Middle East News: World Press Roundup

PM Netanyahu signals flexibility on settlement building, and says Palestinians must recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” Pres. Obama says negotiations may first focus on borders. Jackson Diehl asks which leader is bluffing. Ron Grossman urges giving peace a chance. Three Palestinians are killed by Israeli shelling in northern Gaza. Israel is allowing car parts into Gaza. Palestinian negotiators deny infighting. Peace Now says over 2,000 new settlement units will be built when the partial moratorium expires on Sept. 26. Ha'aretz looks at the plight of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. Settlers vow to keep building no matter what and threaten to topple the Netanyahu government. A Bedouin village in southern Israel is raised for the fifth time in a few weeks. The end of Ramadan shows unmistakable signs of prosperity in the West Bank. The Palestinian labor group launches international campaign to boycott settlement products. The Arab News says Palestinians cannot continue negotiating with settlement construction ongoing.

Israel Bends Slightly on Settlement Building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - (Analysis) September 12, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, signaled for the first time on Sunday that he was willing to limit, though not completely halt, construction in the West Bank settlements after a partial building moratorium expires later this month. The hints of flexibility came as diplomats worked to defuse a potential crisis over settlement building that threatens to derail fledgling Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Obama: Israeli-Palestinian peace talks might focus first on possible border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - (Analysis) September 10, 2010 - 12:00am

President Obama on Friday signaled that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators might begin their peace talks by focusing on the potential border between the two states in order to overcome conflicts over Israeli settlement growth on the West Bank.

Who's bluffing: Abbas or Netanyahu?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - (Opinion) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

The conventional wisdom about Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu as they head into the second round of Mideast peace talks this week goes something like this: Abbas is a moderate who genuinely wants a two-state settlement but may be too weak politically to deliver. Netanyahu is a hawk who holds a commanding political position in Israel but doesn't really accept Palestinian statehood.

What's so wrong with giving peace a chance?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Chicago Tribune
by Ron Grossman - (Opinion) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

Perhaps never before has a bit of diplomatic theater received such ho-hum reviews as when Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu had dinner at the White House earlier this month, unless the record belongs to a previous sit-down between Palestinian and Israeli leaders. And yet . . . The Middle East is the land of "and yet." It's been the sign-off phrase for myriad attempts to end decades of stalemate and violence.

Israeli shelling kills 3 in north Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli shelling killed three people including an elderly man in the northern Gaza Strip late Sunday, witnesses said. The bodies of shepherds Ibrahim Abu Said, 91, and Ismail Abu Odeh, 21, were taken to a hospital in Beit Hanoun, medics said. Ibrahim was apparently Ismail's grandfather. An Israeli military spokesman said forces identified a number of suspects attempting to fire an RPG toward an Israeli position. He said forces fired on the Palestinians, apparently hitting them.

Israel to allow car parts into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities said they would be allowing the entry of car oil and spare parts into Gaza on Monday for the first time since its blockade of the coastal territory was enforced in 2006, a Palestinian liaison official said. Raed Fattouh said one terminal, the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza, would be open for the transfer of five truckloads of car parts and oil, as well as 165 truckloads of other goods.

Erekat: No infighting on negotiations team
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The PLO's chief negotiator denied on Sunday, reports in the Arab media that he and another Palestinian officials were sparring over who would represent President Mahmoud Abbas at an upcoming peace summit. Saeb Erekat told Ma'an that President Abbas appointed him as head of the Palestinian negotiations delegation, which meant he - and not Nabil Shaath - would attend the Sharm Ash-Sheikh summit on Tuesday, where peace talks that began on 2 September in Washington are set to continue.

Netanyahu urges recognition of Israel as "Jewish people's state"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Analysis) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged the Palestinians to recognize Israel as "Jewish people's state" and called for "two states for two peoples " as part of a solution to the Israeli -- Palestinian conflict. "We say that the solution is two states for two peoples, meaning two national states, a Jewish national state and a Palestinian national state," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet session.

Peace Now: 2,066 settlement homes to be built as soon as freeze ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - (Analysis) September 12, 2010 - 12:00am

2,066 new homes would be ready for continued West Bank construction as soon as a moratorium on settlement building is lifted later this month, a report by the Israeli left-wing NGO Peace Now said Sunday, adding that work on another 11,000 potential units could hypothetically start as well.

Jerusalem or Gaza - where is it worse to be Palestinian?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

Graduates of the Shin Bet security service pride themselves on being able to recite Arabic proverbs, claiming this is the way to win over an Arab interlocutor. If it sounds to you as if I'm a bit envious of the linguistic training they receive, you are not mistaken; in my sort of school - the field - I have been able to memorize only a few Arabic adages.

Settler leader: Extending West Bank freeze will end Netanyahu gov't
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury, Chaim Levinson, Jonathan Lis - (Analysis) September 12, 2010 - 12:00am

A continuation of a moratorium on West Bank settlement building would usher the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, a prominent settler leader said on Sunday, thus commenting on what many consider to an earlier remark by the premier. Speaking at a meeting of Likud ministers earlier Sunday, Netanyahu hinted that he was open to a formulation of a partial building freeze in the settlements after September 30. "The freeze order is support to expire at the end of the month," Netanyahu said.

Bedouin village razed for 5th time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ilana Curiel - (Analysis) September 13, 2010 - 12:00am

Authorities are determined to demolish an unrecognized Bedouin village in The Negev – residents of the Bedouin village al-Arakib rebuilt their houses four times, after they were razed by The Israel Land Administration. 

Settlers vow to keep on building – at any cost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - (Analysis) September 11, 2010 - 12:00am

As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare for key peace talks in Egypt, hardline Jewish settlers are vowing to sabotage a political process that they fear, if successful, could endanger the survival of the Jewish state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sit down for a second round of talks on Tuesday in a US-sponsored effort to end nearly two decades of deadlock, but opponents of the negotiations say they are quietly confident of their failure.

Rush of openings on West Bank is sign that prosperity is returning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Analysis) September 10, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH // On the eve of Eid al Fitr, Rukab Street was gripped in the traditional holiday fervour. Hijab-clad women and their Christian counterparts, in knee-length skirts and floral shirts, bumped shoulders as they thronged shoe stores and sweet shops for last-minute bargains. Employees at coffee shops busily scrubbed their storefronts in anticipation of customers after iftar. Unlike previous years, the end of the holy month came amid unmistakable signs of prosperity.

Palestinian federation launches campaign against settlement products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - (Analysis) September 11, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian federation of Laborers on Saturday launched an international campaign to boycott the products of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. Shaher Sa'ad, Secretary-General of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), told Arab News that his federation lunched the international campaign to boycott the products of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.

Editorial: Unsettled issue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) September 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Abbas will not be able to continue talking while Israel continues building With the expiration of Israel’s partial freeze on settlements only two weeks away, President Barack Obama is concerned. The “major bone of contention” he referred to over the weekend is the potential lifting of the settlement moratorium which could wreck the talks before they get out of first gear. The president’s credibility and the future of talks depends on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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