Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli-Turkish trade remains brisk in spite of tensions. Settlers turn to violence during the dismantling of an unauthorized outpost. Israeli forces demolish rebuilt Palestinian structures in the Jordan Valley. The PA Telecommunications Minister apologizes for harassment of TV and radio stations in Nablus. Israel arrests three Arabs accused of espionage for Syria. Hamas again denounces direct negotiations. Pres. Mubarak remains at the center of efforts to establish direct talks including a phone call with Pres. Obama, and Palestinians say negotiations on terms of reference are proceeding. PM Netanyahu vows to retaliate against Hamas for recent rocket attacks. Israeli police suspect an accused Jewish terrorist was part of a larger cell. Palestinian leaders in Israel threaten a national strike over discriminatory budget cuts, and a new study finds at-risk Arab students receive much less funding than Jewish ones. D. Bloomfield says Pres. Abbas' hesitation greatly assists Netanyahu. Gaza human rights groups blame Hamas for a large explosion. Israel plans to fight international isolation. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says Abbas must make some tough decisions. Michael Jansen says direct talks could be a trap for the Palestinians.

Turkey and Israel Do a Brisk Business
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Dan Bilefsky - August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli business executives here like to point out that most of the angry Turks who protested Israel’s deadly raid on a Turkish-led flotilla to Gaza this past spring do not know that their cellphones, personal computers and plasma televisions were made using parts and technology from Tel Aviv. For Manashe Carmon, chairman of the Israel Turkish Business Council, such ignorance is a blessing for Israelis and Turks.

Violence as Hebron outpost evacuated
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

An illegal Israeli settlement outpost erected near the larger Kiyrat Arba settlement in Hebron was evacuated by Israeli forces on Thursday morning, sparking violence from squatters. The outpost, a collection of wood buildings and tents in Hebron's Al-Buwayra area, was taken down and more than a dozen settlers removed from the area, who proceeded to torch Palestinian lands, witnesses said.

Israeli forces demolish rebuilt Area C structures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's Civil Administration returned to the Jordan Valley on Thursday to demolish 23 structures recently rebuilt by residents and farmers in Al-Farisiya. The town, in the Tubas district located across the highway from the Nahal Rotem settlement, is part of the nearby Sdemot Mehola. The area has a total of five settlements, most engaged in farming, with more than half of the settlement-occupied land in the northern part of the Jordan Valley used for agriculture.

PA minister apologizes for closing TV stations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Telecommunications apologized Wednesday for a series of raids and closures of several TV and radio stations in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Mashhur Abu Daqqa told Ma'an radio that an investigation committee would be formed to follow up on the raids, which were undertaken by PA ministry employees and customs officers, vowing to "bring to account those who violated the law."

Israel indicts 3 Arabs on espionage charges
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has indicted three Arab men on charges of spying for Syria. The Shin Bet security service reported on Thursday that two Druse Arabs living in the Golan Heights and an Arab citizen of Israel were charged with passing information to the enemy and plotting to kidnap a Syrian pilot who had defected to Israel. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war. The two indicted Druse Arabs — a father and son — are Syrian citizens, like most of the Druse in the Golan Heights.

Hamas urges Fatah not to go to direct talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Islamic Hamas movement warned on Thursday Fatah party of going to direct negotiations with Israel after the latter declined holding a tripartite meeting to set terms of reference for the stalled peace process. Salah al-Badawil, Gaza-based spokesman for Hamas, in a press release, demanded Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party not to return to "absurd talks" with Israel, urging the West Bank- ruling movement to give the priority for achieving national unity and isolating Israel.

Mubarak, Obama tackle over phone requirements of launching direct peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak received Wednesday a phone call from U.S. President Barack Obama during which they discussed the requirements for starting direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported. Mubarak underlined during the conversation Egypt's appreciation of the commitment of U.S. president to establish peace and create a propitious atmosphere for launching peace talks in line with clear terms of reference and a specific time frame.

Contacts underway to set peace reference: Palestinian official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official revealed on Tuesday that international and Arab contacts are underway to set the terms of reference for the peace process. "There are many contacts between the Palestinian leadership and international and Arab peace players to ensure that the Palestinian demands to start direct talks will be met," Fatah official Jamal Mohaisen told Xinhua following a meeting of the party's central committee that was chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Netanyahu: Hamas responsible for rockets on Eilat; we will retaliate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Israeli television Wednesday that Hamas was responsible for the deadly rocket fire on Israel's and Jordan's Red Sea ports on Monday, and that Israel would retaliate. Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian officials also confirmed that the rocket attacks, which had killed a Jordanian taxi driver in Aqaba, had been carried out by the militant Palestinian group operating from Egypt, after days of denials.

Shin Bet: Suspected Jewish terrorist Pearlman didn't work alone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Liel Kyzer - August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The Shin Bet security service and the police believe that Chaim Pearlman, suspected of murdering four Palestinians and wounding several others, committed the acts attributed to him with the help of accomplices. The suspicions emerged at Pearlman's remand in a Petach Tikvah court. Pearlman's remand was extended by six days. Sources close to Pearlman said "There has been no progress in the investigation ever since he was arrested. The Shin Bet insists on holding him for no reason."

Arab authorities threaten state-wide strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab authority heads protested Wednesday in front of the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, against what they claim are discriminatory budget cuts. Union of Local Authorities chairman Shlomo Buhbut warned that if the government did not transfer more funds to the Arab authorities, he would start a general strike of all local authorities, including the Jewish ones, as well as the schools.

Is Bibi becoming a dove?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by D. Bloomfield - August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has done what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could never do for himself – transform the Israeli leader’s image from hawk to dove. And he had help from American, European and even Arab leaders who are urging Abbas to quit dawdling and meet the Israeli prime minister at the peace table. The Obama administration weighed in Monday with State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley publicly warning Abbas “there are consequences to failing to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Report: Arab children shortchanged by social services
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ruth Eglash - August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Children at risk in the Arab sector are less likely to get assistance from social welfare services than Jewish children in similar situations, according to a study published on Wednesday by Sikkuy – The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel. “The Ministry of Welfare and Social Services operates an unequal policy in caring for Jewish and Arab children at risk,” according to the study, which was presented at the organization’s annual conference in Haifa.

Hamas Blamed for Contested Gaza Explosion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

A mysterious explosion which obliterated eight Gazan homes, damaged another 30 and injured over 50 people on Monday originated in a house used by Hamas to store weapons, The Media Line has learned. The Deir Al-Balah refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip was rocked Monday by an explosion centered in an uninhabited house belonging to 'Alaa Al-Danaf, a field commander of the 'Izz A-din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas The 'Iz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades blamed the explosion on Israel, claiming it was an assassination attempt on their field commanders.

Israel Fights Isolation With New Measures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Gal Beckerman - August 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel is taking significant new steps to relieve its international isolation following the fatal raid on a humanitarian flotilla and the accusatory Goldstone Report.

Obama Administration Presses Palestinians To Enter Direct Talks With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - August 4, 2010 - 12:00am

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley strove hard to hit the right note August 2 in describing the Obama administration’s recent effort to push the Palestinians into direct peace talks with Israel.

Abbas: Either Fight or Negotiate!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

No one ever tells the whole truth, even in simple cases such as negotiations, and here is a story to illustrate that. Of all the American Presidents, Barack Obama is actually the most enthusiastic to establish a Palestinian state and liberate the West Bank and Gaza. This is something that the Arabs and their supporters have failed to achieve through war, bombings, demonstrations or zealous speeches over the past 40 years. It is natural to regard negotiations as an alternative to defeat, and even the "Oslo Accords" that were criticized by many achieved more than empty rhetoric.

Israel’s insistence on direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - August 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insists on holding direct talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) for four important reasons. First, he seeks to end Israel's isolation on the international scene. Second, he wants to project the impression that his right-wing government is prepared to negotiate with the Palestinians. Third, he is determined to begin anew, to erase 19 years of negotiations and arrangements agreed by previous Israeli premiers. His intention is to impose and formalise new "red lines? across which Israel will not budge.

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