Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Pres. Peres says the US should engage Hamas on peace. Israel bombs 4 sites in Gaza. Israel offers to let EU officials visit Gaza. On the fourth anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit, rights groups criticize Hamas' treatment of Israeli prisoners. Israeli soldiers often kill Palestinians with impunity. Aluf Benn describes the four stages of US-Israel policy disputes. Yitzhak Laor says the spirit of Kahane is alive in Israel's universities. Gideon Levy asks when the Israelis will hold PM Netanyahu to account for his policies. Israelis accuse Palestinians of “stealing” water in the occupied West Bank. Israel plans to increase trucks into Gaza by 200%. Ray Hanania praises the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank. Antony Lerman says a lively debate has emerged about the nature of Israeli society. The Economist says Hamas is gaining ground following the flotilla debacle, and the US calls further flotillas irresponsible. Patrick Seale says that, alarmed by regional developments, Israel may be reconsidering peace with Syria.

Israeli President Shimon Peres: U.S. and other powers must engage Hamas on peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's president and elder statesman, Shimon Peres, urged the United States and other world powers this week to engage with Hamas in order to persuade the Islamist group to renounce violence and prepare for peace with Israel.

Israel warplanes target 4 sites across Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli aircraft bombed four targets in the Gaza Strip before sunrise Friday. No injuries were reported in the attack that came a day after a Palestinian faction launched seven mortar shells into Israeli territory. Two airstrikes in the north and another two in the south caused severe structural damage to buildings in Jabaliya and Beit Hanoun, while two smuggling tunnels were destroyed near Rafah, security officials in Gaza said. F16 jet fighters hit twice in the north, outside residential areas in an industrial zone.

Israel offers to let Europe diplomats visit Gaza-official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ari Rabinovitch - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has invited his Italian counterpart to lead a delegation of European foreign ministers to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, an Israeli official said on Thursday. Israel has largely refused to let foreign diplomats pass through its checkpoints into Gaza since it tightened its blockade on the territory after Hamas Islamists seized it in 2007.

Rights group criticizes Hamas treatment of Israeli
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Human Rights Watch charged Friday that Hamas militants are violating the rules of war by prohibiting a captive Israeli soldier from having contact with his family and the Red Cross. The treatment of the 23-year-old soldier, captured exactly four years ago by Hamas, is "cruel and inhuman" and matches a U.N. definition of torture because he is denied any outside contact, the U.S.-based rights group said in a statement.

Israelis Keep the Trigger Tight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykberg - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

"My life only began when I met him. I will never meet such a wonderful man again," Yasmin's mother Moira Julani tells IPS. While it is just another statistic for the Israelis, another Palestinian family has been torn apart. U.S. citizens, 17-year-old Hannah, 15-year-old Mirage and seven-year-old Yasmin are now fatherless. Former Texan Moira, nee Reynolds, who left the U.S. 17 years ago to start a new life with her husband in Jerusalem, has lost her soul mate.

The four stages of Israeli policy: crisis, pressure, cave-in and agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

When the security cabinet decided to ease the civilian blockade on the Gaza Strip this week, the process followed the precise modus operandi Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken with regard to leading Israel's foreign and defense policy this term. Each such incident has had four stages: crisis, pressure, cave-in and agreement.

Yes, Kahane lives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yitzhak Laor - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

On July 29, 1986, extreme right-wing MK Meir Kahane submitted another no-confidence proposal: "The government's refusal to discuss the disintegration of Zionist ideology, which endangers the existence of the Jewish state." According to Kahane: "Since the beginning of political Zionism, the movement's thinkers have ignored and avoided the terrible and frightening truth of the basic contradiction between Zionism and enlightened Western democracy, to which all the Zionist leaders were indentured servants.

The public is dumb and therefore the public pays
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

At least one Israeli - other than Shalom Hanoch whose signature is affixed to the title of this article (taken from his song "Waiting for the Messiah" ) - has reached the conclusion that Israeli public opinion is dumb. That person is the prime minister, and he is correct.

Palestinians stealing water in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shmulik Grossman - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces recently thwarted an attempt made by Palestinians to illegally connect to the Mekorot Israel National Water infrastructure in order to siphon off water from it. Soldiers took note o four people trying to connect to the pipes south of Hebron. When the four noticed they had been discovered, they fled the scene and the soldiers followed after them. The soldiers managed to apprehend two of the four men, while the others got away.

IDF will boost trucks to Gaza by 200%
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The IDF plans to increase the number of truckloads into Gaza by over 200 percent; a move which will bring it close to pre-blockade levels, according to the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories. Israeli and Palestinian activists have warned that evaluating Israel’s closure policy simply by counting the number of truckloads is misleading. What is significant is the type of goods and their route of passage; an issue, which makes the difference between a meaningful and meaningless increase, they have said.

Palestinians : look forward, not backward
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ray Hanania - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Qatar is unlike many of the other Arab countries that support the Palestinians. Instead of donating lip-service and writing checks to be used in conflict, it has invested heavily in a project with a Palestinian construction company to build a new city in the West Bank called Rawabi. The Palestinians should be focused on doing more of this; building Palestine, and switching gears from the confrontation-style politics of Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran and a lot of other losers who love to exploit Palestinian suffering. Even Turkey might consider putting a cork in its rhetoric.

Israel marks fourth anniversary Gilad Shalit capture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Gilad Shalit, 23, has been held in Gaza by Hamas militants who are demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his release. Thousands are expected to rally outside the military headquarters in Tel Aviv calling for his release. His parents plan to stage an 11-day cross-country march starting on Sunday. Frustrated with failed attempts to free their son, Sgt Shalit's parents are beginning the long walk from their home in northern Israel to the prime minister's home in Jerusalem. The say they will remain camped there until they see their son again.

The debate within the Jewish state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Antony Lerman - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel may show all the signs of being a typical westernised, post-ideological society. But in response to growing international pressure over recent years and with the country's centre of political gravity drifting to the far right, Zionist ideology appears to be playing an increasingly important role in decision-making and in determining the face that Israel presents to the world. But does this represent an irreversible trend?

Hamas is making ground again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

AFTER three years of campaigning for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza, some of the Islamists ruling the territory are having second thoughts. This week the agriculture minister for Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, was putting the finishing touches to a ten-year plan to wean it off dependence on Israel and make it self-sufficient in food. Israel’s ban on fertilisers had helped his plan to replace fertiliser with compost made from sewage that otherwise spills into the sea, and turn Gaza into a big organic farm.

U.S. Says Sea-Bound Aid to Gaza Is Irresponsible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington — The Obama administration said sea-bound aid to Gaza is “irresponsible.” “Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so,” a U.S. State Department release said Wednesday, in response to a reporter’s question about Lebanese plans to ship aid to the Gaza Strip. “Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances.”

Regional order alarms Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

With growing insistence, some influential Israelis are beginning to press the Netanyahu government to seek to make peace with Syria — even if the price tag is the return of the entire Golan to Syrian sovereignty. The latest example of this campaign is an interview which Major-General (retired) Uri Saguy, 66, gave on June 11 to the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot, in which he declared that, "I believe that a political agreement between Syria and Israel is a military national interest of the highest order".

An historic moment for Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Rami Khouri - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli decision to ease the three-year-old siege of Gaza is being mildly welcomed in many quarters, and deep scepticism in others. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has pleaded with the world via the Quartet to pressure Israel to fully lift its siege, while Lebanese and Iranian groups are planning to send more humanitarian aid ships to Gaza to challenge and break the Israeli blockade.

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