Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel approves a plan to withdraw from Ghajar, a village on Lebanon Border and Edmund Sanders of the LA Times discusses it with Ghajar leader, Najib Khatib. The Christian Science Monitor profiles a Gazan businessman who is surviving the blockade. Northern West Bank cities see an influx of Palestinian-Israelis for Eid. Israel’s attorney general requests the eviction of settlers in East Jerusalem as the Israeli Supreme Court approves more Israeli building in Jaffa. A U.S. official says East Jerusalem must be included in a new settlement freeze and PM Netanyahu says the US and Israel are close to reaching an agreement. An Al Qaeda-linked group issues threats. An IDF officer is suspected of blocking a probe into Gaza civilian deaths.





Israel Approves Withdrawal From Part of a Village on Lebanon Border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


JERUSALEM — Israel’s inner cabinet approved a plan in principle on Wednesday to withdraw from the northern part of a village straddling the border with Lebanon, addressing an American concern and a longstanding point of contention between Israel and Lebanon. Related A United Nations line placed northern Ghajar in Lebanon. But the action was unlikely to ease American pressure on Israel regarding a new moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements that is intended to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track.


A village torn three ways braces for Israel's withdrawal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Interview) November 17, 2010 - 12:00am


Reporting from Jerusalem — The Israeli government Wednesday approved the withdrawal of troops from the northern part of an Arab village in a long-disputed region along the border with Lebanon. Israeli officials said the removal of troops from tiny Ghajar after four years of patrolling the area was approved "in principle" by the security Cabinet, a group of government ministers. The decision calls for Israel, which wants to keep Hezbollah militants out of Ghajar, to work out the details with the United Nations peacekeeping force already patrolling the border zone in southern Lebanon.


How one man turned Israel's Gaza blockade into a business opportunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Liam Stack - November 17, 2010 - 12:00am


Cairo — At the end of an alley in Gaza City’s Tofah neighborhood, an industrial ghost town full of quiet factories and unused warehouses, sits the Ramlawy Plastics Company. The factory once hummed with the activity of 45 workers turning raw Israeli plastics into bags, storage containers, bottles, and pipes. Manager Ahmed Ramlawy says that in those days they made fat profit margins of 20 percent.


Palestinian-Israelis flock to West Bank for Eid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


QALQILIYA (Ma’an) – The parks, zoo and playgrounds of northern West Bank cities Qalqiliya, Jenin and Tulkarem were overwhelmed with visitors from the Palestinian cities and towns in Israel over the Eid Al-Adha holiday, giving a boost to the local economy. The Qalqiliya Zoo reported a record 2,000 visitors on Wednesday, with visitors from Haifa, Kufr Kanna and other cities in the north of Israel, while Nazarenes, Jerusalemites and residents of Haifa filled the restaurants of Bethlehem and Ramallah in the central West Bank.


Half Netanyahu's party against new freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2010 - 12:00am


JERUSALEM (DPA) -- Around half of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 27-member parliamentary caucus have signed a petition rejecting a new temporary freeze on construction in West Bank settlements, Israeli media reported Wednesday. The temporary freeze, proposed by the US, is aimed at enticing Palestinians back to the negotiating table, but at least four Likud Party cabinet ministers are among the signatories to the petition.


Jerusalem official told to 'evict' Silwan settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel's attorney general has asked its Jerusalem city council to implement a 2007 court order evicting Jewish settlers from a building in East Jerusalem, the justice ministry said Wednesday. Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen said Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had written to its municipality and its city police over repeated delays in carrying out the eviction order. "He told them there is no alternative and asked them to implement the order," Cohen told Agence France-Presse.


Residents fume as court approves Jewish-only housing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- A recent Israeli Supreme Court decision to give the green light to an organization that intends to build a Jewish-only apartment complex in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Ajami in Jaffa has local residents and associations up in arms. “We are very disappointed from the decision of the [Supreme] Court,” said Sami Abu Shahadeh, the Coordinator of Darna, The Popular Committee for Housing Rights in Jaffa.


Qaeda-linked group threatens Israelis, in Hebrew
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mahmoud Habboush, Dan Williams - November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


DUBAI, Nov 18 (Reuters) - An al Qaeda-linked group issued a Hebrew threat on Thursday to avenge Israel's killing of two Gaza militants, in what an expert said was the first use of the language for such propaganda. In the half-minute-long recording posted on a website used by declared al Qaeda affiliates, a hoarse male voice tells the "aggressor Jews" they will not be safe from rockets and other attacks until they "leave the land of Palestine". The speaker identifies himself as a member of the group Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna or "Community of Sunna Supporters", which has a presence in Gaza.


IDF officer suspected of blocking probe into Gaza civilian death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


An Israel Defense Forces officer is being probed for obstructing an investigation into the death of a Palestinian civilian during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip while he was serving as batallion commander. The officer is suspected of failing to submit the results of an inquiry regarding the woman, who was killed when she and a group of civilians approached a station of the Givati Brigade in January 2009, during Israel's three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip.


U.S. official: Israel must refrain from East Jerusalem construction during freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


The United States will demand that Israel refrain from construction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of a 90-day settlement freeze Secretary Hillary Clinton has requested in exchange for a package of incentives, a U.S. official told Haaretz on Thursday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scrambling to gather cabinet support for the settlement freeze. The ultra-Orthodox party Shas currently holds the balance of votes on the matter.


Palestinians meet Golan Druze in makeshift soccer friendly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Moshe Harush - November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


The main boulevard in Hebron, Ein Sara, was decked out in celebration yesterday, not only because of the Holiday of the Sacrifice being marked but a soccer fest between the Palestinian national team and an all-star Druze squad from the Golan Heights. Billboards with the images of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Syrian President Bashar Assad and the father of the Palestinian people, Yasser Arafat, were proudly displayed. The smells of scorched meat wafted in the air, beckoning to the masses.


Netanyahu says close to deal with U.S. on West Bank settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he was close to reaching an understanding with the United States regarding a package of incentives Washington will offer in exchange for a 90-day construction freeze in the West Bank. Netanyahu's office issued a statement late Wednesday saying he hopes to conclude contacts with the U.S. soon in order to bring present the deal to his 15-member Security Cabinet - a group of senior government ministers split between pragmatists and hard-liners.


Israeli air strike kills two Islamist militants in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


An Israeli air strike has killed two Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The men, who were brothers, belonged to the Army of Islam - a radical group which Israel says is affiliated with al-Qaeda. Israel said one of the men had been involved in a plot to kidnap its citizens in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It is the second time this month that Israel has targeted the group. The Israeli army said the two men were killed when their car was stuck by a missile in Gaza City.


U.S. report highlights Israel’s religious freedoms violations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


Government allocations favoring the Orthodox, extra legal protection to Jewish holy sites and Orthodox hegemony over life-cycle events are among Israel's religious freedom violations highlighted in a U.S. State Department report.


Israel refuses to freeze Jerusalem development
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


Israel insisted Thursday it would keep building homes in disputed east Jerusalem, threatening to hold up a US-proposed settlement construction moratorium designed to renew deadlocked Mideast peacemaking. The contours of the moratorium deal, as presented by Israeli officials after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from the U.S. last week, had appeared to be clearly agreed upon.


Israel should change course
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Hanan Ashrawi - (Opinion) November 18, 2010 - 12:00am


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 colony construction in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem will shortly render the creation of a territorially contiguous and viable Palestinian state impossible.





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