Middle East News: World Press Roundup

ATFP President Ziad Asali says Palestinians are developing a new diversified and peaceful strategy for liberation. Jackson Diehl says Palestinian-Israeli peace is not achievable under present conditions. Menachem Begin's grandson critiques national identities. Al Qaeda-style fanatics in Gaza claim 11,000 followers. DM Barak expresses concern about rift with the United States, says occupation must end. Israel seals the occupied West Bank for two days. Pres. Peres urges faith in peace. The PA denies Israel is to transfer more territory to its control. Pres. Abbas urges Palestinian prisoners to promote national unity. YNet says even PM Fayyad's harshest critics are giving him credit. Ari Shavit urges Netanyahu to act before it is too late. Akiva Eldar says Israel is turning its back on the Arab Peace Initiative. Shlomo Avineri asks what would happen if Palestinians declared statehood. Tariq Alhomayed says the onus for national reconciliation is on Hamas. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid says Netanyahu's policies are strengthening the Arab position. The Jordan Times says Israel is escalating tensions. IPS interviews Ziad Abuzayyad.

A peaceful strategy for Palestinian independence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians have recently been developing a peaceful multilevel strategy to achieve their national goals of a negotiated peace agreement with Israel, an end to the occupation, and the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

A Mideast opportunity Obama shouldn't ignore
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

"Timing is everything in life," George Mitchell said this year while discussing his daunting job as a Middle East envoy. It's a piece of wisdom that applies perfectly to the Obama administration's troubles in the region -- and one that, curiously enough, Mitchell and his boss have willfully ignored.

Scion of Israel political dynasty begs to differ
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - (Interview) April 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Avinadav Begin, 36, comes from one of Israel's most famous political families. His grandfather Menachem Begin, as prime minister, signed the historic peace treaty between Israel and Egypt; his father, Benny Begin, a minister without portfolio in the current government, opposes a Palestinian state.

New Gaza Salafist faction numbers 11,000
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Ibrahim Qannan - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

"We, the Salafists, count more than 11,000 members who carry with them jihadist teachings from both Ayman At-Thawahri and Osama Bin Laden," said Abu Al-Hareth, leader of the Jund Ansar Allah, during an interview in his poorly lit Gaza home. "Of this number, 70 percent are members of the Jaljalat, a group made up of former Al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas affiliates," he explained.

Israel's Barak concerned by rift with U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jeffrey Heller - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak voiced concern on Monday over a deep rift with the United States over settlement policy and said Israel should do more to try to achieve peace with the Palestinians. "The alienation that is developing with the United States is not good for Israel," said Barak, head of the centre-left Labour Party in right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition.

Israeli defense minister says occupation must end
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel must recognize that the world will not put up with decades more of Israeli rule over the Palestinian people, the country's defense minister said in unusually frank remarks Monday. Ehud Barak's comments came against the backdrop of severe friction between the U.S. and Israel's hawkish government over an impasse in peacemaking.

Israel seals West Bank as security precaution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
April 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has barred the entry of nearly all Palestinians from the West Bank as a security measure because of observances for Memorial Day and Independence Day. The closure is to be lifted at midnight Tuesday. Israel is always on a heightened state of precaution during national observances. Memorial Day begins on Sunday night and is followed by Independence Day, which begins Monday night and lasts through Tuesday.

Israeli president says not to lose faith in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel will not lose faith in peace, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Sunday night at a memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers in wars and terrorist attacks. "It is their (the fallen's) courage that give our people the strength to face the challenges ahead -- not to fear the enemy, not to cease building, not to lose faith in the peace to come. And it will come," Peres said at his speech in Jerusalem on the eve of the country's Memorial Day.

PNA denies report on possible control of East Jerusalem suburb
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday denied reports that Israel was going to hand areas in East Jerusalem to the PNA. "We don't have any information about these reports and there is nothing on the ground indicating that the PNA" was going to impose its control on Abu Dies town, said Saeb Erekat, the chief peace negotiator.

Abbas calls on prisoners to press for unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on prisoners on Sunday to press the factions to reconcile and achieve national unity. Once again, the prisoners should exert pressure on everybody to make national unity, Abbas said when receiving families of prisoners at his office in Ramallah, a day after Palestinians marked the Prisoners' Day. In 2006, the Palestinian prisoners drafted a plan supporting Saud Arabia's efforts in the formation of a unity government. However, the government collapsed in June 2007 after ruling for three months owing to Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza.

Fayyad sets out to fulfill vision
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

As Palestinian prime minister advances his plan for independent state next summer, even his greatest opponents find it difficult not to give him credit for recent calm and order in West Bank

An open letter to Netanyahu: Act before it's too late
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) April 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, It isn't every day a journalist writes an open letter to the prime minister. But today is no ordinary day. Nor is this an ordinary hour. This is the hour when the clock is about to strike midnight. A rare confluence of circumstances has created a situation in which on Israel's 62nd Independence Day, the state of the Jews is facing a challenge the likes of which it has not known since May 14, 1948. The year between this Independence Day and the next will be a crucial one.

This Independence Day, Israel still turning its back on the Arab peace plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

"If I am you and you are me, I am not me and you are not you" - The Kotzker Rebbe.

What would happen if Palestinians unilaterally declared statehood?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently announced that his government intends to declare an independent Palestinian state in the summer of 2011, even if no agreement is reached with Israel. This statement obviously generated unease in Israel, and not only among supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu's government - especially as it was accompanied by hints that European countries, and even the European Union itself, would recognize such a unilateral declaration of independence.

Hamas…and Sanitation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) April 18, 2010 - 12:00am

According to what was reported by Israeli Army Radio a few days ago, a delegation of experts and engineers affiliated to Hamas's so-called government in Gaza visited Israel in secret around two and a half months ago "with the goal of benefiting from Israel expertise in the field of wastewater treatment and turning this into potable drinking water." For its part, Hamas quickly denied this, which was expected and something that we have gotten used to from previous secret visits to Israel, particularly as there have been many such visits.

Thank You Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - April 18, 2010 - 12:00am

I do not know how Binyamin Netanyahu thinks as the Prime Minister of Israel, but from what he has done so far it seems to us that this man is either a secret agent for the Arabs or that he is a megalomaniac who believes that he can do whatever he wishes to do!

Obfuscating through violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

It seems that the era of relative peace between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel is over. Ever since Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, secured an amnesty for senior members of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh, on condition that they lay down their weapons and join the official security forces, calm has prevailed in the West Bank.

‘U.S. Can Stop Israeli Settlements’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Ziad Abu Zayyad, Jerrold Kessel, Pierre Klochendler - (Interview) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Ziad Abuzayyad was Palestinian cabinet minister responsible for Jerusalem affairs and a member of the Palestinian Legislature. During previous rounds of peace talks with Israel he was a leading member of the Palestinian negotiating team Currently, Abuzayyad is co-editor of the ‘Palestine-Israel Journal’ which seeks to create a platform for exploring tangible ways to advance a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

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