Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The UN will distribute aid from the Gaza flotilla. The family of a Palestinian driver killed by Israeli police demands an investigation. Israeli troops kill an alleged drug smuggler on the Gaza border. Amnesty International says Israel's investigation into the flotilla attack is flawed. Hamas and the UN compete for the attention of Gaza children. The new Iranian flotilla is about to set sail for Gaza. Israeli authorities are preparing to charge soldiers in the killings of two Palestinian women during the Gaza war. Egypt reiterates its concern that Israel is trying to “dump Gaza” onto it. Avirama Golan says Israel's airports are a hub of “ethnocentric panic.” A planning committee ratifies controversial new settlement construction in Ramat Shlomo in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Economy Minister urges settlement businesses to relocate Israel. The Guardian interviews Palestinian filmmaker Elia Sulieman. The JTA says serious disagreements are looming in the US-Israel relationship. Shlomo Avineri says Palestinians may unilaterally declare independence.

Gaza: U.N. to Distribute Aid Seized by Israel in Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Neil MacFarquhar - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

The United Nations expects to soon distribute the aid brought by a Turkish flotilla trying to run the Gaza blockade and seized by Israel after a bloody confrontation. Robert H. Serry, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East peace negotiations, told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that despite such attempts, Gaza received only a fraction of its needs. Three-quarters of the damage caused by the 2009 war— including homes schools and hospitals — has not been repaired or rebuilt, Mr. Serry reported.

Family of Palestinian driver killed by police demands investigation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel on Monday was facing another demand for an investigation into its military's actions, this time from the Palestinian Authority and the family of a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, who was shot and killed Friday. Ziad Joulani, 41, a shopkeeper and father of three with no criminal or history of political activism, was killed when police opened fire as he got out of his car, witnesses said. [For the record: An earlier version said Joulani was a father of four; he has three daughters.]

Israeli troops kill drug smuggler from Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a drug smuggler who infiltrated from Egypt on Wednesday, a military spokesman said. The smuggler was part of a group, some of whose members were armed, that crossed into Israel's southern desert carrying bags of drugs, the spokesman said. Some of the smugglers, he said, fled back into Egypt after the shooting, leaving the drugs on the Israeli side of the border. Israel coordinated its actions with Egypt, the official said. Egypt is one of two Arab countries with which Israel has a peace treaty, signed in 1979.

Amnesty criticizes proposed flotilla inquiry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Amnesty International has criticized Israel’s proposed investigation into its military action against a Gaza aid flotilla on 31 May as lacking in transparency and unlikely to ensure accountability over the nine deaths of activists during the operation. The Israeli cabinet approved a three-man Israeli commission, with two international observers, to examine Israel’s military action off the Gaza coast in which nine international activists were killed by Israeli forces.

Hamas, UNRWA compete over entertaining Gaza children
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Mohamed Atallah, a teacher and one of the mentors in a major summer camp run by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) on Gaza beachside insisted that mentors are not teaching school children any politics, but only entertaining them. On Sunday, UNRWA inaugurated its own summer camps in the Gaza Strip to entertain refugees' schoolchildren. Streets of Gaza City saw UNRWA vehicles and hundreds of UNRWA children holding summer camps flame.

Israel braces for Iranian attempt to break Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Three ships bound for the Gaza Strip, two from Iran and one from Lebanon, are expected to set sail in the next few days, and a confrontation with the Israeli navy is likely. These are the latest missions to break the blockade on Gaza, following an Israeli naval raid on an aid flotilla on May 31, killing nine people. Israel officially started an investigation into the raid after its cabinet approved on Monday the establishment of an inquiry panel including two foreign observers.

IDF to charge soldier with killing two Palestinian women during Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

A Israeli soldier is to face charges over the shooting of two Palestinian women during Operation Cast lead in Gaza a year and a half ago, the army said on Wednesday. The solider will be charged with opening fire on a 64-year-old Raya Salma Abu Hajjaj and her 35-year-old daughter Majda in disregard of the IDF's rules of engagement. Chief Army Prosecutor Avihai Mandelblit will on June 22 hold a hearing to determine the exact charges the soldier will face.

Egypt: Israel wants to 'dump' Gaza on us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed efforts to lift the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, at a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas. Egypt reopened its border with the Gaza Strip following the deadly raid on a flotilla of Gaza-bound aid boats by Israeli forces in May. Mubarak's government on Tuesday rejected an Israeli proposal that would leave Gaza entirely dependent on Egypt for goods and access.

In a side room at the airport
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avirama Golan - (Opinion) June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Here is a story known to only some of the citizens of Israel. A few weeks ago a 43-year-old lecturer in sociology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who serves as a member of the prestigious academic journal Sociology, packed a suitcase and went to Ben-Gurion International Airport. From there he was supposed to take off for the journal's annual editorial board meeting in London. He stood in line, showed his passport and his ticket and was immediately directed to a separate line.

'Mother shouted, then they shot her too'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Youssef Abu Hajaj will never forget the day he lost his mother and sister. In the early hours of January 4, 2009, his family's home near Gaza City was shelled. "My 13-year-old niece was injured so we rushed through the trees and bushes to the Safadi family's home. We were looking for a hiding place a little further from the tanks," he told Ynet. Then came the incident over which an Israel Defense Forces soldier is slated to stand trial for Operation Cast Lead's most severe violation, and is likely to face charges of manslaughter.

Ramat Shlomo building plan receives ‘technical’ nod
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ron Friedman, Abe Selig - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

The Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee on Tuesday ratified an existing plan to build 1,600 housing units in the city’s northeastern Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. When the plans were disclosed in March during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, they sparked a major row with the US regarding building rights in sections of the capital that are located over the Green Line. They were also seen as destabilizing the proximity talks now taking place between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian minister urges settler business to relocate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ron Friedman - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority National Economy Minister Hassan Abu Libda defended his government’s decision to boycott goods produced in the settlements, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Abu Libda said the move was in accordance with international law and necessary for Palestinian self-preservation. In May, the PA announced that it would be enforcing a complete boycott of all goods made in the West Bank settlements, an announcement that was accompanied by a door-to-door enlistment campaign and a public burning of settlement-made goods.

Elia Suleiman: stories my father told me
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Steven J. Rosen - (Interview) June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

We're in a street in occupied Ramallah. A young Palestinian man is taking out his rubbish. An Israeli tank is parked nearby, its gun barrel pointed right at the man's head. As he walks to the bin and back, the tank turret tracks him in whirs and clanks, the barrel dipping when he steps off the pavement. The man is about to go inside when his phone rings. He starts talking to a friend about a party, pacing back and forth, ignoring the tank, which is still noisily following his every move. When he goes back inside, the gun swivels to point directly at the camera.

U.S. and Israel agree on key issues—for now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

The relationship between the Obama administration, the Netanyahu government and the pro-Israel community is ensconced on all fronts in “agree, for now” mode. On isolating Iran, everyone agrees -- and is pleased -- that the new set of U.N. sanctions will make it easier for the United States to enhance its own unilateral sanctions. Differences are looming, however, on whether the U.S. sanctions should carve out exemptions for countries that helped push through the U.N. sanctions.

At last, the Palestinians opt for auto-emancipation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Although the crisis over Israel’s naval interventions to defend its blockade of Gaza is gaining all the headlines around the world, something of far more historic importance is taking place in the Middle East. The Palestinian Authority is preparing to issue a unilateral declaration of independence, and it is taking concrete steps on the ground to make any such declaration viable.

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