Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli companies cash in on global counterterrorism. The UN marks the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Leaked US diplomatic cables suggests Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the PA, but the PA says it did not cooperate. They also cite Egyptian officials as saying neither Hamas nor Fatah was serious about Palestinian unity. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni says they show a common interest in peace. Tony Blair says Israel must do more to ease conditions in Gaza. Gaza resumes limited exports to Europe. Israeli soldiers wound four Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli officials approve another 137 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli human rights workers have video of soldiers shooting bound Palestinian prisoners. Israel launches another effort to improve its international image. The Independent profiles a Palestinian extremist in Gaza. Arab leaders accuse PM Netanyahu of rejecting peace. Hussein Shabokshi says Israeli secularism is dying. Rami Khouri says the lack of an Arab or Palestinian strategy facilitates one-sided US support for Israel. The Arab News says peace cannot depend on Israeli referenda.

Israeli firms see a global market for their anti-terrorism know-how
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders, Batsheva Sobelman - November 27, 2010 - 1:00am

Reporting from Tel Aviv — As he inspected the Taj Mahal hotel after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, and listened to a hotel manager bemoan the lack of adequate security preparations, Israeli export official Avi Hefetz saw a growth market in the making. "I thought to myself, if we have the state-of-the-art technology, the defense know-how and our considerable experience gained throughout the intifadas, why not organize a platform for displaying our technologies in this field?" he said.

UN Day of Solidarity marked
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority called on the UN Monday to act to end Israel's occupation of Palestinian land Monday, in a statement marking the world Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The PA Ministry of Information in Ramallah declared in a statement that this day should be "translated into action by implementing resolutions adopted by the same General Assembly including the right of return of Palestinian refugees."

Leaked cable: Israel consulted PA prior to Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Jared Malsin - November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel approached the PA and Egypt about potentially assuming control of the Gaza Strip following a theoretical "defeat" of Hamas before Israel's winter war on Gaza, a leaked US diplomatic cable revealed Sunday. Made public by The New York Times, the document is a report on a conversation between US Senator Bob Casey, Representative Gary Ackerman, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak from June 2009.

In leaked cable, Egypt says factions unserious on unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Egyptian official charged with reconciling rival Palestinian factions judged in 2009 that neither Fatah nor Hamas wanted a unity deal, a leaked document revealed Sunday. A US diplomatic cable, one of more than a quarter million obtained by the whistleblower group WikiLeaks recounts a meeting between CENTCOM commander Gen. David Patraeus and Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman in Cairo in June 2009. "Reconciliation remains elusive, he [Suleiman] noted, as neither Hamas nor Fatah really want an agreement," the document states.

Blair: Israel must do more to ease Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Karin Laub - November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Israel needs to do more to ease its blockade of Gaza and allow exports from the Hamas-ruled territory, international Mideast envoy Tony Blair said in an interview Sunday, after meeting with the Israeli prime minister. The former British prime minister told the Associated Press that he hopes to see progress soon, noting that exports are crucial for reviving Gaza's battered economy. "There has been significant change in Gaza, but not nearly as much as we need," he said.

Livni: Wikileaks proves "common interest" in ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Israeli opposition leader Tsipi Livni said Monday that it is "obvious now that there is a common interest in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," in reference to dozens of U.S. State Department cables dealing with assessments of diplomatic maneuvers in the areas released by WikiLeaks overnight. The documents are part of what is being described as the largest leak of official documents in history.

First shipment of Gaza roses, berries leaves to Europe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Two trucks, carrying flowers and strawberries, left the Gaza Strip Sunday towards Netherlands as the first limited export from the besieged territory, an official said. The trucks, with their load of 20,000 roses and five tons of strawberries, left through Kerem Shalom crossing in southeast Gaza. Mahmoud Khalil, a representative of farmers, said the agricultural products would be sold in the European markets, mainly in Holland. Israel has barred export since 2007, but it is now allowing the seasonal export of Gaza's flora for the second time since then.

Israeli fire wounds four Gazans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli army on Sunday shot and wounded four Palestinians who were digging for gravel in northern Gaza Strip, a medical official said. Adham Abu Selmia of the medical services said that the four workers were moderately injured. A spokesman of the Israeli army said that the four approached the security fence that separates Israel and Gaza. The shooting took place near Erez crossing point and the Israeli authorities shut the passengers' gate briefly.

Palestinians: Gaza war claim exposed by WikiLeaks is untrue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

There were never any actual consultations between us and the Israelis before the Gaza war, a top aid to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday, refuting a WikiLeaks cable that claimed otherwise. One of the documents included in the over 250,000 diplomatic cables between the United States and its allies which were leaked on Sunday said that Israel tried to coordinate Operation Cast Lead with both Fatah and Egypt.

Beyond Green Line: Apartments instead of hotel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee on Monday gave its approval to build 130 housing units in an area located beyond the Green Line, between the neighborhoods of Gilo and Beit Safafa. The area was previously designated for the construction of hotels.

B'tselem hands Naalin shooting tape to police
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Naama Cohen-Friedman - November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

The B'tselem organization handed over a tape in which an IDF soldier is seen shooting at the foot of a bound Palestinian protestor in Naalin, two and a half years after it was recorded. The police are expected to give the tape, which shows Staff Sgt. Leonardo Corea firing at the order of Lt. Colonel Omri Burberg, to forensics for an objective investigation.

Israel tries to clean up its image abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel's ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister is proposing a major new public relations drive in Europe aimed at bolstering Israel's flagging image. The campaign, expected to launch early in the new year, would rely on teams of volunteers in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain to deliver Israel's message, while professionals from public relations and lobbying firms would also be hired to for the rebranding initiative.

The enemy within: life under Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

He seemed to come from nowhere, walking at a fast pace across the junction where we were parked in the heart of the crowded refugee camp. Alerted to the registration number of our taxi, he opened a back door and slipped into the rear seat. "Let's get out of here," he said. "There are eyes everywhere."

Banned Textbook Offers a Lesson in Mideast Politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - (Analysis) November 24, 2010 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV — As Israelis and Palestinians spent recent weeks blaming each other for the breakdown in peace talks, they have found themselves in agreement on one thing: Education ministries on both sides have banned a history textbook that they deemed unsuitable for their students. What is found inside the textbook that has aroused the ire of education officials in the opposing camps?

Regional leaders accuse Netanyahu of 'rejecting peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - November 27, 2010 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV // Leaders from Syria, Egypt and Lebanon accused the Israeli premier yesterday of rejecting peace efforts in what appeared to be a bid to pressure Israel to accept a US plan that could lead to renewed talks with the Palestinians. Their charges came just hours after the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, lashed out at his successor for not heeding Washington's demand to halt new settlement projects in the occupied West Bank for three months to help restart negotiations.

A Crisis in the Heart of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

Ever since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, its media has been trying to sell the idea that Israel is a secular state that brought together its children from the Diaspora, returning them to the Promised Land, as was promised in their scriptures and religious teachings where they can live their lives according to socialist principles in collective communities called Kibbutzim [or a Kibbutz]. This is a Yiddish language word which was spoken predominately by Jews in Eastern Europe.

Washington bends for Israel once again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - November 27, 2010 - 1:00am

The revelation in the United States Wednesday that Washington was offering Israel new security-related guarantees in return for a two-month extension of the partial moratorium on new Jewish colonies in the occupied Palestinian territories is neither surprising nor encouraging. It may reflect a continuation of the tradition in Washington that emphasizes a fawning and almost servile attitude to Israeli “security” concerns as the primary substantive issue in Arab-Israeli negotiations, which the Israelis astutely use as leverage in tactical negotiations to press their side of the negotiations.

Editorial: A nail in the coffin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) November 29, 2010 - 1:00am

By requiring a two-thirds Knesset majority to cede land in East Jerusalem to the Palestinians and the Golan Heights to Syria, a new Israeli law raises the bar for passage. Putting any such withdrawals to a national referendum will subject international law to the whims of Israeli public opinion. The bill which Israel’s Parliament has passed will complicate peace efforts with the Palestinians and Syria by making it very difficult for any Israeli government to make territorial withdrawals.

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