Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Tensions escalate following violent clashes between Muslim worshipers and Israeli riot police at the Haram al-Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem. Hamas reiterates its opposition to agreed-upon elections in January, and says that it is preparing a final reply to Egyptian national unity proposals. Turkey will push the Security Council to examine the Goldstone Report into the Gaza war, and Palestinian citizens of Israel that protested the Gaza war continue to face detention and house arrest. Fallout from last week's diplomatic activities continues, with analysts deeply divided over whether Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu outmaneuvered President Obama or now finds himself in an even more difficult situation facing permanent status negotiations.

Palestinians and Israelis Clash at Jerusalem Holy Site
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Clashes broke out Sunday between Palestinians and the Israeli police at a holy site in Jerusalem revered by both Muslims and Jews, after Muslim worshipers threw stones at a group of foreign tourists, apparently mistaking them for Jewish activists.

A call to moral accounting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Chicago Tribune
by Brant Rosen - (Opinion) September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

On Sunday night, the Jewish community will begin our annual Yom Kippur fast. The physical deprivation is a crucial element of the day, but as with many faith traditions, the fasting itself isn't really the point. Going without food and water is, rather, a device, intended to sharpen our senses and lead to reflection. This reflection is notably, pointedly, not a personal pursuit. All through the Yom Kippur prayers, we're called to do "cheshbon nefesh," a moral accounting, as a community: "We have sinned," we pray. "Forgive us."

Palestinian TV airs daring satire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - September 20, 2009 - 12:00am

On "Saturday Night Live," which has long parodied politicians ranging from Jimmy Carter to Sarah Palin, these characters would be well within bounds: An Islamist judge who is a latent homosexual. A negotiator who emerges from peace talks stripped to his boxers. A president who worries about his Israeli-issued checkpoint pass. But this is Palestinian state TV. Premièring during the holy month of Ramadan, the first-ever Palestinian political satire show turns national leaders and military strongmen into absurd protagonists on its nightly broadcasts, winning a growing viewership.

Hamas: Elections cannot be held on tim
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas believes that elections simply cannot be held on schedule on 25 January 2010, sources in the movement in the West Bank told Ma’an on Sunday.

Dahlan warns of third intifada over Al-Aqsa clashes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Muhammad Dahlan, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, warned on Sunday a third intifada could arise in light of "Israel's contempt for the feelings of Muslims." Responding to clashes that left dozens of Palestinians injured by police batons and tear-gas canisters on Sunday, Dahlan condemned Israel for allowing "extremist Jewish groups" to "storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque." In a statement, Dahlan said he considered "the violation of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa playing with fire and crossing red lines." He said Israeli authorities permitted groups to enter the area to "attack worshipers inside."

Erekat: Israel deliberately escalating tensions in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian leaders warned Israel on Sunday not to stoke tension in Jerusalem in the hope of thwarting peace talks, after clashes at a sacred site in which Palestinians and Israeli police were injured. "At a time when [U.S.] President [Barack] Obama is trying to bridge the divide between Palestinians and Israelis, and to get negotiations back on track, Israel is deliberately escalating tensions in Jerusalem," chief Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erakat said Sunday evening.

Mount Hebron: Leftists bring Palestinians water
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Olga Gouresky - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Activists of several left-wing organizations transferred water to Palestinians in the South Mount Hebron area on Saturday. They also tried clearing ways in order to access the Palestinian villages. One of the activists, Yaakov Manor, told Ynet about the area's water problem. "We left from several places on two buses and private vehicles. In South Mount Hebron there are villages in which some of the residents live in caves or temporary buildings."

Turkey wants UN body to discuss Gaza 'war crimes'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday his country would push the Security Council to discuss a report by United Nations investigators accusing Israel and Palestinian gunmen of war crimes in the Gaza war. "We will definitely take the position to discuss this issue on the Security Council," Erdogan told reporters.

Clinton urges Arabs to normalize ties with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
September 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday urged Arab nations to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel and supporting the Palestinians in an effort to help restart stalled Mideast peace talks. Clinton made the case with senior officials from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The session followed President Barack Obama's talks this past week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Anger at Jerusalem shrine clash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse 150 Palestinian protesters who had thrown rocks at non-Muslims who entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound. The site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is sacred to both religions. Israeli police said the visitors were foreign tourists, but Palestinians said they were Jewish extremists. "At a time when (the US administration) is trying to bridge the divide... Israel is deliberately escalating tensions in Jerusalem," said Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Hamas leader to give unity reply
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Christian Fraser - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah, headed by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas have been bitterly divided since Hamas took control of Gaza in May 2007. So far there have seven rounds of dialogue, with no breakthrough. The Egyptians have twice postponed the scheduled date for a signature as the row between the factions has festered. But Khaled Mashaal's latest visit to Cairo is thought to be significant. The Syrian-based Hamas leader is coming to give his side's response to a written Egyptian proposal on how they might finally come to an agreement. Prisoner issue

Gaza peace protester is imprisoned in own home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Nine months after he helped to organise protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza, Samih Jabareen is a prisoner in his home in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, an electronic bracelet around his ankle to alert the police should he step outside his front door. The 40-year-old actor and theatre director is one of dozens of Arab political activists in Israel who have faced long-term detention during and since Israel’s winter assault on Gaza in what human rights groups are calling political intimidation and repression of free speech by the Israeli police and courts.

Netanyahu runs a victory lap – but what has he won?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) September 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Say this for Benjamin Netanyahu: he’s not short on chutzpah. He may be the leader of a country whose occupation of conquered territory has put it on the wrong side of UN resolutions for the past 42 years – and was accused of war crimes in a UN human rights report just this month – but that didn’t stop him from sticking a finger in the eye of a US president trying to broker an end to the Middle East’s most toxic conflict, or from rounding on members of the UN General Assembly who dared sit through a vicious speech by the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The drama and the farce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

No point denying it: In the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten. Obama had demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states — Israel and Palestine. In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The president of the United States has stumbled.

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