Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Tensions again mount in occupied East Jerusalem as Israeli police clash with Palestinian demonstrators, and Jewish extremists call for building a "Third Temple." Lally Weymouth of the Washington Post separately interviews Prime Ministers Fayyad and Netanyahu, as well as President Peres. President Abbas says his decision to schedule Palestinian elections for January is "irrevocable," leading to considerable speculation in the Arab press about the consequences. J Street's first annual conference opens amid controversy. The Israeli cabinet sets up a team to consider responses to the Goldstone report. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan claims that Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman "threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza." Jordan and Israel mark 15 years of cold but stable peace.

Israeli Police Clash With Palestinians at Sacred Compound in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Israeli police officers clashed Sunday with stone-throwing Palestinians at a site sacred to Muslims and Jews, in the latest sign of tension in this volatile city. The police said that their forces had entered the Temple Mount compound twice after Palestinians hurled rocks at officers patrolling there, and that they dispersed rioters with stun grenades. Palestinian medics at the scene said at least 17 Muslims were wounded. Nine police officers were slightly hurt by rocks, a police spokesman said.

'Institution building' in Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Lally Weymouth - (Interview) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Lally Weymouth of The Post and Newsweek interviewed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad this week in Ramallah. Excerpts: Q: So you have a plan to create institutions and a state within two years? We've committed ourselves to a path of completing the task of institution building. [This means] the capacity to govern ourselves effectively in all spheres of government within two years. So does that mean a central bank, roads?

'Just means against an unjust attack'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Lally Weymouth - (Interview) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Lally Weymouth of Newsweek and The Post interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Q: What did you think of the Goldstone report?

'In spite of everything, there will be peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Lally Weymouth - (Interview) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

In Israel, the office of the president is meant to be ceremonial. But at 86, President Shimon Peres, the last founder of the Jewish state to remain active in Israeli politics and a frequent counselor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, hardly stays on the sidelines. Although Israelis are feeling pressured by a recent U.N.

Israel conference to open amid controversy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Dan Eggen - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

A Washington conference hosted this week by a new liberal Jewish advocacy group has sparked a diplomatic row and proxy battle over the Obama administration's stance on Israel at a time of simmering tensions between Washington and Israel's right-leaning government. J Street, an advocacy and lobbying firm created 18 months ago, is holding its first annual conference beginning Sunday, with participation from about 150 Democratic members of Congress, many current and former Israeli politicians and U.S. national security adviser James L. Jones, who will be giving a keynote speech Tuesday.

No fix soon on Palestinian question
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Arnaud De Borchgrave - (Opinion) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Unless former Sen. George J. Mitchell, President Obama's special Middle Eastern envoy, is prepared to commute by government executive jet for the next five to 10 years, this isn't a bad time to turn in his badge.

Unrest after Israeli raid on Al-Aqsa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

At least 30 Palestinians were injured and 20 arrested when clashes between Israeli forces and youth erupted anew in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, Palestinian and Israeli officials said. In violence that followed a reported police raid on the sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Israeli forces fired stun grenades, tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at protesters. Palestinian youth hurled stones and set tires and piles of trash ablaze, according to Ma'an's correspondent, who was reporting from the scene.

Abbas says elections decree irrevocable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Facing criticism from the Hamas movement and others, President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Saturday that elections would be held as scheduled. "The decision is irrevocable," he said, speaking in Ramallah at the opening session of the PLO's central committee. Abbas issued a presidential decree late Thursday night, setting the date for the next round of Palestinian legislative and presidential elections for 24 January 2010. Hamas wants the date moved back six months.

Israel to set up team to review Gaza war probe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Following much deliberation and evasion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have devised a plan to resolve pressure on Israel to independently investigate the war crimes allegations made by the Goldstone commission. The commission, headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, investigated the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces during their winter offensive in Gaza. In their report, the commission accused both Israel and Hamas, the Gaza rulers, of committing war crimes.

As occupier, Israel must face up to Goldstone report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Goldstone was born in June 1967. I am not referring to the judge from South Africa, but to his report, or more precisely, the notion that Israel needs a synonym for the soul-searching it must carry out after 42 years of occupation. In the 575 pages of the report that is loaded with details, names, numbers, a list of weapons, interrogation methods and articles of international law, three paragraphs hide among the conclusions on pages 521 and 522, numbered 1674 to 1676. Here lies the explanation for the tragic results of Operation Cast Lead.

Prof. Weiss at rightist event: Build third temple immediately
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Efrat Weiss - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

In a move that may heighten tensions in the capital, the Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount (OHRTM) called for Jews to visit the east Jerusalem compound, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque. During a rightist event held in Jerusalem Sunday evening, just hours after Muslims rioted in and around the Temple Mount amid reports that Jewish extremists were planning to visit the site, Professor Hillel Weiss said, "The (third) temple must be built now. The mosques do not have to be destroyed in order for us to do this."

'Iran is our friend,' says Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Robert Tait - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

With its stunning vistas and former Ottoman palaces, the banks of the Bosphorus – the strategic waterway that cuts Istanbul in half and divides Europe from Asia – may be the perfect place to distinguish friend from foe and establish where your country's interests lie. And sitting in his grandiose headquarters beside the strait, long the symbol of Turkey's supposed role as bridge between east and west, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had little doubt about who was a friend and who wasn't.

Jordan’s ties with Israel turn cold
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Suha Philip Ma’ayeh - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

Jordan and Israel mark 15 years of peace today, but ties between both countries are cooler than ever. Since the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netenyahu took office in May, Jordan has been left further disappointed with its neighbour.

Palestinian elections may pose risk to unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

It was widely expected, but the presidential decree issued on Friday calling for presidential and parliamentary elections will nevertheless put into sharp focus Palestinian divisions and represents something of a gamble. Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, president of the Palestinian Authority and leader of Fatah, probably did not have much of a choice. Unity negotiations with Hamas are long-stalled and Egyptian efforts to reconcile Hamas and Fatah with a compromise agreement also seem to have failed.

Biting Fingers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

It is as if President Mahmoud Abbas was telling the Hamas movement: “Alright, you took over the Gaza Strip by force of arms and ruled it. You expelled the Fatah movement and all the figures of the Palestinian Authority from it by force of arms. You never committed to any of the previous agreements of appeasement. You declare your fierce opposition to the Oslo Accords and what they have resulted in. Yet you hold truces with Israel when it wages military operations against Gaza. You hold against the PA its relations with the United States.

Israel Ever-Present at US-Iranian Negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

The strategy of the two parallel tracks, based on incentives and threats, which has been adopted by the Barack Obama Administration is raising debate and discussion, as well as finding those who would challenge it, those who believe in its roots, those who fear for it and those who are wary of it falling like a gift onto the lap of the seasoned experts of procrastination, obstruction and maneuvers.

Editorial: Palestinian feud
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) October 25, 2009 - 11:00pm

The announcement by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas to hold elections on Jan. 24 could make Hamas sign a deal with Fatah for Palestinian unity, although Hamas describes this as pressure. It could widen the factional divide further. Seeing he has no real opposition rival, it could give Abbas more years in power. And it might lead Hamas to hold its own ballot in the Gaza Strip, a move that could create two rival presidents, two parliaments and two prime ministers in two separate Palestinian territories.

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