Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Special Envoy Mitchell says the US may set a deadline for negotiations. Hamas and Islamic Jihad will boycott upcoming municipal elections. Lebanese PM Hariri says Middle East peace is a global concern. The Christian Science Monitor looks at allegations that Israel discussed selling nuclear weapons to apartheid-era South Africa. Pres. Abbas defends the settlement goods boycott, as Israeli leaders threatened sanctions. Israeli police recommend indicting FM Lieberman. Hamas arrests extremists suspected of torching a UN summer camp, and confronts several dilemmas. UNSG Ban calls for Israeli restraint in Jerusalem. An Israeli court confirms orders to evacuate a Jerusalem settlement project. Yoel Marcus says it's not too late for Israel to make peace. Eldad Yaniv says Zionists are not racists or settlers. An Israeli border guard is indicted for killing an 11-year-old Palestinian child. A prominent Palestinian citizen of Israel may be indicted next week on charges of spying for Hezbollah. Gershon Baskin says international peacekeepers are needed between Israel and Palestinians. Neve Gordon profiles an Israeli protester against the occupation preparing to go to prison. Israel prepares to impose harsh new measures on Hamas prisoners.

U.S. to set deadline for Middle East peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Barbara Slavin - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

George Mitchell, the Obama administration's special envoy for Middle East peace, plans to set a deadline for an Israel-Palestinian agreement, applying lessons learned from his successful mediation in a previous conflict.

700 days of no, and one yes: George Mitchell on peacemaking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

With Israeli-Palestinian indirect proximity talks having finally gotten underway after more than a year of his shuttle diplomacy, Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell took to two stages Monday evening to talk about his peacemaking efforts in the Middle East and Northern Ireland in the role of diplomatic dean.

Babylon & Beyond
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Religion is the opiate of the masses, Karl Marx said. That might be true in some places, but in Israel, this drug induces dangerous hyperactivity. Always a scratch-of-the-surface away, religion is an emotional factor in conflict -- between Israel and the Palestinians, between Israelis and themselves. Recent days have provided one reminder after another.

Mideast peace is a global issue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Saad Hariri - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Previous reconciliation efforts fell on deaf ears, feeding the fanaticism that now plagues the world, says Saad Hariri. The time for arbitration may be at hand. In the fall of 1991, I was an undergraduate student at Georgetown University, following the coverage of the Madrid peace conference. In the Spanish capital, the United States had managed to gather Arabs and Israelis around a table with the aim of ending what was then half a century of war and desperation, whose first victims were the people of the region, including the people of my country, Lebanon.

Did Israel offer to sell South Africa nuclear weapons?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Christa Case Bryant - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

In an apparent blow to Israel’s policy of “nuclear ambiguity,” the Guardian newspaper in Britain today asserted that it had the first written proof of a robust Israeli nuclear weapons program that the country has never formally admitted to. Relying on South African documents released to American academic Sasha Polakow-Suransky, whose book "The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa" is coming out tomorrow, the Guardian said that Israel had offered nuclear weapons of three different sizes to apartheid South Africa in 1975.

PA, PLO slam Israeli stance on boycott
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas continued to insist on the necessity of boycotting Israeli settlement products, in the face of ballooning Israeli criticism, highlighting again on Monday the parameters of the movement. The statement followed the publication of accusations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alleging the boycott was one of several Palestinian "steps that in the end hurt themselves," and soil the atmosphere for "economic peace" with Israel.

Israeli police recommend indicting FM Lieberman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli police say the country's contentious foreign minister should be indicted on charges of trying to disrupt an investigation into his business dealings. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Monday that an investigation has shown Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman should be charged with breach of trust. This is the first in a long series of steps that could lead to an indictment. Lieberman, who is known for his blunt, hard-line pronouncements, has denied wrongdoing.

Suspects of torching UN summer camp detained: Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas authorities arrested a number of people suspected of torching a UN-run summer camp in Gaza City earlier this week, the interior ministry of deposed Hamas government announced Tuesday. The suspects are being interrogated, a statement sent to reporters by the ministry said. There has been no more information about the number of the detainees or the group they are affiliated to. Ihab Al-Ghussein, the ministry's spokesman, told Xinhua that he can't reveal more before the questioning is over.

Hamas faces dilemma on way to reconciliation, talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Fares Akram - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Unlike its Islamic rivals who control Gaza, the West Bank-based Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has settled on the U.S.-proposed indirect peace negotiations with Israel in parallel with adopting non-violent resistance against Jewish settlement activities. In Gaza, Hamas, which took over the coastal enclave by force in 2007, has been maintaining a ceasefire with Israel since the end of Gaza war last year; neither allowing other factions to fire rockets into Israel nor encouraging peaceful demonstrations against Israel's attempts to enforce a buffer zone along its borders with Gaza.

UN chief urges Israel to restrain in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Israel here on Tuesday to exercise particular restraint in East Jerusalem and halt demolishment and settlement expansion. The UN chief made the appeal in his message at the opening session of the United Nations International Meeting in Support for the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process. The secretary-general said in his message: "The parties must avoid provocations or breaches of the Roadmap or international law, which will only create new crisis of confidence."

Court rejects settlers appeal to stay in East Jerusalem building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal to overturn an order to seal off a building in the heart of East Jerusalem in which a handful of Jewish families have settled. The Jerusalem municipality ordered the contentious Beit Yehonatan building, named for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, to be sealed off and evacuated as it was constructed without a legal permit.

It's not too late for Israel to make peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Maybe it's a coincidence, but the day on which the massive Home Front drill began marked the 10th anniversary of Israel's hasty retreat from Lebanon, after 1,216 fatalities and a bitter taste of failure. That wretched war had many names, but most of all it was called "the war of deceit," because the cabinet was led astray. Those who led us to war promised a 48-hour operation but ended up going all the way to Beirut. The war, in its different phases, lasted 18 years.

Zionists are not settlers. Zionists are not racists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Eldad Yaniv - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel Harel unsheathed the doomsday weapon that the right wing reserves for use when it feels threatened, in his article "Zionists are not tattletales" on this page on May 20. When Israeli patriots stand up and seek to end the occupation, with or without an agreement, and to establish an exemplary society here, that is when the right attacks.

Officer accused of killing Naalin boy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eli Senyor - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The Ramla Magistrates' Court was handed an indictment against a former Border Guard officer Tuesday, accusing him of causing death of an 11-year old boy during an anti-fence protest in Naalin in 2008. The indictment charges the officer, Omri Abu, with causing death by negligence. It says he shot live fire in the direction of the boy, Ahmed Moussa, and a group of protestors without justification and in total violation of IDF guidelines.

Minister Shalom: Gov't may sanction PA over boycott
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Vice Prime Minister and Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee Silvan Shalom threatened Tuesday to impose sanctions on the Palestinian Authority for its organized boycott of Israeli products, which consists of a ban on all products made in settlements and a prohibition against working in Israeli factories in the West Bank.

Makhoul to be indicted this week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Lappin - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Amir Makhoul and Omar Said, who are suspected of spying for Hizbullah and conspiring with enemy agents, will be indicted this week, Army Radio reported Tuesday. Makhoul's brother, former MK Issam Makhoul requested the gag order on the case be lifted, as he believes the investigation itself to be illegal. Makhoul's remand has been extended until Friday. Amir Makhoul was arrested on May 6 and Omar Said was taken into custody on April 24, security services said.

Bring in the third parties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have finally been renewed. Even though the current round of talks is not direct, the parties are dealing with the core issues with the goal of reaching a permanent status agreement at some point. According to news reports, the first topics on the agenda are borders and security arrangements, both of which will rapidly lead to negotiations on Jerusalem and refugees.

Even picnics in Israel are political
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Neve Gordon - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Picnics, like almost everything else in Israel, are often political. Oz Shelach underscores this point in his collection of short stories, Picnic Grounds, where he describes how a history professor takes his family on a picnic in the pine forest near Givat Shaul, a Jerusalem neighbourhood. The professor teaches his son some of the camping skills he learned while serving in the Israeli military, using old stones to block the wind and to protect the newly lit fire. The stones, we are told, are the remains of a village known as Deir Yassin.

Harsh jail rules for Hamas prisoners threaten riots, Israel warned
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas officials yesterday warned that new legislation before the Israeli parliament that seeks to worsen conditions for Hamas prisoners detained in Israeli jails could spark prison riots that might spill over into the streets. Human rights organisations also condemned the legislation, which cleared a major hurdle on Sunday when it passed a ministerial committee and received the support of the Israeli government.

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