Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel confirms soldiers killed an unarmed Palestinian near a West Bank settlement. Settlers and Palestinians clash during an outbreak of “price tag” violence, and the Israeli military says it will curb such incidents. Pres. Abbas tells the AU that Israeli policies are promoting a cycle of violence. Uri Avnery describes proposals from the Israeli right to annex the West Bank as “Rosemary's baby.” The PA says merchants selling banned settlement goods will be punished beginning in August. A leading settler rabbi is arrested for incitement to kill non-Jews. A report from the GAO says Israel is interfering with US efforts to enhance Palestinian security forces. Ha'aretz interviews bereaved Gaza Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Israel bombs three targets in Gaza. Abbas says the “entire world” is pressuring for direct talks but Palestinians need more clarification. Seth Freedman says a controversial nine-year-old video of PM Netanyahu is no surprise. The Guardian interviews Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. As the blockade eases, a new mall opens in Gaza. The Pennsylvania Senate race turns into a competition of TV ads between Jewish American groups.

Israeli Forces Kill Unarmed Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - July 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli forces shot to death an unarmed Palestinian man early on Thursday at the edge of a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank, Israeli military and Palestinian officials said. The Palestinian Authority government condemned the killing, calling it a "breach of the rule of law." The Israeli military said that soldiers saw three Palestinians approaching the settlement of Barkan before dawn. Suspecting that one was armed, the military said, the soldiers opened fire, killing one man. The two others fled. It initially reported that there had been only one other man.

Settlers riot near Nablus checkpoint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Residents of an illegal Israeli settlement rioted Monday in the northern West Bank, protesting the demolition of structures built in an adjoining outpost, onlookers said. Ma’an’s Nablus correspondent reported from the scene that dozens of armed settlers stormed the nearby Burin village, opening fire at Palestinian homes. Israeli forces also ransacked houses, locals said, including the homes of Bashir Az-Zein and Ibrahim Abid.

Abbas: Israel renewing cycle of violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that Israel’s continued settlement building on what would become a future Palestinian state was impeding a two-state solution and renewing the cycle of violence. In his speech delivered at the summit of the African Union in Kampala, Abbas said Palestinians were clinging to peace “to build a better future for our coming generations and all peoples of the region,” the PA news agency Wafa reported.

Rosemary's baby - Uri Avnery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Since I witnessed the rise of the Nazis during my childhood in Germany, my nose always tickles when it smells something fascist, even when the odor is still faint. When the debate about the “one-state solution” began, my nose tickled. Have you gone mad, I told my nose, this time you are dead wrong. This is a plan of the left. It is being put forward by leftists of undoubted credentials, the greatest idealists in Israel and abroad, even certified Marxists. But my nose insisted. It continued to tickle. Now it appears that the nose was right, after all.

Six injured in clashes between Palestinians, settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Four Jewish settlers and two Palestinians were injured during clashes between the two sides near a settlement to the south of Nablus city in the West Bank on Monday, witnesses said. The settlers went to the street to express anger after Israeli police demolished a house and a barn that were built in an Israeli settlement near the Palestinian village of Burin, saying the demolishment violated an Israeli government freeze on settlement expansion in the West Bank, Israel Radio reported.

PNA to punish dealers importing Jewish settlement products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday said merchants importing and selling products of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would be punished from the beginning of August. The dealers who bring the settlement products "would have to pay big amounts of fine or might be imprisoned," Hassan Abu Libda, Palestinian minister of economy, told reporters. Abu Libda added that his ministry would inspect the markets next month and search all stores "and would transfer anybody dealing with the settlements' products to justice."

Palestinian official hints at accepting direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 25, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official on Sunday hinted at accepting U.S. demands to start direct peace talks with Israel. "We don't rule out any possibility or form of negotiations," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). However, Abed Rabbo stressed that Washington should present guarantees that the direct discussions would lead to an agreement. "These negotiations should not be taking place in vicious circle." Israel and the Palestinians started four-month indirect negotiations in May.

Top settler rabbi arrested for allegedly inciting to kill non-Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The head rabbi of a prominent yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar was arrested Monday for writing a book that allegedly encourages the killing of non-Jews. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira is the alleged author of the book "The King's Torah," which deems as legal, according to "Jewish law," the killing of non-Jews. Police began investigating Shapira after an advertisement for the book in a Hebrew newspaper created a public uproar. Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan encouraged the investigation as he believed the book contained an incitement to violence.

'Israel interfering in U.S. efforts in West Bank'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A report by a U.S. government watchdog has found that the Israeli government's conduct in recent years - including delaying the transfer to Palestinian security forces of AK-47 rifles, radios, vehicles and uniforms - hampers U.S. efforts to train those forces in the West Bank.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, do you still have hope after the IDF killed your daughters and niece in Gaza?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Limor Shmuel Friedman - (Interview) July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

TORONTO - Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish speaks frankly to Israelis and Palestinians, in synagogues, mosques and cultural centers, in this city, where he now resides. On January 16, 2009 three of his daughters, Bessan (20 ), Mayar (15 ) and Aya (13 ), and his niece, Noor (17 ) were killed by an Israel Defense Forces shell fired directly into their bedroom. When Operation Cast Lead in Gaza started, he stopped traveling to his job at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where he worked in in vitro fertilization.

IDF: Curb 'price tag' violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
by Aviel Magnezi - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian fields in the Har Bracha area were torched on Monday as part of the settlers' "price tag" reprisals against the demolition of illegal structures in the settlement of Yitzhar earlier Monday. Palestinian fire trucks were deployed to the blazing fields and a heavy cloud of smoke hovered over the region. Meanwhile, two more settlers were arrested after clashing with police officers in Givat Natan near Bracha forest.

IDF Strikes 3 Gaza Targets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Air Force struck three targets in the Gaza Strip Sunday night including an arms factory in the northern Strip and two smuggling tunnels in the south. The military reported that precise hits were identified and all jets returned safely to their bases. There were no reports of injuries on the Palestinian side. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the assault came in response to the rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel over the weekend.

Abbas: 'Entire world' wants direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - July 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that he was under pressure from the international community to begin direct negotiations with Israel. He told the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio station that he would enter direct talks only if progress was first achieved on the future borders and security of a Palestinian state. Without “clear and specific references,” the negotiations would collapse from the beginning, Abbas said.

Why Binyamin Netanyahu tape is no real shocker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - (Opinion) July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A recently released tape revealing Binyamin Netanyahu's contempt for both the Palestinian and US administrations has caused far less of a diplomatic storm than his opponents hoped it might. For all that Netanyahu's innate arrogance and self-aggrandisement was laid bare by the contents of the nine-year-old recording, the collective shrugging of shoulders implies that few expected anything else from a man who has been boasting of his own political prowess throughout his tumultuous career.

Israel's harassment of citizens could ignite uprising, warns Arab politician
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by David Hearst - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel could ignite a third intifada if it continues to push its 1.2 million Arab citizens into a corner, claims Haneen Zoabi, the Arab member of the Knesset vilified for joining the Gaza aid flotilla. Zoabi, who was branded a traitor for her participation in the Gaza convoy, warned that Israel was playing with fire. "We accepted a democratic, liberal state, we voted for the Knesset. But we are not just an internal issue – we are the litmus test of the whole problem. If Israel does not recognise this, conditions will deteriorate towards a third intifada."

As the Israeli blockade eases, Gaza goes shopping
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Hila Abdul Wahad, a new graduate in commercial accounting from the Islamic University, was enthusiastic as she window-shopped her way round the eight new stores on the second floor of the shopping mall. "It's great that this is happening in the situation we're in," she said. "We should be proud. It feels that we are outside of Gaza, it's like ... [she paused briefly] ... being in Egypt."

Pennsylvania Senate Race Turns Into Battlefield for Dueling Pro-Israel Groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Two self-described pro-Israel groups are trading barbs and pointed advertisements in a dispute over the record of Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania. The dueling advertisements, sponsored by the left-wing group J Street and a new right-wing group called the Emergency Committee for Israel, present diverging views of Sestak’s positions on Israel. Meanwhile, the two groups are targeting each other in a secondary dispute over which organization best represents the interests of Israel.

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