Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Yariv Oppenheimer says Palestinians are right not to continue to subsidize settlements. 15 Palestinians are injured in Israeli air raids on Gaza. A UN official says a two state solution is urgently required. Israel will allow hundreds of Arab businesspersons to attend the second investment conference in Bethlehem. Israel continues to impede Palestinian access to Highway 443. Aid agencies urge Israel to ease restrictions on Gaza. PM Netanyahu will visit the White House next week. Lt. Gen. Dayton is stepping down as special security coordinator in the fall. An Israeli extremist is banned from certain parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank. Pres. Abbas says Iran has hijacked the Palestinian cause, calls the second intifada a big mistake and says peace could be achieved in a week. Palestinian officials dismiss Israeli threats of retaliation for the boycott. Ira Lee explains why he's joining the Gaza flotilla. Ghassan Khatib says the purpose of the settlement goods boycott is to draw the distinction between Israel and the occupation. Yossi Alpher says it is an understandable but ill-timed measure.

What Do They Want from the Palestinians?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Yariv Oppenheimer - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Those Palestinians, what ingrates. Instead of being happy that the Israeli economy has learned to exploit the lands of Judea and Samaria and to invest inordinate sums of money to build factories and industrial zones in the territories, the Palestinian Authority announces a boycott and a ban on purchasing Israeli goods that are manufactured in the settlements. We could have expected better from the Palestinians.

Gaza: 15 injured in Israeli airstrikes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Fifteen Palestinians were injured on Wednesday morning as Israeli F16 warplanes bombarded a training base belonging to Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources confirmed that some of the victims sustained critical wounds, with media coordinator for Gaza medical services Adham Abu Selmiyya saying injured were evacuated to hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip. He explained that several houses close to the training base sustained material damage.

UN peace envoy: 2-state solution urgent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry spoke Tuesday of the urgency of achieving the two state solution at a UN International Meeting in Turkey.

Israel to permit entry to Arab investors for PIC
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel will permit an exceptional 815 Middle East businessmen and women to enter the West Bank for Bethlehem's second Palestine Investment Conference (PIC) in June, officials announced on Tuesday. Executive director of PIC Ja’far Hdeib called news of the permits, communicated by Israel's Civil Administration late Monday night, the first signs of success for the conference, titled Investing in Palestine: Empowering Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

Israel ends highway segregation, pleasing no-one
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Starting Friday, Israeli troops will guard new checkpoints in the West Bank that nullify the impact of an Israeli court order allowing Palestinian drivers to use route 443. What was hailed as a victory for justice six months ago, when a 2002 ban on Palestinian traffic was ruled illegal, now looks like sleight of hand presaging a "human rights travesty", says the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

Gaza aid agencies urge Israel to ease Gaza access restriction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Humanitarian aid agencies urged on Monday the Israeli government to ensure full and unfettered access into and out of the Gaza Strip for materials and exports necessary for the revival of the agriculture and fishing sectors in Gaza. "Maintaining agricultural livelihood and local food production in Gaza depend on the opening of border crossings," Philippe Lazzarini, UN acting humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, told a news conference in Gaza on behalf of several humanitarian aid agencies.

Rahm Emanuel invites Netanyahu to discuss 'shared security interests' with Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington for talks with the U.S. President Obama on regional peace and security. "On behalf of the President I am happy to extend an invitation to visit President Obama in the White House for a working meeting to discuss our shared security interests, as well as our close co-operation in achieving peace between Israel and its neighbors," Emanuel told Netanyahu at the prime minister's Jerusalem office.

MESS Report / Key U.S. figure in Israel-PA talks, Lt. General Dayton, steps down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The United States government's special security coordinator in the Middle East, Lt. General Keith Dayton, who has played a key role in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, will step down from the post in the fall, Haaretz has learned. Though initially scheduled to serve in his capacity for one year, Dayton has remained in the region for five years, at the behest of the U.S. government.

Rightist banned from J'lem neighborhoods
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shmulik Grossman - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

In an unprecedented move, the administrative order against settler Neriah Ofen, keeping him away from the West Bank, was extended to also include the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov. The order was signed by GOC Home Front Command Major General Yair Golan. Ofen, a right-wing activist, is well known to the security services from the days of the Gaza disengagement, when he was suspected of planning attacks against Arabs. He was also under administrative detention.

PA's Abbas slams Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas harshly slammed the Iranian regime Tuesday for interfering in Palestinian affairs. In an interview with Egyptian television, Abbas said that Hamas was refusing to achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation because of an Iranian veto. "We, the Palestinian people, are like a hijacked airplane," he said. "The decision-making power is not in our hands, but rather, in the hands of the Iranians. For that reason, the Palestinian people's unity, just like the plane, is also hijacked."

Palestinians: Israeli threats meaningles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority sources say they are unimpressed by Minister Silvan Shalom's threats to impose sanctions against the PA to counter a Palestinian boycott on settlement goods. PA spokesman Dr. Ghassan al-Khatib said Tuesday that threats by "settler leaders and manufacturers as well as by ministers and settler sympathizers do not deter us." "We are not interested in maintaining the welfare of settlements any longer. We are interested in boosting the local Palestinian industry and economy," al-Khatib said

'Palestinians are hijacked by Iran'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas came out against Iran on Wednesday, calling his people "hijacked, at the hands of the Iranians." "The decision-making power is not in our hands," he told Egyptian television station Nile TV, possibly referring to Hamas's refusal to reconcile with Fatah at Teheran's behest. "The Palestinian people's unity... is not in our hands."

End the blockade in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Hill
by Iara Lee - May 25, 2010 - 12:00am

This week, I will be boarding one of several ships that are part of a flotilla sailing to Gaza. The Israeli government’s recent decision to deny internationally renowned scholar Noam Chomsky entrance into the occupied territories suggests we, too, might be refused entry. Nevertheless, we will set sail with the intent of delivering food, water, medical supplies and reconstruction materials to communities in Gaza that are in need of humanitarian relief.

Effective resistance to illegal occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian campaign to boycott settlement products is enjoying exceptionally high levels of enthusiasm and support from all sectors of Palestinian society. It is also garnering sympathy and understanding from a wide range of members of the international community.

An understandable but ill-planned gesture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

I don't like boycotts. Israel suffered from a comprehensive Arab boycott prior to 1967, when settlements and territories were not an issue. Israel is today targeted for academic and economic boycotts by elements in the West whose hostility toward it in many cases goes far beyond the West Bank, Jerusalem and the settlements.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017