Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The US and Israel spar over settlement expansion plans, which PM Netanyahu says are completely unrelated to peace, but Ha'aretz calls a pointless provocation. Robert Danin says Israel needs a vision for peace. Israel's easing of the blockade hurts some Gaza businesses. Occupation forces raid a Palestinian town. Palestinians say it's time to recognize their state. Artifacts keep the narrative of Pres. Arafat alive. Israel arrests a Hamas official in the West Bank. The Knesset is set to deny former MK Azmi Bishara's pension. An Israeli paper claims the PA has de facto control in Palestinian areas of occupied East Jerusalem. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni says a two-state solution is the only way to keep Israel Jewish and democratic. Another imam is arrested in Israel for incitement. Desperate Gazans seek work in the dangerous ³buffer zone.² Jonathan Cook says Israel's tactics are uniting Palestinians. Hussein Shobokshi decries the international double standard on Israel's nuclear weapons. Osama Al Sharif says Pres. Obama's midterm defeat is bad news for peace.

In Curt Exchange, U.S. Faults Israel on Housing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s criticism of new Israeli housing plans for East Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s even sharper retort, have thrown the Middle East peace talks into jeopardy, with the dispute over Jewish settlements looming as a seemingly insuperable hurdle.

Netanyahu defends construction in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM -- The office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday issued a sharp defense of Israeli building in contested parts of Jerusalem, after President Obama said that new construction plans in East Jerusalem were not helpful to peace negotiations. "Jerusalem is not a settlement - Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel," a statement from Netanyahu's office said. "Israel never took upon itself any limits on building in Jerusalem, where 800,000 residents live, including during the 10 months of suspension of building in Judea and Samaria."

Netanyahu defiantly answers Obama's warning over construction in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Christi Parsons - November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clashed publicly with President Obama on Tuesday over Israeli construction in disputed East Jerusalem, throwing a teetering Mideast peace effort deeper in doubt. Responding to criticism from Obama, Netanyahu struck a defiant tone in commenting on plans to build 1,300 more Jewish housing units in East Jerusalem, saying his government had never agreed to limit construction in the city.

Where is Israel's peace plan?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Robert Danin - (Opinion) November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

One thing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should bring to his meeting in New York on Thursday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. In the year and a half that Netanyahu has been in power, he has professed a keen desire to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, but his vision for that peace remains a mystery.

How Israel's easing of Gaza blockade has hurt Gaza business
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Kristen Chick - (Opinion) November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Gaza City, Gaza — Israel's move to ease the three-year blockade on the Gaza Strip has put consumer products that were long absent back on Gazan shelves and is cited as one of the reasons the territory’s economy grew rapidly this year. But the June move, which has allowed Israeli goods to start flowing into Gaza, is actually hurting Gaza businesses. By allowing Israeli goods to flood the coastal enclave, while continuing to restrict Gazan manufacturers by keeping them from importing raw materials and exporting goods, the policy tilts the playing field.

Israeli raid targets Jerusalem neighborhood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Confrontations erupted in an East Jerusalem town under siege for three days and facing a campaign of repeated Israeli police raids. A 50-strong Israeli force raided the northern entrance of Al-Isawiya on Wednesday morning and another entered through the south, onlookers said. Luba As-Samry, a spokeswoman for the Israeli police, said an Israeli police officer was lightly injured during confrontations on the northern entrance of the village. She added that four young men were detained for throwing stones at the police.

Palestinians say it's time to recognise their state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

ERUSALEM, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Israel's plan to build new homes on occupied land should be countered by international recognition of a Palestinian state, the chief Palestinian negotiator said on Tuesday. Raising the stakes in deadlocked U.S.-sponsored peace talks, Saeb Erekat said it was clear from the latest announcement of building plans that Israel wants settlements, not peace. "Israeli unilateralism is a call for immediate international recognition of the Palestinian state," he said in a statement.

Headdress, radio, holy book help tell Arafat story
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Yasser Arafat had a knack for turning ordinary objects into symbols, including the black-and-white checkered headdress that came to represent the Palestinian quest for a homeland. Six years after his death, the keepers of Arafat's memory are gathering thousands of objects — photographs, pistols, the trademark sunglasses and military-style suits he favored — for display in a museum under construction at his former West Bank headquarters, where Arafat spent the last three years of his life encircled by Israeli forces.

Israel arrests Hamas official in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli army arrested a Hamas official in the West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian sources said. The soldiers detained Mahmoud al-Rumhi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), in his house near Ramallah city, sources from his family told Xinhua. In March 2009, Israel released al-Rumhi after 32 months of detention.

Israeli parliament sets to deny pension from former Arab legislator
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Knesset parliament on Tuesday approved in its first reading of a bill that would revoke stipends and other benefits from legislators who fail to appear at criminal proceedings held against them, reported The Jerusalem Post. One former lawmaker who stands to lose his monthly pension is Azmi Bishara, an Israeli Arab who headed the Balad party and fled the country in April 2007 after being suspected of allegedly spying for Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

PNA de facto controls Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods: report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is the de facto sovereign in Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods as Israeli institutions gradually sever ties with their residents, local daily Ma'ariv reported on Tuesday. While senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government often pledge that Jerusalem will forever be united under the Israeli sovereignty, the PNA exercises its control in the Arab neighborhoods in its eastern sector, the report said.

Israel's latest building plan is a pointless provocation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

"That's my character," the scorpion says to the frog, in a familiar joke, as it stings the frog to death after being transported by its victim across the river. It appears that the Interior Ministry, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee and planning authorities in Ariel suffer from similar symptoms.

Livni: Two-state solution only way to keep Israel Jewish and democratic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

A two-state solution is the only way to keep Israel as a Jewish democratic state, opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni said on Tuesday in an address to the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. "A Jewish state is a homeland for the Jewish people," she said. "It's not a religious state or halachic state. A Jewish state is a sovereign state that can take the decisions about the future of Israel but takes into consideration the concerns of the world Jewry."

Jaffa imam arrested on terror claims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eli Senyor - November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Police have arrested an additional imam for terror-related offenses, after Nazareth cleric was arrested this week on charges for inciting to terrorism. Jaffa's Muhammad Ayash, of the al-Bahr mosque, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in security offences. The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court extended his remand by eight days and placed a gag order on most of the details of the case. Ayash was arrested Tuesday by investigators working in tandem with the Shin Bet. Police searched his home and then took him to an interrogation facility in Petah Tikva.

Hard times drive Gazans into perilous 'buffer zone'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Jon Donnison - November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Basam and Mustapha Adwan make for a sorry sight. In their small, cramped house in northern Gaza, which they share with 12 other family members, 24-year-old Basam sits in a wheelchair. His younger brother Mustapha sits on the floor, his crutches by his side. Both men have heavily bandaged right feet. They say they were shot by Israeli soldiers while working close to the border. "Normally they give a warning shot," says Basam, who says he was shot a month ago. "But this time there was no warning. The bullet went right through my foot." He winces as he remembers the pain. Trade flourishing

Israeli tactics are 'uniting' Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - (Opinion) November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, is in the United States this week, but few observers expect an immediate or significant breakthrough in the stalled peace talks with the Palestinian leadership. In public, Mr Netanyahu maintains he is committed to the pledge he made last year, shortly after he formed his right-wing government, to work towards the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state.

The Audacity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The international community lacks merit, honesty, objectivity and credibility, when it focuses its attention on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, and yet turns a blind eye to the alarming situation that is Israel's well-established nuclear activity. This issue must be a cause for concern, considering the fact that Israel has a dangerous record in occupying the lands of others, and in unlawfully assaulting the property of neighbouring and non-neighbouring states, in a flagrant violation of international laws and conventions.

Obama's defeat is bad news for the peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) November 10, 2010 - 1:00am

The results of the US mid-term elections last Tuesday were not only bad news for the Democrats and the White House, but also for the Palestinians. President Barack Obama will emerge weaker at home now that the House of Representatives has been retaken by the Republicans. The Democratic majority in the Senate has been drastically reduced and while the people have spoken it is now up to the President and Congress to find a formula to govern in the remaining two years of Obama's term.

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