Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Palestinian damage control over alleged leaked documents seems to be working. Turkey releases its own Gaza flotilla report. The PA says it's going to sue Al Jazeera. Palestinians say a settler killed a Palestinian protester. A PA office in Gaza and an Al Jazeera studio in the West Bank are ransacked. Israeli soldiers are convicted, but will not be jailed, for shooting a bound Palestinian prisoner. Palestinians call for UN investigations into Israeli excavations in Jerusalem. Ari Shavit says at least a de facto two-state solution is necessary. Gideon Levy says Israel will never get a better deal than it seems to have been offered in 2008. Both Jews and Arabs have historically hidden weapons in inappropriate places during conflict. Palestinians accuse settlers of torching a vehicle. Larry Derfner calls the present Israeli leadership intransigent. British author Ian McEwan explains why he will not boycott Israel. Jewish American lobbyists are skeptical about reported Palestinian offers, but JJ Goldberg says leaks show Israel has a partner if it wants it. Daoud Kuttab says leaks ultimately strengthen the Palestinian, not the Israeli, position. Philip Wilcox says real Palestinian sovereignty requires the removal of the many settlements.

WEST BANK: Palestinian Authority versus Al Jazeera: Damage control seems to be working
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority has mobilized its forces, hidden and otherwise, to head off serious fallout from the publication of secret negotiation documents leaked to Qatar's Al Jazeera. The satellite TV station has been broadcasting rigorous coverage and analysis of the leaked documents.

Turkey releases report on flotilla incident, accusing Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Scott Peterson - January 25, 2011 - 1:00am

Antagonism between Turkey and Israel is being reinvigorated as each nation's report about the lethal storming by Israeli commandos of the Mavi Marmara ship last May is made public. Eight Turks and an American citizen of Turkish descent were killed during the 4:26 a.m. raid on the humanitarian aid flotilla, which was cruising 72 miles off the coast in international waters on its way to break Israel's Gaza blockade.

Fayyad set to take Al-Jazeera to court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Justice announced Thursday that it was preparing to file a suit against Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news station for its role in the publication of documents that the ministry said "aimed at tarnishing the image" of the government. On Sunday, the news station, along with the London based The Guardian newspaper, began publishing reports on a set of 1,600 leaked documents said to be copies of maps, transcripts and communications from over a decade of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Medics: Settler kills Palestinian protester
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

An Israeli settler killed a young Palestinian protester in the northern West Bank on Thursday, officials said. Medics identified the victim as Ady Maher Qadous, 19. He suffered several gunshots to the chest and died of internal bleeding at Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus, they said. Approximately 70 villagers and other locals had marched out toward the illegal Yitzhar settlement and were protesting when a settler opened fire, a Palestinian Authority official said.

PA-controlled office in Gaza ransacked
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Unknown assailants entered the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority-controlled Civil Administration building in the northern Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, sacking the office, officials said. The Civil Administration, which in Gaza remains under the control of the West Bank Palestinian Authority government, is charged with coordinating with Israel on matters relating to the crossing terminals. The office targeted by the vandals was in charge of liaising with the Israeli Civil Administration office around the Erez crossing in the northern Strip.

Studio used by Al Jazeera ransacked in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Armed men damaged a studio used by Al Jazeera television in the West Bank on Wednesday, witnesses said, linking the attack to the channel's coverage of documents that have embarrassed Palestinian leaders. Four men carrying guns arrived at the studio in Nablus, operated by the Palestinian media company Palmedia, after Al Jazeera had used it to broadcast a live interview with a critic of the President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority (PA).

Israeli troops avoid jail in Palestinian shooting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced two soldiers convicted in the close-range shooting of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian man, but spared them jail time. Lt. Col. Omri Borberg, caught on video holding the arm of Ashraf Abu Rahmeh while he was shot with a rubber-coated bullet, cannot be promoted for the next two years, or command troops for one year, the military said. The sergeant who pulled the trigger has completed his military service, but was demoted to private.

Palestinians call for UN to examine Israeli digging in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian leadership on Wednesday called on the UN to send a fact-finding mission to inspect Israel's excavations in Jerusalem, an official said. Ahmed Al-Rouidi, Jerusalem's unit chief at President Mahmoud Abbas' office, said the Palestinian contacts with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and international parties to "work immediately to stop digging more tunnels beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque."

At the very least, a de facto two-state solution is needed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

If it weren't sad, it would be funny. Once every few years, some report appears about some Israelis and some Palestinians holding negotiations on some final-status arrangement. If you examine the report carefully, you see immediately that the negotiations in question, like all the previous ones, failed to solve the problems of the refugees, Jerusalem and demilitarization. They provided no solutions to the Hamas challenge, evacuating the settlers or the weakness of the Israeli and Palestinian governments.

Israel will never get a better deal than the one it rejected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

One upon a time there was a farmer who wanted to save on feed. Every day he would reduce the amount of food for his horse, see that it worked, and continue cutting and cutting until the horse had nothing to eat. The horse died. This hackneyed tale has now been revived, emerging from the Palestine Papers leaked to the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera.

Jews, just like Arabs, hid weapons in immoral places
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Melman - January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

In its battle against Palestinian terror Israel repeatedly faces a contemptible phenomenon: Weapons and explosives are smuggled in ambulances, hidden in schools, in kindergartens and in holy places. It happened in the second intifada. In the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah concealed rockets in mosques. In the war in Gaza in 2008-2009, the Hamas fighters took refuge in Gaza mosques.

Palestinians accuse settlers of torching vehicle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian commercial vehicle was set on fire overnight Thursday in the northern West Bank village of Ein Abus. The vehicle was torched at around 3 am. The perpetrators spray-painted "Eye for an eye – we won’t forget" in Hebrew next to it. Ein Abus resident Mahmoud Rian said he was certain Jewish settlers were behind the act. "This is not the first time this has happened. Settlers from Yitzhar come here whenever they are angry about something - regardless of whether we have anything to do with it – and cause damage," he said, adding that the vehicle was burned completely.

Rattling the Cage: The brave, visionary leader - and Bibi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

With all the different takes on Al- Jazeera’s “PaliLeaks” documents, one thing I think is beyond debate: Never in history have Palestinian leaders seemed so moderate, so flexible, so accommodating to Israel. All the issues the Palestinian Authority negotiators supposedly would not budge on, they more than budged on – they took very long steps toward meeting the Olmert government’s positions on Palestinian refugees, the Temple Mount, the Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, settlements and borders.

British author Ian McEwan says no to boycott call
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jonny Paul - January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

The English novelist and screenwriter Ian McEwan has refused to heed a call from a pro-Palestinian group that has questioned his decision to accept this year’s Jerusalem Prize, which they call “a cruel joke and a propaganda tool for the Israeli state.” A group of writers and academics – members of British Writers in Support of Palestine – many of whom are active in the delegitimization campaign against Israel, signed a letter in Monday’s Guardian calling on the acclaimed writer to boycott the prize and join the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Jewish Lobbyists Still Skeptical of Palestinian Offers Of Concessions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Nathan Guttman - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

A video clip produced last October by the American Jewish Committee aimed to explain the reason for the repeated failures of the Middle East peace process. “The one word that frustrated over 60 years of hope for peace: no,” the clip stated, going on to detail Israeli peace efforts in the past two decades while stressing that the Palestinian response has always been negative. But do the recent revelations in the huge leak of peace process documents known as “the Palestine papers” put this worldview into question?

There Is a Partner, Just Read the Papers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - (Opinion) January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Well, well, well, isn’t this awkward? After all that talk about Israel having “no partner” for peace, it turns out the Palestinians were ready to make a deal after all, on terms that weren’t far from Israel’s bottom line.

Reality check shocks Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) January 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian cartoonist Khalil Abu Arafeh is no Fateh loyalist. In his early years, he supported the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. His brother Khaled was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council on the pro-Hamas Reform and Change List. Abu Arafeh’s political cartoons in the largest daily Al Quds are often seen as a reflection of the general mood of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

A Palestinian state within the 1967 borders: settlements vs. sovereignty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Philip C. Wilcox - (Opinion) January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Today, few disagree that without massive withdrawals from Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where over 500,000 settlers now live, there is no hope for a two-state peace. A majority of Israelis also agree that an end to the conflict, preservation of a democratic, Jewish Israel, and freedom and statehood for Palestinians, are impossible without a radical reversal of Israel's misbegotten settlement adventure.

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