Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The NYT says Israel is right to cooperate with the UN investigation into the flotilla attack. Rocket attacks show how militants could use Sinai. Andy Zelleke and Robert Dujarric say the price of an Israeli attack on Iran may be a Palestinian state. Occupation forces shoot a Palestinian worker in Gaza. The PA says growth is dependent on international donors. Three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist are killed by Israeli troops at the border. Israel approves 40 new settlement apartments in occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas declines to set a date for direct talks. PM Netanyahu says he made no commitments to the US on direct talks. Palestinian activists ask female protesters to dress modestly. Americans for Peace Now launches a video campaign against settlement construction. Building in Gaza is focusing more on recreation than reconstruction. Israel allows a convoy of 250 trucks into Gaza. Gershon Baskin says hope must continue for peace. The last Palestinian kaffiyeh factory struggles to survive. Daphna Baram says liberal Israelis may soon face prosecution. Leslie Susser says “one-state” proposals from the Israeli right are a ploy to prevent ending the occupation. Joseph Mayton says Gaza's plight also presents opportunities.

Israel, Turkey and the U.N.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

It took too long, but Israel made the right decision in saying it would cooperate with a United Nations-led investigation into its disastrous attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship. Only a transparent and credible inquiry has a chance of calming international outrage over the incident and beginning to repair fractured Israeli-Turkish ties.

Rocket attacks on Israel and Jordan highlight how Hamas could use Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

A salvo of at least five rockets, believed to have been fired from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, hit the Red Sea border area between Jordan and Israel on Monday morning. Three of the Katyusha rockets fell on the Israeli coastal resort area of Eilat, while the others hit outside the Intercontinental Hotel in the Jordanian resort city of Aqaba, killing one Jordanian and wounding at least three others.

Price for a potential Israeli strike on Iran? A Palestinian state.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Robert Dujarric, Andy Zelleke - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Against the backdrop of new sanctions on Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upbeat Oval Office visit in July, neither Washington nor Jerusalem can be eager to add another war to the long list of hot and warm conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Korea, and Gaza. But with the American intelligence community judging Iran to be on track to have nuclear weapons within two years, a clash with Tehran may soon be deemed unavoidable – in Jerusalem, if not in Washington.

Israeli forces fire on Gaza workers, injuring 1
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

A young Gaza man was injured by Israeli fire east of Beit Hanoun on Tuesday, reportedly while he was gathering cement aggregates from the border area. Medical services coordinator for the de facto government Adham Abu Salmiyeh identified the man as 22-year-old Bilal Ibrahim Obeid, saying he was hit in the shoulder and was moderately injured. Witnesses said Obeid was standing with a group of men collecting small particles of cement for use in construction and sale to the cement recycling plant in Gaza City. Israeli military officials were not immediately available for comment.

Economy minister: Growth contingent on donor whims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The development of the Palestinian economy is dependent on donor countries, and its growth follows the political whims of the region, Palestinian Authority Minister of National Economy Hasan Abu Libda told Ma'an. "The money received from donor countries is the oxygen for Palestinian economy. However, this money is contingent on the political process, so it in effect acts as a sword hanging over our heads," Abu Libda explained during an interview on Ma'an Radio Sunday.

Five killed in Lebanese-Israeli border clash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli and Lebanese troops fought a rare cross-border skirmish on Tuesday that killed four Lebanese and an Israeli officer in the most serious violence along the frontier since a 2006 war. The Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah group, which battled Israel in the war four years ago, took no part in the exchange of fire. There was no sign of any extensive Israeli preparations for a large-scale operation -- an early indication the clash might not trigger a wider conflict.

Israel approves new east Jerusalem apartments
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli municipal officials have approved the building of 40 apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem's disputed eastern sector. The move could undermine efforts to restart direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. It comes as U.S. peace envoy David Hale is visiting the region. Municipality spokesman Stephen Miller confirmed the approval and said on Tuesday that construction would continue for residents of all faiths in Jerusalem.

Abbas rejects U.S. request to set date for direct talks without reference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday rejected a U.S. request to set a date for moving to the direct peace negotiations with Israel without defining an international peace reference for it, a senior Palestinian official said. Wassel Abu Yousef, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) official, told Xinhua that David Hale, deputy of U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell, asked President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting earlier on Monday in Ramallah about setting a date for launching the direct talks.

Israel makes no obligations to U.S. for start of direct talks with Palestinians: PM
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet members that he made no obligations to the United States in his recent meeting with President Barack Obama for possible direct talks with the Palestinians, sources told Xinhua on Monday. Addressing his cabinet ministers at a weekly session on Sunday, he estimated that direct talks with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) could begin within two weeks.

Pro-Palestinian activists welcome, but leave the tank tops at home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tsafi Saar - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Tank tops, it turns out, can be the focus of a raging debate, both feminist and nationalist. The setting: an impressive protest that takes place every Friday in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Palestinians and Jews demonstrate together against the eviction of Palestinian families and attempts to evict even more residents from the site where they have lived for generations, in order to replace them with Israeli settlers.

U.S. group launches campaign against West Bank settlement construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Americans for Peace Now, a sister group to the dovish Israeli group Peace Now, has announced the launching a unique campaign on Monday, meant to sway public opinion against containing settlement construction. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the construction freeze West Bank settlements, due to expire on September 26, in last November, after months of pressure from the Obama administration, and following a Palestinian refusal to begin talks without one.

New Gaza leisure projects focus on fun not hardship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

New leisure projects and restaurants have been springing up in the Gaza Strip, some partially funded by Hamas Islamists ruling a territory long seen as a symbol of Palestinian hardship. The construction boom in recreational facilities has prompted some Palestinians in the enclave to complain that Hamas should have channelled such investment into rebuilding homes and infrastructure destroyed in conflict with Israel. Some 800 visitors a day flock to Al-Bustan, a resort built by a Hamas-linked charity, to enjoy its swimming pools, restaurants and cafes.

Israel allows 250 trucks into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel facilitated the transfer of 250 trucks with supplies to the Gaza Strip on Monday for the first time since the government eased up restrictions on the amount and type of merchandise allowed into the Hamas-controlled territory. In late June, Israel announced that it would ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip after it came under pressure following the naval raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla. The trucks made their way into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The audacity of not losing hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are likely to resume in the near future. Both sides will reluctantly pay a price to enter the room even though neither side is too anxious to actually be there.

Last kaffiyeh factory struggles to stay afloat in Palestinian territories
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

In a rundown office to the side of a gloomy and deserted breeze-block factory, 76-year-old Yasser Hirbawi is hunched on a low couch turning his life's work over and over between his fingers. In his lap – and on his head – are specimens of what has become the internationally recognised symbol of the Palestinian national struggle, the kaffiyeh, the chequered headscarf worn by politicians and militants alike and adopted not just by their supporters but by fashionistas across the globe.

Who will speak up for Israeli citizens' right to free speech?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Daphna Baram - (Opinion) August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The most widely mentioned text in Israel over the last few weeks has been the famous quotation by Pastor Martin Niemöller from 1946, which begins: "First they came for the Communists".

Is one-state solution an answer to Greater Israel dreams?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

In one of the more curious twists in Israeli politics, prominent figures on Israel’s right wing have begun pushing for a one-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians as equal citizens with full voting rights. The one-state solution previously had been the preserve of the post-Zionist left, Palestinian hard-liners and left-leaning European intellectuals who envisioned turning Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza into a single state in which the Palestinians soon would become the majority and assume the reins of government.

In the midst of Gaza's calamity lies an opportunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Joseph Mayton - August 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Beyond the most obvious hardships brought about by the Gaza blockade, there is another less commonly discussed environmental calamity in the making that could have terrible long-term implications. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the blockade on the Strip is causing severe water shortages and preventing farmers from tilling their land, leading to environmental damage that could take decades to repair.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017