Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The UN says both Israel's and Hamas' accounts of the Gaza war are unacceptable. Sec. Clinton pressures Arab states to aid the PA. Controversy surrounds the assassination of a Hamas operative by Israel in the West Bank. At least one Palestinian is killed by Israelis in the Silwan area of occupied East Jerusalem. The PA announces a boycott against Israeli shops selling settlement goods. Israel's flotilla inquiry is wrapping up. Hamas' hunt for collaborators spreads panic in Gaza. Pres. Abbas hints at a compromise on settlements. Palestinians continue to work on Israeli settlement construction. A meeting between PM Fayyad and Deputy FM Ayalon reportedly ends badly. Aluf Benn says PM Netanyahu should freeze settlements. Settlers complain about the moratorium. The Israeli government is preparing for the aftermath of failed talks. Omar Rahman says it's unreasonable to ask Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Ali Ibrahim says Hamas has no credibility. Rami Khouri says the Palestinians need to regroup. Hussein Ibish analyzes Netanyahu's demand Palestinians recognize Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” Hussein Ibish analyzes Netanyahu's demand Palestinians recognize Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people,” and rejects both optimism and pessimism about the negotiations.

Gaza: U.N. Cites Rights Violations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Investigations by Israel and the Palestinians into violations of human rights during the Gaza conflict of 2008 and 2009 were inadequate in several respects, an expert committee led by the United Nations Human Rights Council said Tuesday. The committee’s conclusion could lead to calls for the suspected violations to be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Clinton presses Arab nations to bolster aid to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - (Analysis) September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS - On the sidelines of a U.N. anti-poverty meeting, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed Arab officials Tuesday to bolster their financial contributions to the Palestinian Authority and to support the nascent peace talks more visibly.

Killing of Hamas operative raises questions about conduct of elite Israeli units in pursuing militants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

IN NUR SHAMS REFUGEE CAMP, WEST BANK Moving quietly through the alleys of this ramshackle neighborhood, the Israeli soldiers forced their way into Iyad Abu Shilbaya's home in the early morning hours under cover of darkness. A Hamas operative who had been detained repeatedly by the Palestinian Authority and imprisoned for two years by Israel, Abu Shilbaya was one of more than a dozen people whose homes were raided during a sweep of arrests in the Nur Shams camp outside the town of Tulkarm on Friday.

Clashes in Silwan after guard kills Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Wednesday, following the shooting death of a Palestinian man in the morning by an Israeli settler security guard, officials said. Israeli border guards deployed riot dispersal means, including rubber bullets, sound grenades and tear gas, against residents in the flashpoint neighborhood who were demonstrating against the killing of Samer Sarhan, 28, and the injury of three others earlier Wednesday morning.

Settlement boycott to target Israeli chain store
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of National Economy, charged with implementing the boycott of settlement-made goods, announced Tuesday it will be launching a boycott campaign against an Israeli chain of superstores, a statement read. The ministry said the Rami Levi Shivok Hashikma chain, which has "spread like cancer" following the opening of new stores in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem.

Israel's Gaza flotilla inquest nears end -chairman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's state-appointed inquiry into the lethal storming of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May is almost complete, the chief investigator said on Wednesday after one of his fellow panel members died. Set up in hope of stemming international fury at Israeli marines' killing of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists aboard one of the ships, the Turkel Commission is also providing material for a separate inquest at the United Nations.

Hamas action to catch spies spreads panic in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ibrahim Barzak - September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

A secretive Hamas campaign to catch Palestinians spying for Israel has ensnared some prominent Gaza residents, drawn unusual criticism and highlighted the Islamic militant group's deep fears about being penetrated by agents of the Jewish state. Though action against accused collaborators is always popular in Gaza and tensions are hardly new in the seaside strip — a crowded and impoverished place that endures a three-year blockade that has kept key supplies scarce and made travel out for most people virtually impossible — this time seems different.

AP Exclusive: Palestinian hints at settlement deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Josef Federman - September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian president has left the door open to continuing peace negotiations with Israel even if it resumes settlement construction in the West Bank, offering a glimmer of hope that a compromise will be reached in a key dispute that has threatened to torpedo the newly relaunched talks. But in a reminder of the fragile negotiating climate, a private Israeli security guard shot and killed a Palestinian man in a volatile east Jerusalem neighborhood early Wednesday, sparking clashes between stone-hurling youths and Israeli forces.

Palestinians forced to claw their way to building Israel's dream homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

In Bethlehem, several hundred meters from the separation fence, a vague commotion is audible. Moving closer to the fence, you can see the full, unpleasant scene. It's 4 A.M. and underneath the fence, hundreds of people are cramming into a corridor bounded by iron bars. The corridor is several hundred meters long and a meter and a half wide. Young men in their 20s push their way next to others over 60. They yell, argue, hit and do whatever else they need to in order to get through the crossing as quickly as possible. Almost all work legally in Israel, building Israelis' dream homes.

Fayyad, Ayalon meeting ends abruptly over two-state solution dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Shamir - September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

A meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates financial aid for Palestinians, ended abruptly Tuesday in New York due to a disagreement between Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on the terms of a two-state solution. Ayalon canceled a scheduled joint press conference with Fayyad after the meeting. "We did not reach an agreement because the Palestinians did not agree to the terms of a two-state solution," Ayalon told Haaretz.

Be a man, freeze the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Leaders are tested by their ability to spot opportunities and leverage them for their own benefit. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now has such an opportunity. He must convene the cabinet on Sunday and inform it that the freeze on settlement construction will be extended by three months, during which he will conduct intensive negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the future border between Israel and Palestine.

Settlers: Damage caused by construction freeze is long term
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Aviel Magnezi - September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The settler leadership in the West Bank said that initially only a few hundred housing units will be built once the construction moratorium expires on September 26, Ynet reported Tuesday night. One leader said the "damage" caused by the freeze will be mitigated only in the long term. "Estimates by left-wing organizations' saying the construction of about 2,000 housing units will be approved if the freeze ends entirely are fairly accurate, but it won't happen immediately. This process will take some time," he said.

Gov’t prepares ‘contingency plans’ if direct talks blow up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

With five days left until the settlement construction moratorium ends, talks are continuing in the US between Israeli, Palestinian Authority and American officials to find a “creative” solution to the issue, even as Jerusalem was preparing for the possibility the PA may indeed walk away from direct talks over the matter.

Rumors of Collaboration Leave Gazans Uneasy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

The arrest of an unknown number of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and belligerent statements by Hamas officials have sparked rumors that many of the detainees could be charged with collaborating with Israel, a crime punishable by death. Human Rights activists and family members of some of the detained men told The Media Line that these detainees have virtually disappeared and haven’t been heard from in weeks.

Barely months into talks, will the freeze freeze a peace deal?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Analysis) September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- When the fat lady sings on Sept. 26, it may only be an intermission. That’s the word from an array of Mideast experts across the political spectrum. They are predicting that the seeming intractability between Israel and the Palestinians over whether Israel extends a settlement moratorium beyond its end date will not scuttle the peace talks. Instead, the observers say, the sides are likely employing the brinksmanship that has come to characterize Middle East peacemaking.

Israel's unreasonable demand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Omar Rahman - (Opinion) September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

"The Palestinians must recognise Israel as a Jewish state." This is the mantra of the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been promoting this controversial idea as a condition of any peace deal. But is such recognition valid, necessary, or even appropriate? This question will certainly remain at the heart of negotiations with an Israeli leadership that views such recognition as imperative. Although this is not the first time Israel has sought some form of validation, it varies from the past in stark and troubling ways.

Hamas and Dialogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali Ibrahim - (Opinion) September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

It is not the first time that Hamas has announced its desire to begin dialogue with the United States. The only thing that is new this time is its' insistence. Hamas issued a statement confirming that it has sent a message to Barack Obama, via a US delegation that recently visited Gaza, inviting him to open direct dialogue with the group, and to remove what the group considers to be an American veto on Palestinian reconciliation.

Time for the Palestinians to regroup
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

I was in Amman last week on the same day that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton passed through for lunch with the king of Jordan and stressed how all the negotiators on the Palestinian-Israeli track were very serious about reaching an agreement. I was also in the Jordan Valley gazing across at some of the Israeli settlements as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged not to negotiate for a moment more if the Israelis continued building settlements after their partial freeze ended this month.

Netanyahu’s subtle, insidious, unworkable demand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently been reiterating the demand he has focused on since regaining power that Palestinians and other Arabs recognize Israel as not only a “Jewish state” but specifically as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” This demand has been flatly rejected not only by the Palestinian leadership, but more recently by the Arab League.

Beyond optimism or pessimism: the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Common Ground News Service
by Hussein Ibish - (Analysis) September 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington, DC - While the build up to the renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – the first direct talks in almost ten years to be brokered by the United States – was largely greeted with an excess of pessimism on the part of many observers, the fact that they have been resumed is, on its own, something of an achievement for US President Barack Obama and his administration. Indeed, it took almost a year of intensive diplomacy in order to get to these direct negotiations to get them going.

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