Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel plans 1,300 new settlement units in sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, prompting US and Palestinian protests. Daniel Seidemann and Lara Friendman say PM Netanyahu must have approved the plans. Doyle McManus and Yossi Alpher both think Pres. Obama might now emphasize foreign policy goals. UNSG Ban calls for renewed peace efforts. The PA says Shin Bet officers met with Hamas officials. Israel continues to quarrel with the UN over religious sites in the occupied territories. Hamas bans a commemoration of the late Pres. Arafat in Gaza. Jesse Rosenfeld says extremist settlers are now targeting Israeli citizens. Linda Heard says Israel¹s intransigence is suicidal. Ghassan Khatib says Obama will continue to dictate US policy and Akiva Eldar says he should unveil bold new American peace proposals.

Israel Plans 1,000 Housing Units in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel has published plans for some 1,000 new housing units in a hotly contested area of Jerusalem, advancing the approval process at a delicate time when the United States is pressing Israel to renew a freeze in settlement construction and get stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians back on track.

U.S. "deeply disappointed" at Israeli housing plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - (Analysis) November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

The United States expressed deep disappointment over Israeli government plans to build 1,300 new housing units in contested East Jerusalem, the State Department said Monday. "We were deeply disappointed by the announcement of advanced planning for new housing units in sensitive areas of East Jerusalem," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told journalists Monday. "It is counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties."

Netanyahu pushes East Jerusalem settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Lara Friedman - November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Netanyahu's undeclared period of self-restraint in Jerusalem appears to have come to an end. No new tenders for construction in East Jerusalem had been issued since Vice President Biden's fateful visit to Jerusalem last March, nor had any new construction plans been deposited for public review since that time. Until now. On Thursday of last week new tenders were for the construction of an additional 238 residential units in Pisgat Zeev and Ramot.

Israel to build more homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem — Setting the stage for another potential clash with the Obama administration, Israel said Monday that it would build an additional 1,300 homes on disputed land in East Jerusalem.

A new battleground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Doyle McManus - (Opinion) November 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Here's one thing last week's congressional election wasn't about: foreign policy. The campaign was long, loud and polarized, but somehow the fact that the United States is at war in Afghanistan and Iraq — and carrying out bombings in Pakistan and Yemen — went almost unmentioned. That's because voters were preoccupied by the economy, of course. But it's also because foreign policy has been a zone of relative bipartisanship in Washington, an oasis of civility compared with the battlegrounds of economic policy and healthcare.

After GOP victory, emboldened Israel declares new building in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel has published plans to build about 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, a move that highlights US-Israeli differences just as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the United States to huddle with Obama administration officials. Skip to next paragraph View gallery: Israeli settlements Related Stories Israelis launch their own tea party ahead of US elections As stonethrowing escalates, Israeli police round up Arab children in E. Jerusalem Oil and gas discoveries produce potential Israel-Lebanon flash points

Peace process diplomacy continues in US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON (Ma'an) -- US officials expressed deep disappointment Monday following the announcement of advanced planning for new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. "It is counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties. We have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem, and we will continue to work to resume direct negotiations to address this and other final status issues," US State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley said at a DC news meeting with reporters.

UN chief calls for efforts to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that it was vital to break the current diplomatic stalemate, resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and produce results. The UN chief made the statement in his meeting with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu against a backdrop of the stalled direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

After U.S. chides Netanyahu over East Jerusalem construction, more settlement plans unveiled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson, Chaim Levinson - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel published two major new settlement plans on Tuesday, threatening to undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest trip to Washington. More than 1,000 Jewish homes were approved for construction beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem, along with a second plan to build 800 homes in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The U.S. administration had been trying to persuade Netanyahu to declare a second settlement freeze in the territories. The State Department said it was very unhappy when it learned of the plans to build in East Jerusalem.

PA: Shin Bet officers met with top Hamas officials 'over coffee'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority complained to Israel recently that Shin Bet officers were in contact with high-level Hamas members around Jenin, senior Palestinian sources told Haaretz. The Palestinian sources said that 10 days ago a number of low ranking Shin Bet officers met with senior figures of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Netanyahu to Ban: 'Don’t erase 4,000 years of history'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The United Nations should not erase 4,000 years of historic Jewish connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb just to score a political point, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the organization's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when the two men met Monday evening in New York.

Hamas nixes Arafat commemoration in Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

As it has every year since taking control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, on Monday Hamas announced its decision to ban Fatah supporters from holding a rally in the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death. Zakariya al-Agha, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said the Hamas government had informed him formally of the decision to ban the rally, which was scheduled to be held on November 11. He said the rally, which had been planned by Fatah, was supposed to be held in Gaza City’s Katibeh Square.

Israel's own citizens are the new target of extremist settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jesse Rosenfeld - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

West Bank settlers entered the Arab city under the cover of an armed escort. As they proceeded, security forces chased Palestinian youth down alleys, firing tear gas, stun grenades and foam-covered bullets. Masked in keffiyahs, local high school students who had been striking against the settlers' provocations reorganised, throwing stones at the Israeli forces from behind makeshift barricades.

Israel digging its own grave
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Israelis exist in a state of low-key fear of obliteration that has become absorbed into their psyche. They’re so used to it that it has become part of who they are. The Jewish state may call itself a democracy but in fact it’s a militarized entity always alert to criticism and attacks from its foes within and without.

Broader than party politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

For the most part, the United States government builds its strategies on national interests rather than on narrow party or personal politics. Nevertheless, the recent congressional elections inspired debate over possible effects on American Middle East policies, the peace process in particular. The reason for this is that in the eyes of some analysts and politicians, the current administration is leaning a little bit on Israel, especially on the issue of settlements. They believe that the new Republican-majority House of Representatives might restrain the administration.

Change we can't foresee
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

The conventional wisdom in some circles now holds that Republican gains in last week's US congressional elections will weaken President Barack Obama's hand in trying to advance an Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This is not necessarily so, and for several reasons.

Obama should learn from Clinton
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) November 8, 2010 - 1:00am

The results of the American congressional election place President Barack Obama at a crossroads regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He confronts two options.

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