Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Roger Cohen says Sec. Clinton has taken charge of US peace efforts. The US is still pressing for a 90 day settlement freeze, but it's unclear if this would advance the process and the Arab League may not accept it. A former Israeli soldier exposes abuse of Palestinians in Hebron. Hanan Ashrawi says Israeli settlement activity threatens a two-state solution. Palestinians and settlers clash over olive groves. Aaron David Miller says to achieve peace, Pres. Obama will have to use all his political capital. The US admits its peace deadline may be slipping. Israel puts a controversial settlement plan in occupied East Jerusalem on hold. Avi Issacharoff says Netanyahu may be pushing the Palestinians to declare independence. Israeli and Dubai police officials meet. UNRWA employees in the West Bank go on strike. Israeli intelligence officials say without peace, there will be chaos. The BBC looks at Israel's rightward political shift. Chris Guinness says development is essential for peace. Ali Ibrahim says Israel is extracting a huge price for the freeze extension. Mahmoud Jaraba says Hamas should be encouraged to moderate its policies.

Madam Secretary’s Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Richard Cohen - (Opinion) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

LONDON — I like the look of President Barack Obama’s new Middle East envoy, a person with broad experience, the trust of Israelis, growing support among West Bank Palestinians and a fierce personal conviction that a peace accord is essential not only for the parties but for United States national security. Damon Winter/The New York Times Roger Cohen Go to Columnist Page » Related Times Topic: Hillary Rodham Clinton Readers' Comments Share your thoughts. Post a Comment » Read All Comments (17) »

Analysis: U.S. pinning its Mideast hopes on 90-day settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - (Opinion) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Call it a triumph of hope over experience. When Israel agreed to a 10-month partial settlement freeze last year, U.S. officials said it was exactly what they needed to get talks with the Palestinians started. They whispered that they were sure the freeze would be extended; Israel wouldn't dare curtail the negotiations by ending it.

Former Israeli soldier seeks to shine a light on Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

Reporting from Hebron, West Bank — Prepare to be pelted with eggs, the tour guide warns. Or maybe it will be rocks, bricks or spit wads. The projectiles, guide Yehuda Shaul says, are courtesy of angry Jewish settlers opposed to his group, Breaking the Silence, which brings outsiders to the hotly disputed West Bank city of Hebron every week as part of an effort to expose what it considers military misconduct toward Palestinians. From the moment the former Israeli soldier-turned-military-whistle-blower arrives, Shaul's movements are tracked.

Israeli actions jeopardize two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Hanan Ashrawi - (Opinion) November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has reached a critical stage. For more than two decades, the two-state solution has been the basis of international efforts to make peace in the region. Yet the Israeli government's refusal to cease settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem will shortly render the creation of a territorially contiguous and viable Palestinian state impossible.

Netanyahu strikes a deal on Israeli settlements – could it freeze peace, too?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - November 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Tel Aviv Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, long caught between intensifying US demands and the restlessness of his right-wing allies, appears to have struck a deal to delay Israeli settlement expansion without unsettling his government. Mr. Netanyahu's security cabinet is expected to narrowly approve a three-month Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank, in exchange for US promises of $3 billion in military aid and a commitment not to support any United Nations resolution recognizing Palestinian sovereignty.

Israeli-Palestinian clashes over olive groves feed distrust
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Farata, West Bank When the olive harvest began in the West Bank this fall, Ibrahim Salah found his 200 trees already stripped of their fruit by someone else. Days later, about one-fourth of the trees were set ablaze.

The Price of Success
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aaron David Miller - (Analysis) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

After 20 months, Barack Obama's administration may be close to injecting some much-needed stability into the on-again, off-again Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The deal concluded last week in New York between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- if it gets through the Israeli cabinet and the Palestinians -- should allow the negotiations to resume in the wake of a three-month moratorium on settlements. But as I've written before, the administration shouldn't pray for anything it really doesn't want and isn't prepared for.

Arab League likely to reject partial 90-day freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

CAIRO (DPA) -- A possible 90-day temporary freeze on construction at Israeli West Bank settlements, proposed by the US, may not be enough to prompt Palestinian and Arab support for renewing Middle East peace talks, an Arab League official said Monday. In Israel, meanwhile, ministers jockeyed to take positions for and against the proposal, which reportedly has not yet been finalized and will not be bought before Israeli decision-making bodies until it is.

U.S. suggests Mideast deadline may be slipping
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. target to resolve all major issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by August 2011 may be slipping, the State Department said on Monday. Israel and the Palestinians resumed peace negotiations in Washington on Sept. 2 only to see these unravel within weeks after Israel's 10-month partial moratorium on Jewish settlement construction expired that month.

Clinton calls Netanyahu settlement plan 'promising'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to extend a freeze on West Bank settlements for 90 days in return for diplomatic and security incentives. "This is a very promising development and a serious effort by Prime Minister Netanyahu," Clinton said, declining comment on the details of his plan but stressing that the United States was in close contact with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Netanyahu tries to shore up support for US plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Josef Federman - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Despite seemingly premature congratulations from President Barack Obama, Israel's prime minister was scrambling Monday to secure enough Cabinet votes to pass a U.S. proposal to halt West Bank settlement construction for 90 days, aimed at restarting peace talks with the Palestinians. Benjamin Netanyahu is under heavy pressure to move forward with the plan, which could lead to critical negotiations on Israel's final borders with a future Palestine.

Plan for new Jerusalem housing project delayed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Gur Salomon - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- A plan to build new housing units in Gilo, a neighborhood in southeastern Jerusalem, has been put on hold indefinitely. Two local committees engaged in development projects in the Jerusalem area have decided to delay discussions on the plan to construct 1,300 units in Gilo, local daily Ha'aretz reported Monday. The decision is most likely made in response to a request from the Prime Minister's Office, which seeks to avoid a head-on clash with the United States over the approval of new residential projects in disputed areas of Jerusalem, the report said.

Netanyahu is fomenting revolution in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

Haaretz's report last week that there are no more Palestinian fugitives in Samaria sparked many responses from Palestinian groups and the Arab media. Once more the Palestinian Authority was accused of collaborating with Israel and trying to avoid a reconciliation with Hamas.

Israeli, Dubai police officials meet in UAE
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Daniel Doron - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

The diplomatic row between Israel and Dubai has not undermined relations between the two states' law enforcement apparatuses. Last week, Qatar hosted the annual Interpol General Assembly, which was attended by top law enforcement echelons from around the world. Israel, which also took part in the event, was represented by Head of the police investigations unit Major-General Yoav Segalovich and head of the police special assignment department Commander Guy Nir.

UNRWA Strike Closes Schools, Clinics in West Bank Camps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

Garbage piles up, too, as labor action enters its second month; dispute gets personal Schools and clinics are shuttered, and garbage has been piling up on streets across the West Bank’s 19 refugee camps, as some 5,000 striking employees of the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNRWA) have brought critical public services to a halt in a pay dispute.

Israel 'risks chaos without peace', official warns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Ruth Gavison - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian leadership could fall apart without significant progress towards peace with Israel, which would be a major setback for Israel, a senior Israeli intelligence official has said. The situation in the West Bank was the best in over a decade, he said - but warned it could lurch back into chaos. The source was speaking to the BBC on condition of anonymity. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad were the "best combination", he said.

Israeli politics: A lurch to the right?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Wyre Davies - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

Joshua Sobol is one of Israel's most venerated and prolific playwrights. At 71, he is still very much involved in theatre - and politics. He recently took part in a boycott of a new theatre in Ariel - a long-established Jewish settlement built on occupied Palestinian land. Several leading Israeli actors and playwrights are joining the boycott. They say, it represents much of what is wrong with their country; the settlements, the treatment of Palestinians and growing intolerance.

Middle East peace starts with development
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Chris Gunness - (Opinion) November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

"Peace Starts Here" is more than a slogan. It raises challenging questions about peace itself at a time when the very notion of a just and durable peace is under threat and when the Middle East peace process needs all the support it can get from us, the humanitarian actors working on the ground.

An Expensive Bill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali Ibrahim - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

My initial impression of the price that Israel will receive, in return for agreeing to new U.S. proposals to stop settlement construction for 90 days, is that it is an expensive bill. Modern military aircraft worth $3 billion, for free, political and security pledges to veto any Security Council resolution against Israel, and most importantly, this is a proposal to stop only the latest process of settlement construction.

Hamas' pragmatism is worth searching out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Mahmoud Jaraba - (Opinion) November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

Khaled Meshaal, the head of Hamas’ political wing, told Newsweek on October 14 that “there is a position and program that all Palestinians share. To accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital. With the right of return. And this state would have real sovereignty on the land and on the borders. And with no settlements.” Meshaal noted that Hamas would accept any agreement with which a majority of Palestinians agreed, adding that “the American administration should hear from us directly.”

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