Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Tom Friedman finds wisdom in a new movie about Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli officials are due to testify before the flotilla inquiry. Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem use wire to divide themselves. The LA Times looks at lessons and legacies of Israel's unilateral redeployment from Gaza. Israel destroys more Palestinian homes in the Jordan Valley. A Fatah official says there will be a cabinet reshuffle within two weeks. Libya frees an Israeli photographer as part of an aid deal on Gaza. A Palestinian human rights group says Israel plans to deport 20,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas' office again clarifies that he has no objection to Jews serving in any international force deployed in Palestine. A lack of translators is hindering Israeli military police investigations into abuses. A young Palestinian files court charges that Israeli authorities tortured him. Yossi Beilin says until Israel changes its attitude towards peace, it will be isolated. An Israeli court confirms orders to seal a synagogue in an unauthorized settler outpost. The National says Israel should be held accountable for the flotilla attack. Adel Safty says strategic considerations dictate Abbas' return to directing initiations.

Steal This Movie
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

I just saw a remarkable new documentary directed by Shlomi Eldar, the Gaza reporter for Israel’s Channel 10 news. Titled “Precious Life,” the film tracks the story of Mohammed Abu Mustafa, a 4-month-old Palestinian baby suffering from a rare immune deficiency. Moved by the baby’s plight, Eldar helps the infant and mother go from Gaza to Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital for lifesaving bone-marrow treatment. The operation costs $55,000. Eldar puts out an appeal on Israel TV and within hours an Israeli Jew whose own son was killed during military service donates all the money.

Officials to testify on flotilla events Monday amid intrigue and police investigation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - (Blog) August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Somehow, summertime in the Middle East is accident-prone. From military misadventures to political predicaments and diplomatic disasters, the heat just seems to fry judgment.

A Jerusalem neighborhood's line in the sky
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

The view from Jerusalem's hilltop Abu Tor neighborhood is pretty good. Too good, some might say. From my apartment terrace, I can glimpse the major tourist sites: Old City walls, the golden Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount, the King David Hotel and Mt. Zion, believed to be the location of the Last Supper. But when clashes erupt between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators, I can also watch tear-gas clouds rise from the Arab village of Silwan below. And every morning, the sun rises over a massive concrete wall, part of Israel's West Bank security barrier.

Lessons and legacies of Israel's Gaza withdrawal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Five years after then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon embarked on a landmark withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the disengagement continues to dominate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here are some of the key lessons and legacies: Although disengagement enjoyed broad support at the time, almost no one calls it a success today.

Jordan Valley demolitions continue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's Civil Administration began razing housing units Monday in the Ein Hilwa area of the northern Jordan Valley, campaign officials said. Save the Jordan Valley campaign coordinator Fathi Ikhdeirat said Israeli authorities, accompanied by border guards, began tearing down structures and handing down stop-work orders to residents. He described the move as an attempt "to clear the area of its indigenous people and include it into Israel and called on international human rights groups to intervene to bring the demolitions to a halt.

Fatah official: Cabinet reshuffle within 2 weeks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority cabinet reshuffle will take place within two weeks, Fatah's parliament speaker Azzam Al-Ahmad said Sunday. President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed there would be a reshuffle in May, although reports of a new PA cabinet have been circulating since February. US pressure on Palestinian leadership to move to direct talks with Israel, and a busy schedule of visits have delayed the forming of a new cabinet, Al-Ahmad told Ma’an Radio Network.

Israeli PM says Turkey ignored flotilla warnings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ari Rabinovitch - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Turkey ignored repeated warnings and appeals "at the highest level" to halt a Gaza aid flotilla, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told an Israeli inquiry on Monday into the fatal raid by his troops. Netanyahu was the first witness to testify to the state-appointed inquiry into the lethal raid at sea on May 31, in which Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists after boarding their vessel from a helicopter.

Libya frees Israeli photographer in Gaza aid deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Libya has freed an Israeli photographer held by its security services for five months, as part of a secret Austrian-mediated deal involving aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip, an Israeli official said on Monday. Israel Radio said Rafael Hadad was detained as a suspected spy in March after travelling to Libya, which is technically at war with Israel, on a Tunisian passport -- his second travel document. But the Israeli official denied any espionage link.

Israel intends to deport 20,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem: JCSER head
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel intends to deport over 20,000 Palestinians out of Jerusalem whom it said don't have legal residency to stay in the city, a leading Palestinian human rights defender said on Sunday. "Israeli Interior Ministry has already begun deporting Palestinians under the pretext that they stay in Jerusalem illegally," Ziad Hammouri, head of the Jerusalem center for social and economic rights (JCSER), told Xinhua. The new procedure targets West Bank citizens who live in Jerusalem and possess property and ownerships even before Israel occupied the city in 1967, he said.

Abbas agrees on peacekeeping forces in future Palestinian state regardless of religion: aide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agrees on deploying international peacekeeping forces in a future Palestinian state regardless of their religion, an aide to Abbas said on Saturday. Abbas' advisor Nemer Hammad denied U.S. media reports that the Palestinian leader would not agree to have any Jews among the peacekeeping forces that would be present alongside the Israeli- Palestinian borders after reaching a two-state solution. "These reports are totally baseless and untrue," Hammad was quoted by the official Palestinian Wafa news agency as saying.

Translator shortage hinders probes into IDF abuses in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Liel Kyzer - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

A shortage of translators is seriously damaging Military Police investigations into complaints by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers, human rights organization Yesh Din said yesterday. In a letter to the officer monitoring such investigations, Yesh Din said complainants often travel far for prearranged meetings with investigators, only to find that the meetings have been canceled because no interpreter could be found.

Palestinian urges probe into alleged Shin Bet abuse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
by Aviad Glickman - August 8, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian man claiming he was tortured by the Shin Bet filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on Sunday demanding an inquiry be launched into what he described as cruel and inhumane treatment by his interrogators. Allah Nasser Salem, 22, from Ramllah, and the Public Committee Against Torture claimed that they have yet to receive an answer to a complaint filed six months after the alleged abuse in October-November 2008 in which they demanded a criminal investigation against the interrogators.

The new ghetto
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yossi Beilin - (Opinion) August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Political Zionism led by Theodor Herzl would not have come into existence were it not for anti-Semitism in Europe, pogroms in Russia and a fear lest the emergence of the Jews from the ghetto and their integration into the economic, political, media and academic systems of the day provoke a sharp and violent reaction. There were alternative Jewish movements aimed at reaching the Land of Israel on the basis of religious motives or in order to build a new society founded on agricultural settlement and social justice. But that was not the Zionist movement as established in 1897.

High Court: Seal illegal West Bank synagogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

The High Court of Justice on Sunday upheld a June ruling and ordered the state to seal and fence off a synagogue that it said was illegally constructed in the El Matan outpost in Samaria. El Matan is located just south of the Ma’aleh Shomron settlement, but within its official boundaries. “There is no place for delaying the execution of this order,” the court said. But it added that there was no way to intervene in the authorities’ priorities for the area. The court asked the state for an update on the matter within 60 days.

Inquiry shouldn’t let Israel off the hook
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

What are the chances that Israel will be held accountable for the fatal raid on the Gaza aid flotilla in May? If history is any precedent, it is difficult to be optimistic. Last week, the United Nations announced that a panel would investigate the attack, an investigation in which Israel has since agreed to participate.

Strategic acumen dictates Abbas' return to direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

There is something preposterous in the question that seems to characterise the current stage of the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: To talk or not to talk directly. The final settlement of conflicts necessarily requires intense and sustained negotiations between the parties to the conflict. And this intensity and sustainability are evidently lacking in the so-called proximity talks in which the parties relay messages to each other through a third party.

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