Middle East News: World Press Roundup

PM Fayyad explains the state-building program. Palestinians object to Israel's latest settlement expansion plan in occupied East Jerusalem. Leaked cables suggest Israel considered Pres. Abbas to be weak and unpopular and Pres. Peres called the Oslo agreements a mistake. A former PLO leader dies in Jordan. Fayyad is named among the world's top 100 thinkers. Aid groups say the Gaza blockade remains devastating. Israel has a new spy chief. The Non-Aligned Movement calls on Israel to cease settlement activity. Palestinians mark the 63rd anniversary of the UN partition plan. Gaza farmers are now exporting to Europe. Akiva Eldar calls PM Netanyahu unreliable. Israeli hummus is the target of a boycott campaign at Princeton. Abbas calls settlements a time bomb. Likud MKs and members call for Netanyahu's ouster. Hassan Barari says the Arabs must make continuing the occupation more costly than ending it. A sick Palestinian toddler's fight for her life is complicated by the occupation.





Why I'm Building Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Salam Fayyad - November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


When we launched our state-building plan for Palestine in August 2009, many dismissed it as an exercise in eggheadedness, extraordinary optimism, a dream. But here we are, feeling exceptionally, extremely validated by the scorecard so far: We have completed more than 1,500 projects, including the establishment of dozens of new schools, clinics, and housing projects and the construction of new roads throughout Palestine.


Israel`s latest settlement plan angers Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Israeli authorities on Monday approved a request for 130 new Jewish homes on the outskirts of annexed east Jerusalem, drawing an immediate protest from Palestinian officials. The Jerusalem municipal council approved a request that would rezone an area in the settlement of Gilo, near Bethlehem, allowing residential construction on a plot of land originally designated for a hotel. Elie Isaacson, spokesman for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, said the rezoning decision was part of a plan to increase housing in the Holy City.


Wikileaks: Israel assessed Abbas as weak, unpopular
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Senior Israeli defense and political figures described President Mahmoud Abbas as weak, unpopular and unlikely to survive politically past 2011, leaked US diplomatic cables showed on Monday. In meetings with US representatives, Israeli officials ranging from then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, to senior defense official Amos Gilad expressed doubt about Abbas's political longevity.


Abdullah Hourani, former PLO leader, dies in Jordan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Former member of the PLO’s Executive Committee and the Palestinian National Council Abdullah Al-Hourani died Monday in Jordan. The Executive Committee announced his death in a statement reminding of his traits as a loyal leader of the Palestinian struggle and co-founder of the contemporary Palestinian revolution. “His extensive national and patriotic activities contributed to protect the Palestinian identity.”


Fayyad named among 100 'top global thinkers'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


The premier of the Ramallah-based Palestinian government has been named among the top 100 "global thinkers" by an American news magazine. Foreign Policy's December issue ranked Salam Fayyad at 23 "for bringing faith in technocracy to the Holy Land." "In his three years in office, Fayyad has evolved from a bureaucrat's bureaucrat into a political figure in his own right. At the same time, he remains the West Bank leader most willing to work with his Israeli counterparts," the magazine reported.


Aid groups: Plight of Gaza civilians still dire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Diaa Hadid - November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Business and construction in the Gaza Strip remain stifled half a year after Israel announced it would ease its three-year-old blockade of the needy, war-ravaged Palestinian territory, a report by several aid groups said Tuesday. The groups accused Israel of ducking promises to ease the blockade's effects on civilians, a pledge it made under pressure after a deadly Israeli commando raid in May on an international flotilla protesting the restrictions. The report said Israel is allowing in more food and some building materials but is dragging its feet on major construction projects.


UPDATE 1-Mossad insider succeeds embattled Israel spymaster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alternet
by Dan Williams - November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


A veteran Mossad spy was named to succeed director Meir Dagan on Monday, signalling the Israeli government's confidence in the intelligence service despite fallout from the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai.


Non-Aligned Movement reiterates call for end to Israeli settlement building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Maged Abdelaziz, the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN, said here Monday that Israel must stop infringing on the Occupied Palestinian Territories in order to allow a two-state solution to be negotiated in the Middle East. The Egyptian ambassador made the statement when he was speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at a UN meeting to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.


Palestinians mark 63rd anniversary of UN partition plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Emad Drimly - November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


The Palestinians Monday marked the 63rd anniversary of the UN partition plan, calling for the implementation of international resolutions that lead to the establishment of their independent state. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Ministry of Information said in a statement sent to reporters that the decision (partition plan) " was a dangerous turning point that kept the Palestinians paying heavy prices."


Gaza farmers satisfied as products exported
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Ahmed al-Dabba - November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


GAZA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Gaza flower grower Hamdan Hejazi could not hide his happiness as his roses now can be exported to Europe despite an Israeli ban on export. Hejazi, who inherited the business from his ancestors, hopes to export more than 7 million roses to Holland if the borders remain open. Looking at the trucks carrying his flowers, he sighed with relief, hoping this season would compensate the losses he suffered during the past years of the Israeli blockade that started in 2006.


We don't need WikiLeaks to know Netanyahu is unreliable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


So Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is elegant and charming but doesn't keep promises. That Netanyahu is elegant and charming is a matter of personal taste. As for the prime minister not keeping his promises, it's possible to ask: "What else is new, WikiLeaks?" Now if Mubarak had said Netanyahu did tend to keep his promises, that would have deserved a front-page headline - though more because of the doubt it would arouse about the Egyptian president's judgment than by virtue of its contents.


Rights groups accuse Israel of ducking pledge to ease Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Israel has only marginally eased its three-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, leaving business and construction largely frozen in the impoverished and war-damaged Palestinian territory, a report by several aid groups said Tuesday. The groups accused Israel of ducking promises to ease the blockade's effects on civilians, a pledge it made under pressure after a deadly Israeli commando raid in May on an international flotilla protesting the restrictions. A Palestinian girl stands by sacks of humanitarian aid in Shatie refugee camp, in Gaza City on June 6, 2010. Photo by: AP


Hummus ignites Mideast conflict in U.S. Ivy League college
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 29, 2010 - 12:00am


Princeton University students voted Monday in a referendum by a pro-Palestine student group on whether to expand the school's hummus offerings. The student group Princeton Committee for Palestine wants university-run stores to offer alternative brands of the Middle Eastern chickpea dip because they say the only brand available is linked to human rights violations. The brand, Sabra, is owned by PepsiCo and Strauss Group, and Strauss' website says it supports members of the Israeli military.


Abbas warns of settlement 'time bomb'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned Monday that Israel's settlement enterprise has become "a time bomb" that could destroy peace hopes at any moment. Abbas made the statement on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People which is marked each year since 1977 on November 29. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to mark an international day for Palestinians that there was little sign of optimism by Palestinians or Israelis that a peace accord could be achieved soon.


Likud MKs: PM doing what he fancies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - November 29, 2010 - 12:00am


As talks between Israel and the United States on a new settlement construction freeze continue, the Likud party's hawkish camp clarified Monday that it was not going to make life easy for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Some 200 Central Committee members and heads of the party's offices across the country took part in the conference at the Knesset, calling on the prime minister not to resume the building freeze.


Leak: Peres said Oslo based on false economic premise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - November 30, 2010 - 12:00am


President Shimon Peres admitted to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the Oslo peace process he helped initiate was based on a mistaken premise, according to an April 2007 cable of a conversation Netanyahu had with US Congressman Gary Ackerman, the Wikileaks website revealed Monday. Netanyahu was opposition leader at the time and Peres was vice premier.


Israel's eased blockade 'still crippling' Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Jon Donnison - November 29, 2010 - 12:00am


That is the verdict of a new report by aid agencies and rights groups working inside the Palestinian territory. A ban on most exports from Gaza is "crippling" the economy, they say. The report, "Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade", was compiled by 21 different groups, including Oxfam, Amnesty and Save the Children. "Only a fraction of the aid needed has made it to the civilians trapped in Gaza by the blockade," said Jeremy Hobbs, Director of Oxfam International.


The demise of peace camp
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) November 25, 2010 - 12:00am


Not one Israeli premier ever thought of moving the peace process forward without taking into account the internal political scene. The history of the Arab-Israeli peace process is full of examples of missed opportunities thanks to the political complications within Israel. The Israeli premier places greatest priority on political survival.


Palestinian girl fights life-threatening condition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CNN
by Paula Hancocks - November 28, 2010 - 12:00am


The second Aya abu Mouwais opens her eyes she starts crying. The 3-year-old is in pain every waking moment and has been for two years. She is suffering from oxalosis, a condition which occurs when the kidneys fail. Doctors in Israel say if the Palestinian girl doesn't have a liver and kidney transplant she could die within months. Aya's mother, Suhair, wakes her gently. The pain in Suhair's eyes is clear with each of her daughter's sobs. "It is so hard for me to see her like this," she said. Aya also has a broken arm, the dialysis she needs five days a week has made her bones brittle.





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