Middle East News: World Press Roundup

PM Fayyad says Palestinians are committed to green development as well as independence. Palestinian state building efforts extend into occupied East Jerusalem. The eviction of a Palestinian family by settlers in Jerusalem and new Israeli legislation requiring referendums on peace deals stir tensions. Palestinian courts differ on punishing land sales to Israelis. Occupation forces destroy a Palestinian home in Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas says PLO headquarters will eventually be in Jerusalem. Hamas officials say Fatah officials can only leave the Gaza Strip if Hamas operatives are released in the West Bank. Doubts persist about progress on peace. Israel's claims to Jerusalem leave it internationally isolated. Ha'aretz says Israel's leaders have handcuffed themselves to the extreme right. Amira Hass says Israeli generals and not just soldiers should face charges over the use of human shields. Palestinians clash with occupation forces over home demolitions. 100 leading Norwegians call for a cultural boycott of Israel because of the occupation. Alon Ben-Meir says Robert Wexler would make a good Mideast envoy. Palestinians might use the Kosovo model for a declaration of independence. The Forward profiles an Israeli Bedouin diplomat. PLO officials say they will insist on a complete settlement halt.

Palestinians' other fight in the Middle East – for green development
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Salam Fayyad - (Opinion) November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Everyday in Palestine we address economic and social conditions, physical restrictions, and political contests that challenge both the present and the future as we attempt to build a viable and independent Palestinian state. Related: Obama can let Palestinians seek state recognition at the UN These difficulties are well-known to the Palestinian people and those around the world. But another challenge that we must face, far less frequently discussed in the context of Palestine, is climate change. This is not only for Palestine but for the whole of the Middle East.

Palestinian officials fund schools, fill potholes in E. Jerusalem. Are they building a state?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Officially, Israel considers the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as part of its "undivided and eternal" capital. But in practice, there's been an erosion of Israeli sovereignty on Jerusalem's eastern outskirts in recent months as the Palestinian Authority (PA) steps up a quiet campaign to fill a vacuum of municipal services – building new schools, filling potholes, and maintaining public order.

Eviction of Palestinian Family, After a Legal Battle, Underlines Tensions Over Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli police officers evicted a Palestinian family from their home in a predominantly Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, and a group of Jewish settlers moved into the property at night. The episode struck one of the more sensitive nerves in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship at a time of increasing tension and as the Obama administration is working to restart stalled peace negotiations. Such evictions have drawn international condemnation in the past.

Law that would require public vote to surrender land stirs ire in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

A new measure potentially requiring Israel to receive public approval before surrendering land in any Middle East peace deal came under fire Tuesday for setting a legal precedent that could undermine the government and further complicate negotiations.

Palestinian courts scuffle over land sale to Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

In a struggle for Palestinian statehood in which every acre of land is a precious commodity, should selling West Bank property to an Israeli -- something viewed by many Palestinians as treason -- be punishable by death? That’s the question now facing the Palestinian Authority and the budding Palestinian courts system as they attempt to rebuff the rising trend of Israeli buyers, often right-wing settler groups, offering exorbitant prices for West Bank land in an effort to strengthen Israel’s claim on the occupied territory.

Israel razes Palestinian home in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli police on Wednesday razed a Palestinian house in occupied East Jerusalem, shortly before the owner arrived home with a court order halting the demolition. Scores of police and a single bulldozer were involved in the operation, which leveled the small house in the Al-Tur neighbourhood near the Mount of Olives. House owner Abed Zablah, a father of five, showed Agence France-Presse a letter issued early Wednesday by the Jerusalem District Court ordering a halt to the demolition. But by the time he got home with the letter, the house was already flattened, he said.

Abbas: PLO will reopen Jerusalem office
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas opened the new headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Ramallah on Tuesday, but said it was temporary and would be moved to Jerusalem. The president recalled visiting the PLO headquarters in Jerusalem in 1964, and said the body would return to the city "one day." The PLO often faced difficulties as the sole legal representative of Palestinians to the international community, Abbas said.

Hamas: Free our man and Fatah officials can leave
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

The Gaza government said Wednesday it is willing to reverse a decision to bar seven Fatah officials from leaving the Gaza Strip if Fatah-allied security forces release a Hamas member arrested in the West Bank city of Nablus. The seven members of Fatah's Revolutionary Council prevented by Hamas security forces from leaving through the Erez crossing point on Tuesday.

New layer of doubt cast over Middle East peace drive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Crispian Balmer - (Analysis) November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

The path to Middle East peace, already strewn with an array of daunting obstacles, has now got one more hurdle to overcome. Israel's right-leaning coalition government this week passed a law that will probably force a referendum on any peace deal that involves withdrawing from land annexed by Israel, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, captured from Syria. Palestinians and Syrians have howled in protest, saying that Israel was obliged by international law to return land seized in a 1967 war and had no right to put the matter to a public vote.

Israel stakes out lonely position on Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Matti Friedman - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

If there is ever to be Middle East peace, here's a knot that must somehow be undone. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis who have moved to sprawling Jewish areas in east Jerusalem believe they are ordinary residents of their capital who will never be asked to vacate their homes. It's a sentiment shared by most of their countrymen and affirmed by lawmakers who voted this week to limit a government's ability to ever pull out.

Israel's leaders have handcuffed themselves to the extreme right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

For years, right-wing circles have tried to derail diplomatic steps taken by Israeli governments by, among other things, drafting laws that predicate territorial concession upon an absolute Knesset majority or a referendum. On Monday the government joined forces with the most right-wing parliament ever witnessed in the history of the state, for the purpose of handcuffing the political leadership's moves in the peace process.

IDF generals, not just soldiers, must answer questions on human shields
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

The Givati Brigade soldiers who were tried and convicted of risking the life of a non-combatant Palestinian child are entitled to feel like victims. But why shouldn't they feel patriotic pride? Their conviction essentially handed the post of chief of staff to Yoav Galant and bestowed legal immunity on political figures, in particular Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak.

Palestinians clash with IDF over West Bank demolitions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Security forces on Wednesday razed Palestinian fences and water installations built unlawfully in the Nahal Kane Nature Reserve located in the West Bank. A tent encampment and three pigsties illegally built by Palestinians were demolished on Tuesday night. Civil Administration personnel also razed an illegally paved road in a nature reserve situated in Israeli-controlled territory. The paving of the road was funded by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Ayalon: Boycott of Israel is boycott of peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Deputy FM responds to Norwegian petition by 100 arts, cultural figures accusing Israeli educational institutions of apartheid, “playing a key role in the occupation"; country's former PM condemns move. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Wednesday condemned a petition against Israel which was signed by one hundred famous Norwegians.

Why Robert Wexler?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

The Obama administration is close to reaching a new agreement with Israel that would freeze settlement construction in the West Bank for a further, nonrenewable, three months. Once negotiations resume, regardless of the outcome, it will be necessary for the administration to replace Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who led the negotiations for the past two years to no avail.

Declaring Palestinian Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Aryeh Tepper - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian political figures, said to be frustrated with the pace and trajectory of peace talks with Israel, have increasingly made noises about taking matters into their own hands and unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state. In practical terms, this means implementing Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan for Palestinian independence first unveiled in August 2009.

Muslim, Bedouin, and Representing Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Ishmael Khaldi does not deny the difficult conditions of the Bedouin communities living in Israel’s southern desert, the most impoverished group in Israel. A Bedouin from the north of the country, Khaldi said that he donated 250 shekels — about $70 — to the residents of Al-Arakib, the unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev that the Israeli government has demolished half a dozen times in recent months. “For the kids without shelter, now that winter is coming,” he said.

PLO Insist on Total Stop to Settlement Activities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinians have yet to be given any details related to the US-Israeli agreement pertaining to the resumption of the negotiations. Meanwhile, reliable sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that in return for the guarantees offered to Israel, the Americans might offer the Palestinians guarantees related to support, the establishment of the state and its borders, and the status of Jerusalem.

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