Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel kills a leader of an Al Qaeda-inspired organization in Gaza, and hints the US approved the strike. Former Pres. Clinton remembers the late PM Rabin and says peace is still possible. The first settlement goods case comes before a Palestinian court. Pres. Abbas says the US is trying to restart peace talks and denounces Israel's "aggressive policies." A new poll says 56% of Palestinians oppose resuming talks in the face of ongoing settlement activity. Sec. Clinton plans to meet PM Netanyahu and says the US is working nonstop on peace. Israel says it will officially monitor Palestinian “incitement.” Israel cuts off special dialogue with Britain and cooperation with UNESCO. US midterm elections may impact Mideast policy. Israel may introduce civil marriage. Israel is blocking Palestinian officials from crossing the Allenby Bridge. Another poll shows a sharp drop in support for Hamas in Gaza. Britain's FM backs nonviolent Palestinian protests. George Hishmeh looks at tensions between Israel and the Vatican. Daoud Kuttab says education is a key to successful Palestinian statehood.





Israel Attack Kills a Top Militant in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


A Palestinian leader of an Islamic extremist group inspired by Al Qaeda was killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Wednesday, according to the Israeli military. The car in which the militant was traveling exploded near a central police compound. Hamas officials said an Israeli missile fired from a drone caused the blast. The Israeli military gave no details about how the attack, which ended a period of relative calm, was carried out. The sound of the blast echoed through the city, and a column of black smoke and fire rose from the car, which was destroyed.


Finish Rabin’s Work
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Bill Clinton - (Opinion) November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


TODAY marks 15 years since an assassin’s bullet killed my friend, Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister. Since his death, not a week has gone by that I have not missed him. I loved him and his wife, Leah, very much. On the occasion of the anniversary of his death, his yahrzeit, the world would do well to remember the lessons of his life: his vision for freedom, tolerance, cooperation, security and peace is as vital now as it was 15 years ago, when he happily spoke and sang for peace at a huge rally in Tel Aviv just before he was killed.


PA court to hear first settlements case
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


The first case of smuggling goods from settlements into West Bank shops was filed in a Bethlehem court Wednesday, in a move that will test a new Palestinian Authority law prohibiting the sale of such products. Although customs officers have patrolled West Bank shops and detained several people since the law went into effect over the summer, the case of the Bethlehem merchant will be the first to see the inside of a courtroom.


Abbas: US trying to restart peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


Continuous efforts have been made by US mediators to bring stalled peace talks back on track, President Mahmoud Abbas told the Kuwait News Agency KUNA on Wednesday. As PA officials insist that the midterm elections - which took seats in the nation's congress away from President Barack Obama's Democratic party - will not harm the process, Abbas said officials from all parties involved were continuing efforts.


Poll: 56% oppose resuming talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


More than half of Palestinians in the occupied territories oppose a return to direct negotiations with Israel in the face of ongoing West Bank settlement expansion, an opinion poll released Wednesday suggests. The survey, from the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, prepared by Beit Sahour-based pollster Nabil Kukali, also showed that 56.2 percent wanted rival Palestinian factions to sign Egypt's proposal for political reconciliation.


Clinton plans to meet Israel's Netanyahu next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she plans to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the United States next week. "I do intend to see Prime Minister Netanyahu when he is in the United States next week," Clinton told reporters at a news conference with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, the second-to-last stop on her two-week Asia-Pacific tour.


Israel takes aim at Palestinian 'incitement'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ian Deitch - November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israel announced Wednesday it will officially monitor "incitement" by the Palestinians, taking aim at what it says are widespread provocations against the Jewish state that undermine efforts to reach Mideast peace. The announcement further strained an atmosphere that has grown increasingly tense in recent weeks following the breakdown of U.S.-sponsored Mideast peace talks. Palestinians accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to divert attention away from the impasse in the negotiations and its own failures to live up to obligations, such as a settlement freeze.


Israel cuts off special dialogue with Britain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Daniel Estrin - November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israel has suspended a special strategic dialogue with London as long as Israeli officials visiting Britain face possible arrest for suspected war crimes against Palestinians, officials said Wednesday. The announcement came as British Foreign Secretary William Hague met with senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem. Officials from both countries said the matter would be high on the meeting's agenda, and the British Foreign Office said it was working to resolve the matter. British officials also said Hague would repeat Britain's criticism of West Bank settlements.


Israeli media weigh impact of U.S. midterm election on Obama's Mideast policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Gur Salomon - November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Republican party's victory in the U.S. House of Representatives has made Israeli media to think its impacts on President Barack Obama's Middle East policy, U.S.- Israeli relations and the future of the stalled Israeli- Palestinian peace talks. Despite Obama's attention to the foreign policy front, with most efforts channelled to broker a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal, U.S. analysts attribute the Democrats' loss of control over Congress to American voters' dissatisfaction with Obama's economic policies.


News Analysis: New US Congress affects Obama's Middle East policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


Early results of the U.S. midterm elections indicate President Barack Obama's Democrats have lost control of the House of Representatives and the Republican Party has increased its presence in the Senate, which may affect Obama's role as a peace broker in the Middle East. When Obama convinced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year to impose a ten-month freeze on construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank so that the peace process could be resumed, hopes were high that it could lead to a breakthrough.


Israel sets to grant civil marriages
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


JERUSALEM, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli government plans to begin granting marriage licences for non-Jews and others officially defined as not belonging to a particular religious denomination. Some 300,000 such couples, which have up to now had to travel overseas to marry in civil ceremonies, often to nearby Cyprus, will be able to officially wed without the Chief Rabbinate's approval, possibly by the weekend, Israel army radio reported Wednesday.


Clinton: U.S. working non-stop to advance Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed on Thursday her plans to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits the United States next week, adding that she believed the Middle East peace process could progress despite recent obstacles. "I do intend to see Prime Minister Netanyahu when he is in the United States next week," Clinton told reporters at a news conference with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, the second-to-last stop on her two-week Asia-Pacific tour.


Israel blocking Palestinian officials from using main Jordan crossing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Avi Issacharoff - November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israeli authorities have decided to block any Palestinian official aside from the president and prime minister from crossing over the Allenby Bridge from the West Bank into Jordan. Coordinator of Government Activities in the West Bank Eitan Dangot announced the decision late Wednesday. The move seems geared specifically at two senior members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement – Ahmed Qureia and Mahmoud Dahlan – who have made aggressive remarks about Israel of late.


IDF spokeswoman completely denies hinting Israel coordinated Gaza hit with Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said Thursday that she had been completely misquoted ina reported that hinted the army's assassination of a Islamist militant leader in Gaza had been cleared in advance with Washington. "I did not, in any way, say that," said the spokesman. Following the clarification. DPA agreed to publish a correction to the article. Asked whether Israel had coordinated the hit on Mohammed Nimnim, a commander in the Army of Islam group, with its American ally, the spokesman did not respond.


Deputy FM: Israel won't cooperate with UNESCO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


"Israel has no intention of cooperating with UNESCO," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the Knesset on Wednesday in response to the world culture organization's decision to characterize the site of Rachel's Tomb as a Muslim mosque. "We should see the organization's call to remove the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb from the list of Israel's national sites as part of Palestinian escalation in international organizations," he said.


Poll: Gazans disappointed with Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - November 2, 2010 - 11:00pm


A recent poll conducted in Gaza has revealed a sharp drop in support for Hamas, but the ruling Islamist movement is preventing the survey's publication, the state-run Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported Wednesday. A random survey of about 1,000 Gazans revealed a sharp decrease in support for the activities of Hamas' security services and indicated dissatisfaction with the performance of the Hamas government's offices and the Palestinian factions.


British FM backs non-violent struggle against security fence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


British Foreign Minister William Hague on Wednesday met with the Palestinian prime minister and Israeli foreign minister, but his visit with Palestinian activists made the most headlines. Hague met with three senior Palestinian activists spearheading the popular struggle against Jewish settlements and the West Bank security fence, and expressed his support in their non-violent struggle. International Judgement Meridor cancels UK visit for fear of arrest / Attila Somfalvi


'Israel's aggressive policies threaten peace talks'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Kuwait on Wednesday, following a visit to Bahrain earlier in the week as part of a tour of the Gulf region to "exchange views with brotherly leaders and the region on the latest developments of the Palestinian question," Kuwait News Agency reported. According to the report, Abbas praised Kuwaiti support for the Palestinian people, saying "Kuwaiti-Palestinian relations are historical and excellent. It is a great honor for us that the Fatah movement was launched in Kuwait."


Historic move to expose Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


A recent meeting in the Vatican of some 200 Catholic bishops, mainly from the Arab world, will very likely go down in history for adopting the strongest condemnation by Christian church leaders of present-day Israeli policies and actions.


PA’s path to independence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) November 3, 2010 - 11:00pm


I can see the path to the state of Palestine. And education is an integral part of it. Palestinians have always prided themselves on being among the highest educated among all Arabs, but if this was true in the past, it is not true anymore, and it is certainly not true for Palestinians in the occupied territories.





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