: This is Israel's moment of truth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama plans to act firmly and decisively in order to reach durable peace, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Sunday night in a closed forum attended by 300 of the biggest donors of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The event was held as part of the pro-Israel's lobby annual conference in Washington.

AIPAC delegates to lobby for two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is refusing to explicitly endorse a two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian conflict, participants at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference will this week be urging their elected representatives to press President Barack Obama for precisely that.

Understandings before a clash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ephraim Sneh - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Glimmers of concern have recently crept into conversations with various American officials about a possible clash between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government. On the one hand, the U.S. president has reiterated his intention to implement an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the existence of two independent states. On the other hand, official voices in the Israeli government are heralding an attempt to evade, thwart or at least delay such a move.

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