Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An ATFP original translation by Hamadeh Faraneh looks at Israeli reactions to PM Fayyad. Palestinian factions conclude their meeting in Gaza. The power plant in Gaza may shut down. The Dubai police say they may pursue Israeli officials over a recent assassination. The UN casts doubt over recent Gaza war probes. Israelis and Palestinians plan for a mixed neighborhood in Jerusalem. An Israeli police officer may be charged in the death of a Palestinian boy. Israeli politicians seek to investigate human rights organizations. A Red Cross convoy is attacked in Gaza. The Gaza blockade hinders Palestinian medicine. Various Arab commentaries critique Israeli policy. The Goldstone report has created a rift in Israeli civil society.

Doesn’t Salam Fayyad deserve more national protection?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Hamada Faraneh - (Opinion) February 3, 2010 - 1:00am

ATFP original translation In the 2/1/2010 issue of Yediot Ahronot, Alex Fishman, known for his close ties to the Israel national security apparatus and often represents their point of view, articulated an emerging Israeli opinion. In an article entitled “Salam Fayyad: The quince turns into a bitter lemon,” Fishman writes:

Al-Haya: Changes in coming days toward achieving conciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

"There will be changes within the coming days toward achieving conciliation," said senior Hamas leader Khalil Al-Haya following a meeting with Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath and de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday. At Haniyeh's home in the Ash-Shati Refugee Camp, Al-Haya revealed that Sha'ath and the de facto prime minister exchanged documents for review, detailing the means of overcoming recent impasses reached in the ratification of the Egyptian document, tipped to end Fatah-Hamas rivalry and restore national unity.

Gaza power plant to cease operations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

The Gaza Strip's sole power plant will cease all operations late Friday night due to a lack of fuel, officials warned. The plant had already shut down services to all but 30-40 percent of the coastal strip by nightfall on Thursday, the Gaza Energy Authority said, noting that the sudden cold front in the region spent the remaining fuel faster than expected. The Energy Authority has notified mayors and municipalities across Gaza, and was informing the Health Ministry and major telecommunications companies PalTel and Jawwal to prepare for the worst.

Dubai police may pursue Israel PM for Hamas killing -report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

Dubai would seek the arrest of Israel's prime minister if it found evidence intelligence service Mossad was behind the killing of a senior Hamas official, its police chief said in a newspaper on Friday. Hamas has blamed Israel for killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of its top military commanders, in a Dubai hotel last month. [ID:nLDE60S075] Israel has declined to comment. Police in the United Arab Emirates have said they suspect a foreign "criminal gang" of killing Mabhouh in his hotel room, and are looking into the possible involvement of Israel's spy agency.

Not clear if Gaza war probes are credible-UN's Ban
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Louis Charbonneau - February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cast doubt on Thursday on the credibility of Israeli and Palestinian investigations into U.N. allegations of war crimes during the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip. In a cautiously worded message to the U.N. General Assembly, Ban acknowledged Israel and the Palestinian Authority were looking into the behavior of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants as demanded by a resolution the 192-nation assembly approved in November. But Ban withheld judgment on whether the probes were "independent, credible and in conformity with international standards."

Palestinians, Israelis propose plan for mixed Jerusalem neighborhood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

For the first time since Jerusalem's unification after the Six-Day War, a plan has been proposed to create a fully integrated Jewish-Arab neighborhood in the city. The residential area is planned at Tantur, between Bethlehem and the south Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. It would feature 800 housing units and a hotel district. The project is being promoted by a group of Palestinian and Israeli public figures who hired architect Eli Reches to plan the neighborhood. The plans have been presented to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Israel may charge cop over death of Palestinian boy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

The central district attorney is set to serve an indictment, pending a hearing, against Omri Abo, who was then in the Border Police, on charges of negligent manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 10-year-old Ahmad Musa in the village of Naalin 18 months ago. The incident took place on Tuesday, July 29, 2008, around 6 P.M. during a demonstration against the construction of the separation fence. Some 100 people, half of them children and teenagers under 19, marched toward the building site. The working day had ended by that time, and there were no workers or security forces at the site.

Oron: We'll probe right-wing funding
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

The controversy surrounding a report released this week by the Zionist student group Im Tirtzu, which blames the New Israel Fund for much of the Goldstone Report on last winter’s Operation Cast Lead, continued to build on Thursday, as additional Knesset members weighed in on the now-embattled NGO.

Red Cross convoy attacked in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

A roadside explosion hit a Red Cross convoy near the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing in northern Gaza on Thursday. The device blew out the windows of one vehicle, but no-one was injured, a spokesman for the Red Cross said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and it is still unclear whether the Red Cross vehicle was the target of the attack. Red Cross convoys regularly leave and enter the Gaza Strip via the Erez route to deliver humanitarian aid. Witnesses near the scene said they believed the explosion was a roadside bomb.

Blockade forces Gaza to turn from modern medicine to bee stings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - February 4, 2010 - 1:00am

When the first case of swine flu hit the Gaza Strip in December, residents in this tiny, impoverished enclave flocked to local spice traders and drained merchants’ shelves of the popular medicinal herb anise. Gazans sought out the Chinese-grown plant to mix in an age-old, tea-based concoction called yansoon, which doctors here said would help prevent further outbreaks amid rumours the territory faced a shortage of the deadly flu’s traditional vaccine. Anise is a central component of the swine flu vaccine manufactured globally under the brand name Tamiflu.

A Fresh Attempt at Negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - (Opinion) February 4, 2010 - 1:00am

It was not accidental that US President Barack Obama ignored the Middle East issue in his annual speech known as the State of the Union address. He did not refer to the issue at all as part of his administration’s activities, which is worrying, as last year following his presidential victory, he began his speeches by speaking optimistically about the peace process.

Silver lining?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak seems to have suddenly had the revelation that unless there is peace with Syria, war with it could easily happen, with the potential of escalating into a wider armed conflict. What Barak has just come to realise has been common knowledge in the region for the past four or five decades, including the time when he was prime minister of his country. Maybe he can also remember that it was he who scuppered the peace accord with Syria during the term in office of US president Bill Clinton.

Israel’s hypocrisy in Haiti
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Aijaz Zaka Syed - (Opinion) February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli hypocrisy would be comical, if its consequences weren’t so tragic. These days, Israeli media and Israel’s powerful friends in the US media have been tomtomming about the noble help and rescue mission Israelis have undertaken in the remote, quake-hit island of Haiti.

Gazans Denied Justice as Rights Take a Beating
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykberg - February 5, 2010 - 1:00am

Gazans hoping for a modicum of justice following Israel’s indiscriminate military assault on the coastal territory during December 2008 and January 2009 - which left 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead - could be waiting in vain. The Israeli government has taken the offensive in the propaganda battle and attacked United Nations-appointed Justice Richard Goldstone’s report into war crimes committed during the war. The report alleges that Israel was responsible for the lion’s share of human rights abuses.

Israel's Uncivil War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - (Analysis) February 3, 2010 - 1:00am

It all began with enough reports to fill the average Ph.D. candidate's reading list for weeks. In the months following the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas, governments, civil society groups and human rights organizations issued dozens of reports, some of them well over 100 pages long, on the legality, operation and effects of the war.

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