Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Dallas Morning News says Israel's behavior is unworthy of a US friend. Israel launches air strikes on Gaza. Fatah officials call for more nonviolent protests against the occupation. Israelis consider another major offensive in Gaza. Christians converge on Jerusalem for Good Friday. Israel unveils a new tank defense system. A senior Fatah official is released on bail. A new survey suggests Jewish settlers are becoming more extreme. PM Fayyad predicts Palestinians will establish their state in 2011. A Likud MK says "Hussein Obama will not evict us from Hebron." Ari Shavit says Netanyahu the politician shames Netanyahu the statesman. Former US diplomats meet with Hamas. PA security forces conduct drill in Jenin. Israel says it is planning new gestures towards the Palestinians in response to US demands. Another Israeli journalist faces charges over reporting on Israeli assassinations. Hussein Ibish says a Jewish Israel requires Arab Palestine.

Israeli behavior unworthy of U.S. friend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dallas News
(Editorial) April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Tensions have eased since the recent clash between the Obama administration and Israel over new expansion plans in East Jerusalem, but the controversy is far from resolved. Unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finds a better way to tamp down the expansionist tendencies of his coalition members, a rocky future awaits U.S.-Israeli relations. Final status issues

Israel Mounts Air Attacks in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli warplanes struck at least four times across Gaza on Friday, damaging a number of structures that the Israeli military said were sites for weapons manufacturing or storage. A workshop destroyed early Friday morning in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. A military spokesman said the strikes were in response to a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza on Thursday that hit the Ashkelon area on Israel’s central coast. The spokesman added that nearly 20 rockets or mortars had come from Gaza during March, and more than 40 since the beginning of the year.

Changing course, Fatah officials call for Palestinian protests against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Senior officials in Fatah, the mainstream faction of the PLO, have for several years taken a backseat approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- leaving negotiations to a few leaders at the top and demonstrations to the grass-roots activists on the street.

Israel warns of new Gaza assault after air strikes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Gavin Rabinowitz - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel on Friday threatened a widescale military operation against the Gaza Strip after a string of air strikes which injured three Palestinian children following rocket attacks from the enclave. Israel's deputy prime minister, Silvan Shalom, warned that the military would soon launch a new offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip unless the rocket fire was halted. "If this rocket fire against Israel does not stop, it seems we will have to raise the level of our activity and step up our actions against Hamas," Shalom told public radio.

Israeli planes and helicopters mount Gaza attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli planes and helicopters mounted at least seven missile attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Friday, destroying what a military spokesman described as Palestinian munitions sites. Four air strikes blew up two caravans near the town of Khan Younis, witnesses and Hamas officials said. There were no casualties in this attack. A fifth missile hit a cheese factory in Gaza City, setting it on fire, the witnesses and Hamas officials said. Hospital officials said two children were slightly wounded by flying debris.

Christians converge on Jerusalem for Good Friday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The cobblestone alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City became moving forests of wooden crosses as Christian pilgrims and clergymen commemorated the day of Jesus' crucifixion, Good Friday. Black-robed nuns filed past metal barriers erected by police as dozens of tourists in matching red baseball hats held up digital cameras. Some pilgrims carried elaborately carved crucifixes, while others had crude crosses made of two planks held together with tape.

Israeli unveils tank-defense system of the future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josef Federman - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

On a dusty, wind-swept field overlooking the Mediterranean, a small team of researchers is putting the final touches on what Israel says is a major game changer in tank defense: a miniature anti-missile system that detects incoming projectiles and shoots them down before they reach the armored vehicles.

Israeli court frees senior Fatah official on bail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel on Thursday released a senior Fatah official and 11 more Palestinians on bail five days after arresting them for participating in a demonstration in the West Bank, a lawyer said. Tens of officials from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' s party and supporters waited Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah central committee, after he arrived in the city of Ramallah and chanted slogans supporting the popular struggle against the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a Xinhua photographer said.

Poll suggests West Bank Jewish settlers more hawkish
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

The mood of Jewish settlers in the West Bank is becoming increasingly uncompromising, according to a new poll published by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The survey looked at the views of Israelis as the Americans try to reboot the peace process with the Palestinians. It compared opinions today with those of Israelis some five years ago immediately prior to the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian PM to Haaretz: We will have a state next year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH - Next year, "the birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a day of joy by the entire community of nations," says Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an exclusive interview to Haaretz. Relaying Passover greetings to the Jewish community, Fayyad hopes Israelis will also participate in the celebrations for the birth of a new state.

Likud MK: Not even 'Hussein Obama' will remove us from Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Charles Levinson, Natasha Mozgovaya - April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Thousands of Israelis gathered Thursday at the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron to celebrate the addition of the location to Israel's list of national heritage sites, a move initiated by the Land of Israel caucus in the Knesset. "The masses that have come here, including the 40 members of the Land of Israel caucus, are a guarantee and proof that no one will move us from the Cave of the Patriarchs, not even Hussein Obama," MK Ayoob Kara (Likud) told the crowd.

Netanyahu the politician shames Netanyahu the statesman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

For the past 20 years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been a victim of injustice. When he returned from the United States at the end of the 1980s, the leftist elite treated him with boundless hostility. When he headed the opposition during the Oslo years, he was perceived as an agitator and an instigator.

Ex-US diplomats meet with Hamas officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Former US government officials, some of whom are in contact with the current administration, have met in the past months with Hamas leaders, one of the officials who participated in the talks confirmed in a conversation with Ynet on Friday.

PA security forces conduct drill in Jenin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian security forces on Thursday conducted a series of drills in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, including a special display for school children. The exercises were meant to boost the security forces' image in the eyes of the West Bank's younger population. Additional drills were held in other parts of the West Bank. In Bethlehem, Italian experts supervised over an exercise that simulated the rescuing of people injured in a car accident.

Fatah: We want a peaceful intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The new “popular intifada” that Fatah is planning in the West Bank won’t be an armed one, Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah official, said on Thursday. Shaath’s clarification came a day after he and some of his colleagues in Fatah called on Palestinians to escalate the “popular resistance” in protest against the settlements, the West Bank security barrier and the decision to build new homes in east Jerusalem.

Israel says it’s planning new gestures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz, Hilary Leila Krieger - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has formulated a new list of potential gestures towards the Palestinians, Defense Ministry sources said Thursday, as a top Palestinian Authority minister visited Washington for talks with Obama administration officials. The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Defense Ministry recently compiled new proposals for easing restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank, according to Defense officials.

Journalist on the run from Israel is hiding in Britain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Kim Sengupta - April 2, 2010 - 12:00am

An Israeli journalist is in hiding in Britain, The Independent can reveal, over fears that he may face charges in the Jewish state in connection with his investigation into the killing of a Palestinian in the West Bank. Uri Blau, a reporter at Israel's liberal newspaper, Haaretz, left town three months ago for Asia and is now in London. Haaretz is understood to be negotiating the terms of his return to Israel with prosecutors, according to an Israeli source, who declined to be identified, because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Only an Arab Palestine makes a 'Jewish' Israel meaningful
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is insisting the Palestinians recognize Israel as, in his words, “the nation-state of the Jewish people,” a new and problematic demand that raises serious questions about Israel’s “Jewish character.” The Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, began with the phrase: “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people …” This declaration introduces the concept of a Jewish national home into international relations in a most decisive manner.

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