Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A UN official condemns the Gaza blockade. PM Netanyahu prevails on Israel's Jerusalem mayor to postpone plans that involve the demolition of Palestinian homes, US praises the move. PA ministries will be linked through electronic networking. A Palestinian accuses Israel of planning 30,000 new settlement units. Pres. Abbas urges Arab states to help protect Jerusalem and the PA denies any strained ties. Israeli forces kill an Islamic Jihad militant in the West Bank. PM Netanyahu says Israel will keep control of the Jordan Valley. Salman Masalha and Jesse Rosenfeld say Israel practices apartheid through both the occupation and within its own borders. Two Israeli commentaries speculate about a new intifada while another accuses PM Fayyad of incitement. Arab states support proximity talks. Israel upgrades the West Bank separation barrier. The Israeli government defends a law prohibiting Palestinians spouses of Israelis from entering Israel. VP Biden meets with Jewish-American leaders.

U.N. Official Condemns Gaza Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

The senior United Nations official for humanitarian relief took a tour of Gaza on Tuesday, a year after Israel’s war here, and declared keen concern for what he called the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians due to the blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt.

Jerusalem Mayor Delays Demolition Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - March 2, 2010 - 1:00am

The mayor of Jerusalem agreed Tuesday to delay a plan to demolish some Palestinian homes to build a complex that would provide new apartments for the residents. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked the mayor, Nir Barkat, to allow more time to reach an understanding with the residents of the neighborhood, in East Jerusalem just outside the Old City walls. Mr. Barkat has been negotiating with the Palestinians there, who are living in housing that is illegal under Israeli law. The residents have rejected the plan, fearing that once homes are destroyed, Jewish settlers will be moved in.

PA goes live with electronic networking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority ministries and government institutions will soon be connected via electronic networking, according to a draft agreement signed on Tuesday. The agreement, ratified by the PA Ministries of Telecommunication and Finance, will be implemented in several phases, initially by connecting all major institutions via an Ethernet network, followed by government institutions and their branches in all the districts.

Nazzal: Israel to approve 30,000 housing units on occupied land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli authorities aim to approve the construction of a 30,000 housing unit for religious Israelis in the industrial area of Atarot and Qalandiya, after excavating the site, the follow-up director of the popular committee against the wall and settlements said Tuesday. Mohammad Nazzal said the plan was uncovered by an Israeli journalist, who detailed his findings on Israeli TV. The decision, Nazzal said, was reached between the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, and members of Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

Abbas urges Arabs to protect Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged delegates to the Arab summit scheduled later this month to challenge Israel's designation of West Bank landmarks as "Israeli heritage sites." Following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, the president said "Arabs and Muslims must protect Jerusalem's holy places, and its residents, because they too are evicted from their homes and stripped of their identities."

Israeli forces kill Islamic Jihad militant in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

slamic Jihad's military wing chief was killed early Wednesday during an Israeli army raid in Jenin city in northern West Bank, a source said. The source of Islamic Jihad who declined to give his name said the Israeli forces rolled into several neighborhoods in the town and conducted a house-to-house search that included a home where two Islamic Jihad militants had taken refuge.

PNA denies tensed ties with Arab countries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

A senior Palestinian National Authority (PNA) official denied on Tuesday reports that the ties between the PNA and Tunisia have been tensed due to political differences. "The ties between the two sides are strong and continuous and there is full ongoing diplomatic coordination," said Nemer Hammad, an aid to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Arab media reports said on Monday that there is tension in he diplomatic ties between the PNA on one hand, Tunisia, Libya and Syria on the other, adding that the three countries refused to receive Abbas this week.

Israeli PM vows not to cede Jordan River Valley
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that his country would never cede the control of Jordan River Valley under any possible peace deal with the Palestinians, reported local daily Ha'aretz.

How will the next Palestinian uprising look?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Analysis) March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Judging from articles written by both Israelis and Palestinians, the next intifada is already in the air. They are predicting it is on the way and the most punctilious know it will be "popular." Bil'in and Na'alin are perceived as its models.

Netanyahu: Conditions ripening for renewal of Mideast peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday welcomed the Arab League decision to support U.S.-brokered indirect peace talks with the Palestinians. "It seems that the conditions are ripening for the renewal of negotiations between us and the Palestinians," he told the Knesset, during a special session Wednesday. "In the Middle East you need two to tango, but it could be that we need three to tango and we might need to leapfrog at first but the obstacle isn't and never was Israel." Advertisement

US praises PM's intervention in Silwan dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

The US State Department on Tuesday praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intervention in the Silwan dispute after he asked Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to postpone the implementation of the mayor's plan. According to the plan, some buildings constructed without a permit in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem will be demolished, and in their place an archeological park will be established.

On brink of next intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shaul Mishal - (Opinion) March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

There are fears that Jerusalem will be turning into the focal point of an outburst that would prompt the next intifada. It will be a civilian rather than armed intifada, although it may certainly escalate into a bloody uprising. This intifada may spread like wildfire across the rest of the West Bank and its main centers of activity will be protests around the settlements and mostly near the security fence. Bilin will turn into a focal point that will spread along the fence area.

DF unveils upgrades to Gaza fence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel has augmented its defenses along the Gaza border with new surveillance and radar systems capable of better detecting infiltrating Palestinian terrorists. On Tuesday, the Ground Forces Command unveiled its newly-upgraded Combat Collection Corps, headed by Brig.-Gen. Eli Polak, which is responsible for providing field intelligence and surveillance along Israel’s borders as well as accompanying ground forces as they pursue moving targets.

'Fayyad is inciting violence'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz, Tovah Lazaroff - March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority officials headed by Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, are inciting anti-Israel violence in the West Bank, defense officials charged on Sunday as violent demonstrations spread from Hebron to Jerusalem’s Old City. Four policemen and a number of protesters were hurt in clashes around the Temple Mount on Sunday and seven Arabs were arrested.

'We need citizenship law because of Palestinian terror'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Dan Izenberg - March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian terrorist organizations have not let up on their intentions to perpetrate mass attacks in Israel and therefore the temporary legislation forbidding Palestinian men under 35 and women under 25 from living here should not be rejected by the High Court of Justice, the state argued Tuesday.

Newly unveiled East Jerusalem plan put on hold
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

The mayor of Jerusalem has announced a plan to demolish an area of Arab East Jerusalem to make way for an upmarket district of hotels and gardens. But hours before Mayor Nir Barkat was due to announce his scheme - called the King's Garden - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said work should be delayed.

Squabbles dogging U.S. ‘big picture’ in Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas, Marcy Oster - March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Vice President Joe Biden, President Obama's big picture guy, is set to draw it for the Israelis next week in a major address: Confront Iran internationally, talk peace regionally. Bold strokes, but already Biden's initiative is being dogged by scribbly little details -- timing on Iran, building in Jerusalem, restoration in the West Bank, and just how far apart will Israelis and the Palestinians sit.

From South Africa to Israel: personal stories of apartheid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jesse Rosenfeld - (Opinion) March 2, 2010 - 1:00am

I grew up in an anti-apartheid household in Toronto. My parents met while my father was touring southern Africa as part of a Canadian anti-apartheid organisation, building links with postcolonial African socialist states and the South African liberation movement. On long car journeys, our family would mix Nelson Mandela’s autobiography with Just William children’s story tapes, and my parents would occasionally hire a babysitter so they could attend organising meetings for the international boycott campaign against South Africa.

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