Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli Amb. Oren says the Middle East is at a crossroads between war and peace. A thriving Jenin, with a reopened main cinema, is an example of Palestinian progress in the West Bank. Palestinians say the economy could grow by 20% per year under peace. Hamas' military wing welcomes rocket attacks from Sinai. Palestinian-Israeli and West Bank business leaders meet in Nablus. Several recent border incidents highlight Israeli security concerns. Older Gazans remember Israeli civilians, but youths know only the Army. Three are injured in a clash between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas leaders urge the kidnapping of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Zeev Sternhell says it's time for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to be honest about their intentions. Former HHS Sec. Donna Shalala says she was humiliated at Ben-Gurion Airport because of her Arab heritage. Saudi Arabia is coaxing the PLO to enter direct talks. The BBC profiles child labor in Gaza. Laila El-Haddad says calling Gaza “a prison camp” is an understatement. The New Statesman interviews Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. Ori Nir says it's time to confront Israel's extremists. Hussein Ibish says both Arab and Israeli leaders are behaving in an undignified manner.

At the crossroads to peace and war in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael B. Oren - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Rarely have the lines in the Middle East's sands been drawn so distinctly. Arrayed on one side is the peace-seeking camp that opposes militant extremism and favors direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. On the other are the organizations, many of them surrogates for Iran, that work to undermine moderate governments and violently impede any effort for peace.

From intifada hub to model Palestinian city: How Jenin turned around
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

In a dramatic turnaround, the Palestinian city that served as the heart of the second intifada now boasts a new shopping mall. A return of Israeli Jewish shoppers after nearly a decade appears imminent and – as of today – the city boasts its first cinema.

Peace Would Curb Palestinian Need for Donors, Abbas Aide Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Jonathan Ferziger - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian economy may grow 20 percent annually if there is peace with Israel and become less dependent on international donors, said Mohammad Mustafa, who runs the Palestinian Authority’s main investment fund. In the meantime, Palestinians are pushing ahead with development of a new West Bank financial center and what may become the biggest initial public offering yet when mobile phone operator Wataniya Palestine Telecom sells shares before the end of the year.

Hamas wing welcomes Egyptian resistance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas' armed wing the Al-Qassam Brigades released a statement late Thursday night attesting total non-involvement with the Monday rocket launches that hit Eilat and Aqaba. "Military acts from the resistance are carried out inside of Palestine," spokesman of the brigades Abu Obeida said, added in a statement that also welcomed "any resistance targeting the occupation, whether from in our outside of Palestine."

Business leaders meet at iconic Nablus mansion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Business leaders from Nazareth in northern Israel met up with their counterparts in the West Bank on Thursday, holding a meeting with Hamas and Fatah officials in a bid to encourage reconciliation. Nablus governor Jibrin Al-Bakri attended the discussion hosted by telecommunications tycoon Munib Al-Masri at his Palladian-style palace atop Mount Gerizim. The talk focused on developing economic ties on both sides of the Green Line.

Back to the movies in former West Bank outlaw city
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

The big screen is back in Jenin after a 23-year intermission, marking a fresh start for the West Bank city that was a bastion of armed militias at the peak of the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. Mothballed in the grim atmosphere of 1987, Jenin Cinema was finally reopened on Thursday evening with a screening of "Heart of Jenin", a wrenching documentary that spurred its renovation.

ANALYSIS-Israel watches two hot borders, and maybe a third
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has Iranian-supported enemies in Lebanon to the north and Gaza to the south. Its back to the sea is safe. But security on its eastern border may be threatened if hostile Iran expands into an unstable Iraq. Israeli analysts differ on the risk of encirclement by enemy forces allied to Tehran, on the degree to which Hamas and Hezbollah will do Iran's bidding, and on the chances of Iran gaining greater leverage in Baghdad via its Shi'ite connections.

Older Gazans recall Israelis, youth sees only army
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ben Hubbard - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

From his ramshackle Gaza home, Palestinian Sobhi Hamami, 61, fondly recalls the 23 years he worked on an Israeli kibbutz, where he learned Hebrew, swam in the pool with Israeli friends and celebrated holidays with his Jewish boss. His son Mohammed, 21, sees Israelis differently: "They're the enemy," he says, "without exception."

Three militants injured in Hamas-Islamic Jihad clash in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Three militants were injured in clashes between the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) group on Thursday. The Islamic Jihad movement said in a press release that clashes erupted after an argument between one of its fighters and Hamas gunmen in the outskirts of Gaza city. "The argument developed into clashes which left two Hamas militants injured," said the press release, adding "one of our fighters was kidnapped and beaten up by Hamas militants."

Hamas leaders in Syria urge West Bank operatives to kidnap Israeli settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces West Bank division commander, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has warned Israeli settlers to be on alert for possible abduction attempts across the territory. In a letter sent to Yesha Council leaders, Alon said that the warning is based on intelligence and interrogations of Palestinians arrested on involvement in plotting such kidnappings. The IDF said intelligence has shown Hamas leaders in Damascus are pressuring followers in the West Bank to abduct Israeli settlers and citizens.

Take the masks off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zeev Sternhell - (Opinion) August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

It's hard to know whether in our relations with the Palestinians we have reached a turning point of the kind that is termed "historic," but it's clear we're at a point where the sides have to take off their masks. A peace agreement is apparently closer than ever right now. The Arab states that are united in an anti-Iranian coalition want an agreement, as does Syria, which thirsts for the Golan Heights.

American VIP humiliated at airport
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

This is not how she imagined her visit to Israel. Prof. Donna Shalala, who served as the US Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years under Clinton and is currently the president of Miami University, was held for two-and-a-half hours at Ben Gurion Airport during which she underwent a humiliating security debriefing because of her Arab last name – all this despite the fact that her hosts notified the airport ahead of time that she is a VIP.

Saudis coaxing PA to enter direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Saudi Arabia is urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to enter direct talks with Israel, and can “sweeten a deal” by offering financial assistance for agreeing to negotiations, a top Israeli diplomatic official said on Thursday. According to the official, the US – which is pressing Abbas to enter the talks – was behind a meeting in Riyadh on Wednesday between Abbas and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

Case studies: Child workers in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Although Israel eased its blockade in mid-June - allowing in consumer goods - little has changed for Gaza's poorest families, who cannot afford the food and clothing in the market, and rely instead on aid handouts. Unemployment runs at 40% in Gaza, which has been largely sealed off from the outside world by Israel and Egypt since 2007, when the Hamas militant movement seized power in the territory. The UK-based aid group Save the Children, working with Getty photographer Warrick Page, has spoken to some of Gaza's young breadwinners. Raed Ahmed Moussa, 14, mechanic, Gaza City

Calling Gaza a prison camp is an understatement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Laila El-Haddad - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

It's three years since I've been back to Gaza. Much has happened since my last visit. Fatah waged a failed coup and now rules only the West Bank, while Hamas is in charge of Gaza. Israel launched its deadly Cast Lead assault. Fuel shortages. Electricity crises. And so on. I needed to regain perspective. So I walked and I talked and I listened. I went to the beach where women – skinny jeans and all – were smoking water pipes, swimming and generally having a good time, irrespective of the purported Hamas ban on women smoking sheesha.

The NS Interview: Haneen Zoabi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New Statesman
by Samira Shackle - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

What is it like being a Palestinian in Israel? Israel did everything it could to make us forget our history: controlling education and the media, putting us in a ghetto, preventing us from having normal relations with the Arab world and visiting our families in Syria and Lebanon. Are Arab members of parliament treated differently? Of course. The state treats all Jews and Palestinians differently. Israel doesn't recognise us as the owners of this homeland. The theory is that we have equal civil rights, but the practice is very far from this. Do you endorse a two-state solution?

Stand against Israel's extremists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Washington Jewish Week
by Ori Nir - (Opinion) August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli soldiers last week again had to chase lawless settlers on the hills of the West Bank. This time, it was settlers from Yitzhar and Bracha, near Nablus, who vandalized Palestinian property, blocked roads, torched fields, sabotaged Israel Defense Forces vehicles, punched, kicked Israeli police officers, cursed and harassed them and resisted arrest -- all in reaction to the demolition of two illegally built structures at an outpost near Yitzhar.

Middle East leaders' undignified behavior
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - August 6, 2010 - 12:00am

In the context of the Obama administration's strong push for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the frankly undignified and needlessly complicating behavior of almost all the national leaderships in the Middle East has never been more apparent.

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