Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An Israeli group gives young Palestinians from the West Bank trips to the beach. Israel is pressuring Egypt to help start direct talks, and analysts say the next two weeks are decisive. The EU's foreign policy chief calls for the opening of Gaza borders and is asked by Palestinians to send observers to Jerusalem. An Israeli soldier convicted of shooting a British protester is granted early release. Israel is set to deploy a new anti-rocket system. Israel arrests Hamas members accused of shooting a police officer. Israel denies presenting Egypt with the map of a potential Palestinian state. Residents of the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem say their children live in fear. Gershon Baskin says settlement building is suicidal for Israel. David Newman says Israel needs to revise its security approach. The first internationally-funded development project for Gaza since the Hamas takeover is launched. Carlo Strenger says existential anxiety is why Israel keeps moving to the right. The David Project hires a veteran pro-Israel activist.

Israeli group gives young Palestinians their first taste of the beach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Mohammed Shawasha has spent his life in a West Bank village just 37 miles from the sea, but he has never been there. So when the opportunity to spend a day on the Mediterranean coast arose for the 12-year-old Palestinian, he jumped at it. From hilltops across the landlocked West Bank, Palestinians can see the sea, but they can't get there because of Israeli restrictions. Entry permits to Israel are hard to come by, reserved primarily for older Palestinians wishing to pray in Jerusalem, married men with children who hold a job in Israel and those with humanitarian needs.

Why Israel is leaning on Egypt's Hosni Mubarak to nudge peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

With fresh reports about the health of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be feeling a greater sense of urgency to advance peace talks before possible regime change next door. Calling Egypt under Mr. Mubarak's leadership "a main factor in advancing peace and stability in the region," Mr. Netanyahu traveled to Cairo this weekend to meet the man who has been a staple of Middle East politics for more than 30 years. Mubarak also hosted Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and US envoy George Mitchell.

Ashton asked to send observers to Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Ramallah - Ma’an - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton held a second meeting Monday with officials in Jerusalem, where dignitaries stressed the centrality of the holy city in Palestinian life and culture. Ashton was in Palestine as part of her second Middle East trip.

Early release for soldier who killed British activist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli soldier convicted of shooting dead a British peace activist has been granted an early release from prison, the Israeli press reported Monday. A military committee accepted Taysir Hayb’s appeal, and he will be free in one month, the Israeli news site Ynet reported Monday. Hayb shot Tom Hurndall, who died aged 22, during an incident on Gaza’s southern border.

Israel: Rocket defense system ready to go
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — A system that can shoot down incoming rockets has passed its last tests and will be ready for deployment in a few months, Israel's Defense Ministry said Monday. If effective, it could have far-reaching strategic implications for Israel's battle against militant groups on its borders. The "Iron Dome" system uses sophisticated radar to track incoming rockets, intercepting and destroying them far from their targets. It is the only anti-rocket system of its kind in the world, according to experts.

Israel nabs Hamas cell accused of deadly shooting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel has arrested five Palestinians accused of being members of a Hamas cell responsible for killing an Israeli policeman in the West Bank, the Shin Bet security service said Monday. It said the men, all in their 20s, confessed to killing the policeman near the West Bank town of Hebron on June 14 and handed over three Kalashnikov rifles they used. The arrests were carried out a week after the attack, which wounded two other policemen, but were only made public Monday in a statement released to the media.

Next two weeks decisive as Palestinians mull over direct talks with Israel: analysts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Omer Othmani, Osama Radi - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming two weeks would be decisive as the Palestinian leadership would hold a series of meetings to study the U.S. call for moving from the four-month proximity talks to direct talks with Israel, analysts said. Palestinian observers also expect that the U.S. would increase its pressure on the Palestinians and the Arab states to promote the peace process.

Israel denies presenting Egypt with map of Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury, Barak Ravid - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau on Tuesday firmly denied reports that the Israeli leader had presented Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with a map delineating the borders of a future Palestinian state during their meeting in Cairo earlier this week. The London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat quoted an Israeli source as saying that the Egyptian president rejected the proposal as out of hand, and it did not meet the Arab League's demands for a state based on 1967 borders with negligible amendments.

Silwan children live in fear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Jewish and Arab residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhood described life in the shadow of clashes in the area during a hearing in the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child on Monday. The Arab parents told of arrests of children in the middle of the night, that their kids live in fear. Should they want to play in a nearby playground, the parents said, the children have to take a taxi to get there. On the other hand, Jewish parents complained that their children must travel in armored vehicles out of fear that rocks will be thrown at them.

Settlements and anti-Zionists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

November 6, 2012 – that’s the date when Barack Obama will stand for election for a second term. By November 2011 he will already be deeply involved in campaigning and most of his attention will be focused on Middle America and not the Middle East. On November 2, midterm elections will be held in the US in which members of Congress (including all 435 in the House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 in the Senate) stand before the electorate.The US political calendar is a map of the window of opportunity which might exist for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace.

When is a border not a border?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

When is a border not a border? When it is a security barrier. Or so, our politicians will tell us as they continue to live in a state of denial that the heavily fortified and electrified security fence/wall which has been constructed during the past six years around much of the West Bank is no more than an antiterror prevention device and that it has little, or no, significance for the eventual demarcation of borders between sovereign and independent Israeli and Palestinian states.

Gaza’s First Development Project in Years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

A group of Palestinian IT entrepreneurs have launched the first internationally funded economic development project in the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over the coastal strip. The project, “EnTeG_: Enable Technology sector Growth in Gaza”, aims to help Gazan software developers use the Internet to get around Israeli export restrictions. The French Development Agency will grant 500,000 euros to the Palestinian Information Technology Association of Companies (PITA) to create the Gaza Strip’s first private sector development project in years. PITA announced receipt of the grant on Monday.

EU envoy urges Israel to open Gaza borders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Lady Ashton urged the international community to pressure Israel to end the blockade. She is the most senior Western official to go to Gaza since Israel partly eased curbs on goods entering the territory. Israel tightened its blockade in 2007 after the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of Gaza. Lady Ashton did not have any official meetings with Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza. Its authority is not recognised by the EU, Israel or the US, who describe it as a terrorist organisation.

Why Israel keeps moving to the right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Carlo Strenger - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has been sliding into ever greater isolation in the few last years and this process has accelerated since Binyamin Netanyahu came to power in 2009. The international community is put off by his tactics: whenever the question of Israel's settlement policy comes up, he diverts attention to the Iranian nuclear threat. He argues that the world is facing a situation similar to 1938, and that its reaction is that of Neville Chamberlain, trying to appease Adolf Hitler.

With hiring of AJC veteran, David Project consolidates its mainstream status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - July 20, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In a continuing bid to transition from campus rabble rousers to more mainstream educators, The David Project has hired a Jewish establishment veteran to guide the pro-Israel campus organization. In recent years The David Project has expanded from its original mission -- confronting what it identified as radically anti-Israel groups on campus -- to educating Jewish students on Israel. Now the hiring of David Bernstein, 43, a 13-year veteran of the American Jewish Committee, as executive director signals a major growing-up for the organization.

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