Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Palestinians and Israelis dispute the circumstances of the death of a woman protester. PM Netanyahu formally asks for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Israelis and Palestinians come together over boxing. Israeli police raid the home of leftist activists who join Palestinian protests. FM Lieberman says there will be no peace for "at least a decade." The fall of Mohammed Dahlan,accused of a coup plot, demonstrates the power of Pres. Abbas. The US Homeland Security chief is visiting Israel. Israel bombs Gaza. Ben Caspit says Palestinians are being forthcoming in negotiations but Israel isn't. The PA says Palestinian settlement laborers will be punished. Noam Ben Zeev says the creation of a National Orchestra is another step towards Palestinian statehood. Leaked cables show Israel decided to attack the Gaza economy. Quartet Envoy Tony Blair warns of dangers without progress on peace. Pres. Medvedev will visit the PA but not Israel. Israel's latest anti-missile system is running into several problems. Leonard Fein says Israel's dismal treatment of its Palestinian minority is yet another argument against a single state. The National says the US needs more cooperation from Israel for all its aid. The Jordan Times says Palestinians are right to take the settlement issue to the UN Security Council.

Israeli Military Officials Challenge Account of Palestinian Woman’s Death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

BILIN, West Bank — Clashing narratives over the case of a 36-year-old Palestinian woman who died on Saturday is fast making her a new symbol of the enduring conflict here, with the Israeli military anonymously casting doubt on Palestinian accounts — backed by medical documents — that she died from inhaling tear gas.

Israel: An Appeal for a Spy’s Release
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday read aloud in Parliament a letter asking President Obama for clemency for Jonathan Jay Pollard, left, the American serving a life term in a United States prison for spying for Israel. The letter, which was sent this week, constitutes the first formal and public Israeli appeal for Mr. Pollard’s release. “Even though Israel was in no way directing its intelligence efforts against the United States,” Mr. Netanyahu wrote, “its actions were wrong and wholly unacceptable.” After 25 years in prison, he added, Mr.

Jerusalem boxing club unites Jews and Arabs in and out of the ring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM - In a converted bomb shelter in a low-income Jewish neighborhood, Ismail Jaafari, a Palestinian boxer from across town, bobbed and weaved in the ring, trading punches with an Israeli opponent. They were sparring at a local boxing club that is something of an anomaly in this ethnically divided city: a place where both Jews and Arabs pursue a shared passion. Palestinians from East Jerusalem have earned their boxing credentials at the club, training with Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants, bearded yeshiva students and settlers from the West Bank.

Israeli police raid leftist homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Mya Guarnieri - January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli activists who participate in protests against their country's separation barrier came under state attack on Wednesday, with special forces entering homes in Tel Aviv. Israeli special police forces showed up outside one home in central Tel Aviv, shared by a number of left-wing activists. After spending some time outside the residence, forces attempted to enter and conduct a search. Activists said that they were not shown a search permit and refused to submit to the search.

Activists: Military claims over tear gas death 'ridiculous'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Substantial evidence contradicts the army's version of the events surrounding the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, activists said Tuesday, after Israeli military officials told international media that they believed some evidence in the case to be false. A statement from the Popular Organizing Committee said the facts contradicting the military spokesman's version of events made the situation "ridiculous," and published what it said was eyewitness testimony in direct contradiction to claims of the military.

Lieberman: No Mideast peace for 'at least a decade'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Philippe Agret, Charly Wegman - January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's hard-right wing settler Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told AFP on Tuesday "at least a decade" would be needed to reach a peace accord with Palestinians. "I think that we have good cooperation (with the Palestinians) on the economy and security and we must continue cooperation on these two levels and postpone the political solution for at least a decade," he said in an exclusive interview.

Fall of Palestinian leader shows president's power
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Not long ago, Mohammed Dahlan was a rising political star, a Gaza security chief and darling of the West. He advised the Palestinian president and was even considered a possible successor. But after a falling out with President Mahmoud Abbas, Dahlan has been essentially banished from the political scene. The campaign against him casts an unflattering light on the Palestinian president's low tolerance for dissent as peace talks with Israel falter.

US Homeland Security chief in Israel for working visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano met with the Israeli president and other senior officials on Tuesday during a two-day working visit discussing Israel's homeland security threats and strategies. Napolitano's first stop was with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, where the two held what Peres' office described as a "working diplomatic meeting", that included improving strategic cooperation between the two countries, and the peace process.

Israeli airplanes attack two targets in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli warplanes on Tuesday attacked two targets in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants fired a missile into Israel, witnesses and security sources said. The airstrikes targeted a training site for the military wing of the Islamic Hamas movement which controls Gaza. There were no casualties in this raid that caused severe damage to the site, the witnesses said. Minutes later, the F-16 jets dropped a bomb on a smuggling tunnel beneath Gaza's southern border with Egypt and slightly injured a Palestinian man, the sources said.

PA Minister: Palestinians Who Work on Settlements to Be Punished
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Ben Caspit - (Interview) January 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Dr. Hasan Abu-Libdeh, the Palestinian Minister of National Economy urges world boycott of settlement goods TML: Dr. Abu-Libdeh, a short time ago, legislation was passed that makes it a criminal act for a Palestinian to work in an Israeli community located on land Israel acquired control over in the 1967 war -- settlements. At that time, Palestinian workers protested that the law took away their livelihood, but failed to provide an alternative. What’s the status of the law?

Rejectionist Front
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Ben Caspit - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced yesterday that he was willing to discuss all the core issues with Abu Mazen in closed meetings, and said that if he were to go into the room with the Palestinian leader he would sit down and discuss all the issues with him “until white smoke rises.” Ma’ariv has found that in reality, the situation is the complete opposite: In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the co

Today an orchestra, tomorrow a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Noam Ben Ze'ev - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

On the night of May 7, 2004, silence reigned in the small, old auditorium of the Friends School in El Bireh. Daniel Barenboim, one of the greatest conductors of his generation, was about to raise his baton before the newly minted Palestine Youth Orchestra. Before the first chord was struck there was a sense of historic import - and the memory of a similar defining moment came to mind.

WikiLeaks: Israel vowed to limit Gaza economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel told US officials in 2008 it would keep Gaza's economy "on the brink of collapse" while avoiding a humanitarian crisis, according to US diplomatic cables published by a Norwegian daily on Wednesday. Three cables cited by the Aftenposten newspaper, which has said it has all 250,000 US cables leaked to WikiLeaks, showed that Israel kept the US embassy in Tel Aviv briefed on its internationally criticized blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Blair: Serious trouble if no talks soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

The Quartet Special Envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair said Tuesday on CNN that Israel and the Palestinians will be in serious trouble if they don't begin talks in the near future. The former British prime minister added that behind the scenes a lot of work was being done to restart direct negotiations, which were halted in September after settlement construction in the West Bank was renewed following a nine-month moratorium. Blair acknowledged that the level of confidence between the two sides was low but said the talks can nonetheless be put back on track.

Medvedev to visit PA despite canceled Israel tour
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
by Ronen Medzini - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev will not visit Israel due to disruptions imposed by the Foreign Ministry's workers union but is nonetheless planning to travel to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority later this month. President Shimon Peres spoke to Medvedev Tuesday who told him he intends to visit the Palestinian territories.

Abbas suspends Dahlan from Fatah over 'coup plot'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Wyre Davies - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

A senior figure in the Palestinian Fatah movement has denied plotting an internal coup to remove President Mahmoud Abbas. Mohammed Dahlan has been suspended from Fatah's central committee pending an investigation into the allegations, which he describes as "fantastical". There are increasing divisions in the movement, which runs the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank. Mr Dahlan was Fatah's security chief in Gaza before Hamas took over in 2007.

Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Missile Project Facing Fire at Home and Delayed Funding From U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Matthew Gutman, Nathan Jeffay - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

It has been promoted as a cutting-edge technological marvel and marketed as the ultimate solution to the misery Israeli civilians experienced facing rocket attacks from Gaza militants. But as the Iron Dome rocket defense system moves into its final stages of development, Israelis are questioning its effectiveness, and American lawmakers are seeking assurances that the system they are poised to fund will indeed be used to protect citizens in the battered Negev city of Sderot, close by Gaza, and not just used to defend military bases.

Mirror Image
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

The argument has long-since been familiar: If a two-state solution fails, dies from sheer exhaustion, then we’re looking either at a continuation of the status quo or at some form of one-state solution. The status quo is inherently noxious; it is also inherently unstable. It is folly to suppose that it can endure indefinitely, that it will not periodically be interrupted by ever more lethal confrontations.

Money can't buy love from Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

An "unbreakable" bond doesn't have to be inflexible. This holds in any marriage, and it's especially true for the United States and Israel, a relationship that is quickly becoming abusive. The prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement to the Knesset on Monday that he was ready to extend a settlement freeze in the West Bank late last year, and that it was Washington who got cold feet, was the political equivalent of tossing an old friend under the proverbial bus.

Another right step
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians decided to go to the UN Security Council and seek censorship of Israel’s continued settlement activities on territories seized from them. It would not be the first time the Security Council condemns such act; it has repeatedly done so, calling on Israel to cease and desist from this illegal action.

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