Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Richard Cohen says Hamas is hurting the Palestinian cause. An Israeli court sentences a Palestinian to life in prison. 10 Jordan Valley families are given 24 hours before their homes will be demolished. Palestinian officials seek to build ties with Jewish American leaders. Palestinians say progress on security, borders and settlements are key to direct negotiations. Israeli shelling kills a Palestinian in eastern Gaza. Palestinians launch a shop-two-shop settlement goods boycott campaign. FM Lieberman says there is no chance for a Palestinian state before 2012. The US is reportedly frustrated with Israel's positions at proximity talks. Ha'aretz says the power plant issue shows Hamas does not have Gazan's best interests at heart. The Jerusalem Post profiles the head of the so-called “Islamic movement” in Israel. The Independent profiles a Palestinian man struggling to retain his Jerusalem residency. Emile Hokayem says Lebanon mistreats Palestinian refugees. PLO officials say disbanding the PA is a possibility. Ghassan Khatib and Omar Shaban both say the siege of Gaza must be lifted completely.

Hamas is a threat to the Palestinian cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Richard Cohen - (Opinion) June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

It's a pity that Israel, while substantially loosening its grip on Gaza, will continue to enforce a blockade when, with just a little imagination, it could insist on a deal with the activists once again steaming its way: You can proceed to Gaza if, once you get there, you demand that Hamas cease the persecution of women, institute freedom of religion, halt the continuing rocketing of Israel, release an Israeli hostage, ban torture and rescind an official charter that could have made soothing bedtime reading for Adolf Hitler. This may take some time.

Israel army court sentences Bethlehem man to life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

An Israeli military court has sentenced a Bethlehem residents to life in jail, a prisoners group said Tuesday. Nayef Obeiyat was detained in 2006 and was sentenced to life by Israel's Ofer military court, the Detainees Center reported.

10 Jordan Valley families given 24 hours to leave
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Ten families in the Jordan Valley were handed home demolition orders on Sunday and given 24 hours to evacuate their lands. Most of the homes to be demolished belong to the Daraghmah and Al-Makahmreh families, who say they have documents proving their ownership of the land filed with Israel's Land Registry. The families said they had been issued demolition orders before, however this was the first time they had been given a 24-hour notice.

Palestinians seek new partner: American Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josef Federman - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinians have long feared the Jewish lobby in Washington. Now, they are embracing it.

Security, borders, settlements freeze "keys" to direct talks: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Moving to direct talks with Israel requires reaching an agreement on the issues of security, borders and full freeze of settlement activities, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday. "These are our demands," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio. "Even U.S. President Barack Obama is aware of this." He also denied reports that the United States is pressing for jumping to final-status negotiations and holding a three-way summit comprising Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Washington next month.

Israeli army shelling on eastern Gaza kills Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

One Palestinian was killed and three wounded on Monday afternoon when Israeli army tanks fired a shell at an area near the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics and witnesses said. The witnesses said that a group of militants fired a homemade rocket from the area at the southern Israel, adding that an Israeli army tank stationed at the area hit them with a shell. Medics at al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza Strip said that Bassam Badwan, 32, was killed and three others were injured, two of them seriously.

Palestinians launch new campaign of boycotting Israeli settlement products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched on Monday a new campaign of boycotting products made at Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The campaign called "The Legion of National Dignity from Shop to Shop," which was carried out by volunteer students and academics, aimed at persuading store-keepers and owners to stop dealing with products made at Jewish settlements and boycotting their presence in the West Bank.

Lieberman: Absolutely no chance for a Palestinian state within next two years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

An independent Palestinian State is not a possibility in the next two years, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said following a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Jerusalem on Tuesday. "There is absolutely no chance of reaching a Palestinian state before the year 2012," Lieberman said, adding that "one can dream and imagine, but we are far from reaching an agreement." An apparent disagreement broke out between Lieberman and Lavrov during their meeting in Jerusalem over Moscow's increased efforts to include Hamas in Mideast peace talks.

U.S. frustrated with Netanyahu over stalled proximity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is frustrated by the conduct of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the proximity talks with the Palestinians. Mitchell, who is due in Israel on Thursday for another round of talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah, has expressed to Netanyahu his wish to see more progress by Israel on core issues. Netanyahu is due to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in a week.

MESS Report / Hamas doesn't have Gazans' best interests at heart
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Blog) June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

This story will probably not receive much coverage by the international media. This story is not a matter of black and white, "David versus Goliath" – there aren’t bad Israelis versus good Palestinians. What there is, however, is more proof that the Hamas government doesn’t really have the Gaza residents' best interests at heart, while the Palestinian Authority too cares more about money than Gazans' interests.

The rise of Raed Salah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Lappin - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Umm el-Fahm – the heartland of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch – was on the verge of full scale rioting in the hours after the Gaza flotilla incident. False rumors saying that its head, Sheikh Raed Salah, had died aboard the Mavi Marmara led dozens of masked youths to hurl stones at border policemen in Umm El-Fahm on May 31.

Palestinian boycott of Israeli settlement goods starts to bite
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli factories based in settlements on the West Bank have been forced to cut back production as a growing Palestinian boycott movement begins to take effect. The boycott, endorsed by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was given further momentum this week when a campaign to clear supermarket shelves of produce originating in settlements was rolled out in Ramallah.

Barred from Jerusalem for crime of being Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

To say that Palestinian Murad Al-Khalaf's roots are in Jerusalem is a serious understatement. His family lived in the Baka district of West Jerusalem until they were forced to leave in the war of 1948. They have since lived – and live – in the inner East Jerusalem district of Ras al-Amud. His family doctor father's clinic in East Jerusalem's main street of Salahadin is opposite three shops owned by each of his uncles. One of his brothers, also a doctor, works at one of Jerusalem's two main (Israeli) hospitals, the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre. The city is, in short, his home.

History still hurts as Lebanon agonises over Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Emile Hokayem - June 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Three years ago, Fatah al Islam, a jihadi group based in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al Bared in northern Lebanon, launched a bloody attack on the Lebanese military. In the next three months, most of the camp was destroyed and dozens of civilians, nearly 200 Lebanese soldiers and several hundred fundamentalist militants – most of them not Palestinians – were killed.

Disbanding Palestinian Authority a Possibility- PA Spokesmen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator and official in charge of the negotiations dossier in the PLO, stressed that the option of disbanding the Palestinian Authority [PA] will be put on the table shortly if a two-solution solution is not reached. He however did not set a time frame for dissolving the PA but hinted at the end of this year. In a statement over telephone from New York, where he is currently visiting, he said: "I will not go back on what I said; Israel cannot possibly believe that it will remain the source of power [for the PA] for good."

Israel must abide by the AMA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - June 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The three-year old Israeli blockade on Gaza has come under intense international scrutiny ever since Israel criminally boarded a flotilla of ships in international waters, killing nine activists coming to show solidarity with Gaza. The closure regime was always much more than "just" collective punishment on 1.5 million Palestinians to pressure Hamas, due either to the capture of Gilad Shalit or rockets fired at Israel.

Sustainable development needs a complete lifting of the siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
June 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Has there been any tangible change in Gaza since Israel announced an easing of its blockade? Shaban: There is a difference, but the question is how much. Compared to the three weeks before the flotilla, yes, there is a difference. But considering that the entire siege is illegal, there is no difference. bitterlemons: When you say there is a difference, what do you mean?

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