Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The US-Israel dispute about settlement activities has now focused on planned construction in Jerusalem (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 13, 17). This ongoing controversy continues to fuel speculation about PM Netanyahu's relations with the Obama administration and future as Israeli head of government (1, 7, 8, 10, 11). Meanwhile, settlement-freeze talks continue (12). The PA re-opens the office of al-Jazeera in the West Bank (15), but talks between Fateh and Hamas are postponed (16).

Netanyahu’s Talk of Peace Finds Few True Believers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - July 19, 2009 - 12:00am

In the weeks since Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, finally accepted the principle of a Palestinian state, with qualifications, there has been deep skepticism about his sincerity. On the Palestinian side, aides to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, have called Mr. Netanyahu’s grudging endorsement of Palestinian statehood, under international pressure, a disingenuous public relations exercise.

Israel Rejects U.S. Call to Hold Off on Development
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - July 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Sunday an American call to hold off on a planned Jewish housing development in East Jerusalem, saying Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed city could not be challenged.

Netanyahu Upholds Plan To Build in E. Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended plans for a new Jewish housing development in East Jerusalem, rebuffing the Obama administration's opposition to Israeli construction in the mostly Palestinian area.

Israel backs East Jerusalem housing construction despite U.S. opposition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Calling Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem indisputable, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rejected U.S. demands to stop plans to build 20 Jewish-owned apartments in the eastern part of the city that Palestinians regard as key to their future state.

Israeli PM defiant on Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
July 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a reported US request that a building project in Jerusalem be halted. The project involves building 20 apartments in the mainly Arab East Jerusalem area, which was captured by Israel in 1967. Last week US officials told the Israeli ambassador that the project should be suspended, Israeli media said. But Mr Netanyahu rejected this in comments at his weekly Cabinet meeting. "We cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live and buy (homes) anywhere in Jerusalem," he said.

'No difference to U.S. between outpost, East Jerusalem construction'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar, Barak Ravid - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States views East Jerusalem as no different than an illegal West Bank outpost with regard to its demand for a freeze on settlement construction, American sources have informed both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

What Netanyahu wants from Obama's 'self-hating Jews'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Who is to blame for the latest dispute with the United States over the new neighborhood going up in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah area? Mayor Nir Barkat? Certainly not. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stood behind him? Ridiculous. Any child knows that everything is the fault of other Jews: Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, two American administration officials who are inciting President Barack Obama against their own people.

Playing With Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
February 9, 2009 - 1:00am

Both Israel and Hamas are playing dangerous games, the outcome of which could lead to a major confrontation in the Middle East. First, Hamas: Encouraged by their "victory" in the last confrontation with Israel, Hamas continues to lob the occasional rocket on Israel. Perhaps it's their way of reminding the Israelis that they remain a force to contend with. However, it would benefit Hamas to study carefully Israel's last two wars - the war with Hezbollah in 2006 and the recent war with Hamas in Gaza.

PA bid: Each clerk to donate dollar for Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

A member of the Palestinian Legislative Council proposes to deduct one dollar from the salaries of hundreds of thousands of PA clerks to be invested in the struggle for Jerusalem. Jihad Abu Zneid, a Fatah member from Jerusalem presented her bid during a visit held by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the capital. Abu Zneid mentioned that the PA must put a lot of effort into dealing with the "Israeli Judaization efforts" which include the evacuation and destruction of houses in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

Ministers: Netanyahu, Obama have their wires crossed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

"(Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama have their wires crossed, and this is detrimental to US-Israel relations," Labor Party ministers told Ynet Sunday night. According to the ministers, the prime minister has no direct channel of communication with the American president, and contact between the two is conducted mainly through Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell.

The Same old Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

In one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s first television appearances as prime minister in the years 1996-1999, he was interviewed at his office by Ehud Yaari and Dan Scemama from Channel 1. Before the broadcast, Netanyahu asked the production staff to tell him which of the two cameras they brought with them provides a frontal view of him. The purpose of his question became clear during the interview: Netanyahu ignored the interviewers and turned directly to the viewers at home. Ever since then, Channel 1 has made sure to refrain from posting such camera in interviews with the PM.

'Limits on settlement freeze being set'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Jerusalem's decision to leak to the media US displeasure with a plan to build a small housing complex in east Jerusalem was designed to clarify to the Americans that construction in the capital should not be lumped together with any limitations Israel may agree to on building in the settlements, senior diplomatic officials told The Jerusalem Post Sunday. Moskowitz's critics: building in sensitive areas is a strategy to undermine the peace process

'Ma'aleh Adumim, Gilo are no different'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority is hoping that the intervention of the US State Department with Israel to halt a construction project in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood would be the first step toward taking action against new homes in Jewish neighborhoods established in the parts of the city annexed after 1967. Peace Now: E. J'lem project would be end of 2-state solution; Minister Edelstein slams State Department

Checkpoints eased: Nablus journeys
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel said they were necessary security measures to prevent attacks on its civilians, but many Palestinians viewed them as collective punishment. The northern city of Nablus, previously a stronghold of Palestinian militant groups, has been surrounded by six checkpoints since the Palestinian uprising, or intifada, which began in 2000. For the first time in about nine years, its residents can now drive their cars out of the city. Journey times around the West Bank have been cut significantly.

West Bank lifts ban on al-Jazeera
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Arabic satellite news TV al-Jazeera has resumed its broadcasts in the West Bank, after a ban on it was lifted by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Last week's ban came after a guest on the station accused Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of collaborating with Israel to have Yasser Arafat killed. The PA had accused the broadcaster of spreading lies and inciting viewers against the West Bank authorities. Al-Jazeera has been told it still faces legal action over the accusations.

Hamas, Fatah delay unity talks again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by HIsham Abu Taha - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

GAZA/RAMALLAH:Egyptian-mediated Palestinian reconciliation talks between rivals Fatah and Hamas set for next Saturday have been delayed for a month. A senior Fatah official on Saturday said that his movement and Hamas decided to postpone the talks until Aug. 25.

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