Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The US continues to work on resuming peace negotiations and extends $150 million in new aid to the PA. The LA Times says Israeli settlement construction must stop. The CSM looks at why PM Netanyahu has restarted the settlement controversy. Time Magazine says Egyptian intelligence helped Israel assassinate a Palestinian extremist. Senator Kerry says Israel may extend the settlement freeze, but FM Lieberman says it won't. Palestinians in the West Bank commemorate the late Pres. Arafat, but Hamas bans and breaks up commemorations in Gaza. Despite a PA ban, Palestinians continue to work on building settlements. Sec. Clinton warns against unilateral steps. Fatah-Hamas dialogue ends without progress. Lieberman says there is no point in negotiating with Syria. Larry Derfner says Israel is wrong about religious sites in the West Bank. The UN says the easing of the blockade has not improved conditions in Gaza. With diplomatic deadlock, Palestinian citizens of Israel become more significant players. The Forward critiques PM Netanyahu's rhetoric on Jerusalem. The National says it's time for the US to show it's an honest broker. Elias Harfoush says Arab states that didn't respond to Pres. Obama's initiatives helped strengthen Netanyahu. The Arab News says Muslims want action on Palestine, not find words, from Obama.





U.S. Struggles to Restore Middle East Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler - November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


With tensions between the United States and Israel flaring again over Jewish settlements, the Obama administration and its allies worked feverishly on multiple fronts Wednesday to put Middle East peace talks back on track.


WEST BANK: U.S. comes to the rescue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


The United States on Wednesday proved once again that it is a friend the Palestinian Authority can rely on in times of difficulty, at least economically. Politically, the Palestinians are not so sure. After a brief signing ceremony at Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s office in Ramallah, the U.S. forwarded to the Palestinian Authority $150 million for budget support. Even though the amount is only a fraction of what Israel gets every year from the U.S., which amounts to billions of dollars, Fayyad nevertheless warmly welcomed the support, considering it a lifesaver.


Settlement fatigue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


Why, after all these years, are we still writing about settlements?


Why Netanyahu is engaging Obama in a spat over E. Jerusalem 'settlements'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is engaging the US administration in a high-profile debate over settlement building two days before he meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to address the impasse in negotiations. For Mr. Netanyahu, the very public spat – the first in months – may be a way of girding himself before agreeing to a new freeze of settlements in the West Bank, a move that would infuriate his hard-line critics.


Behind an Israeli Strike in Gaza, Help from Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Karl Vick - November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


The Nov. 3 assassination of Mohammad Namnam looked pretty much exactly like the fiery deaths of a lot of other Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip over the years. He was making his way in broad daylight through the tattered streets of Gaza City when his sedan turned into a fireball. The missile arrived from an Israeli helicopter hovering so far away that onlookers at first thought the explosion was a car bomb.


Police: Machine gun fire from Gaza hits Israeli kibbutz
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


Two bullets fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday slammed into an Israeli kibbutz causing damage but not injuries, a police spokesman said. "The shots were fired from the Gaza Strip and hit a building and a vehicle in Kibbutz Zikkim," Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France-Presse, referring to a collective village located several hundred meters from the northernmost part of the border between Israel and Gaza.


Kerry: Israel may extend settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


Senior Democratic US Senator John Kerry, fresh from meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, said Wednesday that Israel could decide to extend a freeze on settlement construction. Kerry, who chairs the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on a conference call from Israel that he had urged both sides to keep their "eye on the prize" and not let Middle East peace slip through their grasp.


Clashes in Bethlehem village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the southern West Bank early Thursday. The incident came after an Israeli settler attacked three members of a family, injuring two children and an elderly woman near Bethlehem. The woman and two children, age 10 and 11, were pelted with stones on their way to school in the Tuqu village, our correspondent said. Israeli forces raided the village firing tear gas and rubber-coated bullets, witnesses said.


Palestinian leader: Peace better than settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


The Palestinian president says Israelis should choose peace over West Bank settlements. Mahmoud Abbas spoke Thursday at a rally marking the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. Thousand attended, waving Palestinian flags. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have stalled over Israel's refusal to halt settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, war-won territories the Palestinians want for their state.


Despite ban, Palestinians build the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ben Hubbard - November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


It's a startling fact: The workers building Israel's West Bank settlements have generally been Palestinians — even though Palestinians widely consider these communities a toxic threat to their dream of an independent state. Now comes a twist: earlier this year, the Palestinian government passed a law forbidding work in the settlements — and its determination to stamp out the phenomenon is being sorely tested in recent weeks, as a settlement building boomlet has emerged in the West Bank.


Clinton warns against unilateral steps in Middle East peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton on Wednesday warned against unilateral steps by Israel or the Palestinians as the direct peace talks between the two sides have been stuck in a limbo. "Negotiations between the parties is the only means by which all of the outstanding claims arising out of the conflict can be resolved," Clinton told reporters at a joint press conference with visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit. "So we do not support unilateral steps by either party that could prejudge the outcome of such negotiations," Clinton said.


Fatah-Hamas dialogue in Damascus ends with no progress: Spokesman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


The second round of dialogue between Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah party held in Damascus ended on Wednesday with no progress, a Hamas spokesman said. Ayman Taha, a Gaza-based Hamas spokesman told Xinhua that the second round of dialogue, which was held for two days, had ended without reaching any agreement on the thorny security issue.


Lieberman: Israel shouldn't pursue peace talks with Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


Israel should not enter peace negotiations with Syria, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said during a visit to the Golan Heights on Thursday, adding anyone who considered such an option a "political hypochondriac." Israel and Syria held four indirect rounds of peace talks with Turkish mediation in 2008, but they were suspended following the resignation of then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in September that year. Syria said at the time of the Israeli offensive in Gaza at the end of 2008 that it ruled out a resumption of the indirect talks any time soon.


Palestinians gather in Ramallah to mark anniversary of Arafat death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


Thousands of people began gathering at the Palestinian Authority's headquarters in Ramallah on Thursday to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of their leader, Yasser Arafat. More were expected to arrive, as supporters of Arafat's Fatah movement were being bused in from all over the West Bank to the Mukata'a headquarters in the central city.


A glimpse at the Palestinians who build Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


It's a startling fact: The workers building Israel's West Bank settlements have generally been Palestinians - even though Palestinians widely consider these communities a toxic threat to their dream of an independent state. Now comes a twist: earlier this year, the Palestinian government passed a law forbidding work in the settlements - and its determination to stamp out the phenomenon is being sorely tested in recent weeks, as a settlement building boomlet has emerged in the West Bank.


Lieberman: 'There won't be another building moratorium'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


During visit to Golan Heights foreign minister adamant that Israel will not be pressured, says pressure must be put on Palestinians. Israel will not accept another moratorium on building in the West Bank, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday in a speech in the Golan town of Katzrin. He reportedly added that Israel will not be pressured, but that pressure should rather be put on the Palestinians.


Rattling The Cage: UNESCO is right, Israel is wrong
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


The word is that UNESCO is on an anti-Semitic tear, trying to “de-Judaize” and “Islamicize” two of the most holy Jewish sites in this country – the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. “Talk about distortions,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told thousands of American Jews in New Orleans this week. “Can you imagine that UNESCO tried to deny the Jewish connection to Rachel’s Tomb next to Jerusalem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron? The absurdity to try to erase our past...”


UN: No change in Gaza despite easing of Israel blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jon Donnison - November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


In June Israel said it would lift some of its restrictions on Gaza to allow in more food and consumer goods. The move followed international pressure after the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard a flotilla of ships trying to break the blockade. The head of UN operations in Gaza said few people had noticed any difference. "There's been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy," the UN's John Ging told the BBC.


New US aid for Palestinians as peace talks stall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Kim Ghattas - November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced new aid of $150m (£93m) for the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday - part sweetener, part vital support for Palestinian institution-building, a track running parallel to the negotiations. "We have to move forward together, simultaneously and mutually reinforcing on two tracks, the hard work of negotiations and the hard work of building institutions and capacities," said Mrs Clinton, speaking at the state department.


The Palestinians of Israel are poised to take centre stage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seumas Milne - (Opinion) November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


In a quiet street in the Sheikh Jarrah district of occupied East Jerusalem 88-year-old Rifka al-Kurd is explaining how she came to live in the house she and her husband built as Palestinian refugees in the 1950s. As she speaks, three young ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers swagger in to stake their claim to the front part of the building, shouting abuse in Hebrew and broken Arabic: "Arab animals", "shut up, whore".


Whose Jerusalem?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


Jerusalem is not a settlement, the Prime Minister of Israel stated unequivocally, and what Jew could disagree? Jerusalem is the city of gold, the beating heart of the Jewish people, the place where it all began and where it continues. Jerusalem receives our prayers as often as they are uttered; it is the magnet for all those in exile, pulling us in its direction. Jerusalem is not a settlement because a settlement implies something temporary, extemporaneous, movable — and Jerusalem cannot be moved. The ancient stones anchor it forever.


It is time for the US to show it is an honest broker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) November 11, 2010 - 12:00am


It is not often that a diplomatic row plays out in front of a global audience - especially when two heads of state are involved. So it was no small matter that the US president Barack Obama openly expressed his dismay at the newly announced Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem during his visit to Indonesia this week.


Obama and the Harvesting of Disappointments.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - November 9, 2010 - 12:00am


This week, Benjamin Netanyahu had Washington “to himself”. The climate in the American capital could not have been better for the prime minister of Israel. His defeated rival, Barack Obama, was outside the capital, on an Asian trip that American commentators described as the best possible opportunity for him to catch his breath after his historic defeat in the mid-term elections.


Editorial: Obama and Muslims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) November 10, 2010 - 12:00am


So President Barack Obama thinks that more works needs to be done to end Muslim mistrust of the US but that he is making progress on reducing misunderstanding between the two. The US president is either living in an ivory tower, totally divorced from reality, or he is being thoroughly dishonest, hoping that Muslims can be fobbed off with fine words.





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