Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli forces kill a Palestinian man at a checkpoint and a woman at a protest in the West Bank, which produces protest in Tel Aviv. Pres. Abbas calls for new peace talks with international engagement, and says a deal could be reached in two months and he will reach out to Jewish Israelis. The Palestine National Orchestra makes its debut. Ramallah is booming. Refugee camps in Lebanon are producing less militancy. Israel warns rocket attacks could provoke a new war in Gaza. Abbas says he's not afraid of wikileaks. Hamas says the PA detained 3,000 of its members last year. A Labor minister says it may bolt the Israeli government. Hamas stages a mock Israeli attack to commemorate the Gaza war. PM Netanyahu says he agreed to a settlement freeze moratorium but the US reneged. Palestinians and other Arabs seek to bring the settlement issue before the UN Security Council. Simon Tisdall says Palestinians should declare independence. The Forward Says FM Lieberman is making it extremely hard to support Israel.

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Man in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 2, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man as he approached a checkpoint in the northern West Bank early Sunday holding a glass bottle, the military said. Palestinian officials condemned the killing, noting that it was the second death of the weekend in the West Bank. A Palestinian woman died Saturday after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces a day earlier at a protest in the village of Bilin against Israel’s separation barrier nearby.

West Bank: Calling for New Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 31, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian president called on the international community on Friday to draft a new formula for peace talks with Israel and set aside the current process, which he said was “managing the conflict but not solving it.” American mediators have turned to indirect talks to seek a way out of the impasse. But with those efforts in tatters and no clear way out, the president, Mahmoud Abbas, said in remarks in the West Bank that the international community should step in to devise a new vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

WEST BANK: Palestine National Orchestra has its debut
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) December 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Today an orchestra, tomorrow a state. With these words, Suhail Khoury, director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, introduced the Palestine National Orchestra in its debut Friday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Palestinian mayor presides over boom times in Ramallah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Interview) December 25, 2010 - 1:00am

The recent groundbreaking for a new Palestinian Authority presidential headquarters here in Ramallah underscored an unprecedented building and investment boom in the West Bank city. Land prices have tripled. International hotel chains are arriving. And master-planned housing projects are underway around town to accommodate a fast-rising population.

Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon becoming less of a hotbed for militancy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nicholas Blanford - December 31, 2010 - 1:00am

The murder of a senior Al-Qaeda-inspired jihadi and the exodus of other militants from here in recent months may herald some welcome stability for this impoverished Palestinian refugee camp. With some 70,000 Palestinian refugees squashed into little more than a square mile near Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh lies outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese government and has long been plagued by Islamic radicalism and factional violence.

Israel warns Gaza missiles could provoke new offensive against militants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

On the eve of the second anniversary of Israel's 23-day offensive against Hamas in Gaza, a period of relative calm in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been shattered by missile launches from the coastal strip and Israeli counterstrikes.

For statehood, Abbas to focus on Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

During his flight from Senegal to Tunis, President Mahmoud Abbas told journalists he would spend the coming weeks holding meetings with representatives of Israeli civil society organizations in an effort to side-step the Israeli government in the search for a peace deal. "I'm sure the majority of Israelis want peace," Abbas said, adding that it was unfortunate that the current coalition led by right-wing Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu had "thwarted US efforts to broker a peace agreement."

Abbas: I’m not afraid of Wikileaks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas said he was not concerned over any material that could be released about him or his government by the whistleblower site Wikileaks, saying follow-up with the site was not on his agenda. "I hear talk about it," Abbas told Ma'an, but said he had no personal interactions with the site, adding that the PA was "not afraid of any leaked document," because officials "say things in public and not in secret. If there’s anyone afraid of these documents, it would be the ones who say something in public while they have another position in secret.”

Hamas: PA detained 3,000 members in 2010
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority security forces detained 3,000 Hamas affiliates in the West Bank in 2010, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Sunday. At a press conference in Gaza City, Barhoum said 1,404 of those detained by PA forces had served time in Israeli jails, 49 were prominent Hamas leaders, 49 Imams of mosques, 405 university students and 24 professors. Those imprisoned also included 36 journalists, 12 businessmen, five pharmacists, seven women and 12 school children, he added.

Palestinian woman dies after protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 1, 2011 - 1:00am

A senior Palestinian medical official said a woman died on Saturday after being treated for inhaling gas fired by Israeli forces quelling a protest a day earlier in the occupied West Bank. Jawaher Abu Rahme, 35, was the second member of her family said to have died in one of the weekly protests held in the village of Bilin against an Israeli barrier built across the West Bank. A brother, in his 20s, was killed in 2009 after a tear gas cannister struck him in the chest. The precise reason for Abu Rahme's death was unclear, including what type of gas she may have inhaled.

Israeli minister: Labor could bolt government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Matti Friedman - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's Labor Party will pull out of the government within two months if there is no progress in peace talks, a senior member of the party said Monday, in a potential threat to the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition.

Hamas stages Israeli attack to recall Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 30, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas rulers have staged a mock attack by Israel to commemorate Israel's 2008 Gaza offensive. The re-enactment included loud booms, clouds of smoke, fake blood and rubble. Only the rubble was real. About 40 actors put on the show Thursday at an apartment tower heavily damaged in the war. Booms inside the building were followed by plumes of smoke and children's screams. Medics rushed to evacuate children covered in red paint. A car burned nearby. About 200 people watched.

Hundreds in Tel Aviv protest death of Palestinian woman by tear gas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Hundreds gathered in front of the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest the death of a Palestinian woman who died the day before during a demonstration against a security barrier in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Several protesters in Tel Aviv were detained by police, among them a former Israeli lawmaker, when the rally got out of hand. The Israeli police claimed that Moussy Raz, a former member of the left-wing Meretz party, was arrested after striking a police officer, the local media reported.

Netanyahu: Israel agreed to new settlement freeze, but U.S. retracted offer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he had agreed to the U.S. suggestion of a three-month extension to the West Bank settlement freeze, but the Americans were the ones who retracted the offer. "The United States asked us to consider extending the freeze by three months, and the truth is that we were prepared to do so," Netanyahu said while speaking before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Protester death shows IDF may be using most dangerous type of tear gas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Anshel Pfeffer - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Questions are surfacing about Israel's use of tear-gas grenades, as security officials investigate the recent death of a protester at the weekly demonstration near the separation fence at the West Bank village of Bil'in. A 36-year-old woman, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, died on Saturday morning. Protester Bil'in The medical report filed in the Ramallah hospital where Abu Rahmah was taken shows that her death was caused by respiratory failure resulting from the inhalation of tear gas. Haaretz obtained the medical report on Sunday from Jawaher's brother, Ahmed Abu Rahmah.

Abbas: Israeli-Palestinian peace could be reached in two months
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
January 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he believed Israel and the Palestinians could reach a deal within two months, if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was willing to take a new approach in the peace process. The Palestinian president reiterated that the time had come for decisions, rather than talks, and said that Jerusalem must be the non-negotiable capital of the Palestinian state. Abbas did add, however, that the Palestinians would not make a unilateral declaration of statehood.

Abbas backs UN attack on Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - January 1, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has voiced his personal backing for the first time for a draft UN resolution condemning Israeli West Bank settlements, which he said had been worded in an effort to attract US support. The Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership is promoting the UN resolution as part of a diplomatic effort to secure international declarations of support in the absence of progress towards direct negotiations with Israel.

Now it is Palestine's turn to create facts on the ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Simon Tisdall - (Opinion) January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

As unfulfilled hopes of peace in the Middle East in 2010 fade from memory, the spectre of war in 2011 looms large. The collapse of Barack Obama's attempt to broker direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians has created a dangerous vacuum. Men of violence vie to fill it.

The Lieberman Question
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) December 29, 2010 - 1:00am

What are Diaspora Jews to make of Avigdor Lieberman? In his latest outburst before 170 of Israel’s senior diplomats, the pugnacious, rebellious foreign minister called the Palestinian Authority illegitimate, the Turkish prime minister a liar, and ridiculed the central policy of his own government.

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