Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel expresses anxiety about developments in Egypt. The Gaza-Egypt border is sealed indefinitely, and Gazans worry about a vital lifeline. A senior Fatah official says Pres. Abbas is seriously considering holding elections. A Palestinian citizen of Israel is sentenced to nine years in prison for spying for Hezbollah. A Turkish action film is likely to increase tensions with Israel. Palestinians clash with occupation forces following the funeral of a Palestinian. Four settlers have been arrested on suspicion of involvement. Amira Hass says Egypt notwithstanding, Palestinians have lost their faith in uprisings. Cyprus reportedly recognizes Palestine in its 1967 borders. Herb Keinon says unrest in Egypt will only reinforce PM Netanyahu's core positions on security. The Obama administration may veto a possible UN resolution on Israeli settlement built.

Israel Shaken as Turbulence Rocks an Ally
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - January 30, 2011 - 1:00am

The street revolt in Egypt has thrown the Israeli government and military into turmoil, with top officials closeted in round-the-clock strategy sessions aimed at rethinking their most significant regional relationship.

Gaza-Egypt border sealed indefinitely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Egyptian authorities have closed the crossing with the Gaza Strip indefinitely as its army deploys in the northern Sinai, a Ma'an correspondent said Sunday. Egyptian security contacted officials in Gaza to check up on the situation along the Rafah border, and Hamas authorities confirmed that large numbers of security officers were deployed at the crossing. Authorities in Gaza also confirmed that strict instructions were given to smugglers telling them all tunnels would remain closed to ensure no Palestinians in Gaza were able to enter Egypt.

Gazans fear unrest threatens vital supply line
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

The ongoing unrest in Egypt affected prices in the blockaded Gaza Strip, where most of the commodities have been flooding to the coastal enclave through smuggling tunnels. Locals say items like cigarettes and basic food went up by almost a third. Gas stations have closed because owners are worried they could fail to get enough fuel due to the deteriorating situation in Egypt, namely in the Sinai.

Al-Ahmad: Abbas considering holding elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad said Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas was looking into holding presidential and legislative elections despite the national division. Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Al-Ahmad said a meeting would be held Monday to discuss holding elections. Fatah would support a government decision to hold elections, he said. The PA called off elections in June 2010, just weeks ahead of a planned vote. Officials said the sudden decision stemmed from the refusal of Hamas officials in Gaza to partake in the vote, a decision taken as early as March.

Israeli court jails Hezbollah spy for nine years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 30, 2011 - 1:00am

An Israeli court sentenced an Israeli-Arab human rights activist to nine years in prison on Sunday after convicting him last year of spying for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. Amir Makhoul had confessed to the spying charge as part of a plea bargain at Haifa District Court, which added a further year's suspended sentence to the nine years behind bars. The court dropped a separate charge carrying a much longer sentence.

Turkish action film set to worsen ties with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 30, 2011 - 1:00am

A new Turkish film in which an action-man hero avenges the death of Turkish activists in Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship is likely to put new strain on already tense relations between Turkey and Israel. "Valley of the Wolves: Palestine", one of the most expensive Turkish films ever made, has drawn accusations at home of excessive violence and abroad of anti-Israeli propaganda, but it attracted big audiences at its opening this weekend.

Mourners, Israel troops clash after WBank funeral
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian mourners clashed with Israeli troops who used tear gas and rubber-coated bullets after the funeral of a youth in the West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian witnesses and the army said. The mourners hurled rocks at soldiers after the funeral of Youssef Fakhri-Khlil, 17, who died of his wounds after being shot by Jewish settlers in the West Bank on Friday. An army spokeswoman said troops responded with "riot dispersal means".

Egypt or not, Palestinians have lost their faith in rising up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Over the shelves of lettuce and broccoli (product of Israel ), and the honey, eggs, parsley and coriander (product of Palestine ), the demonstrators on television are no longer the same. The TV set in the vegetable shop in Ramallah is situated opposite the cashier, and the live broadcasts from the streets of Tunis two weeks ago, and from Egypt and Jordan this past week, drew more ratings than the soap operas and religious sermons customers often see playing there.

Report: Cyprus recognizes Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian news agency claims Abbas received letter from President Christofias saying his country hopes for 'peaceful solution ensuring independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.' Cyprus: Our position hasn't changed since 1988, it coincides with EU's stance Cyprus has recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, Ramallah-based news agency WAFA reported Sunday.

2 more suspects arrested over killing of Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Four suspects under investigation for shooting during field trip near Bat Ayin. One hiker tells Ynet: 'It was a real battle' Police are continuing their investigation into the killing of a 19-year-old Palestinian during a settlers' trip in Gush Etzion last Friday. Police arrested two more suspects Sunday in connection with the Bat Ayin shooting.

Israeli Arabs: We won't be guinea pigs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hassan Shaalan - January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Hundreds of sector's representatives reject Olmert government's initiative for land exchange in divided Arab towns, say 'we were born here and will die here' Hundreds of representatives of the Arab sector gathered in the northern city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye on Saturday afternoon and clarified that they would not agree to be transferred to the Palestinian territories.

Analysis: Egyptian chaos and the Palestinian question
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

Instability gripping neighbors will only strengthen PM’s default setting - any peace accord must have ironclad security arrangements. Remember PaliLeaks? With all the current commotion in Egypt, last week’s release by Al Jazeera of Palestinian documents disclosing what went on behind closed doors between Israeli, Palestinian and American negotiators over the last number of years seems suddenly so distant.

UN resolution condemning Israel puts Obama on the spot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by James Reinl - January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

A draft Security Council resolution that condemns Israeli settlement building on Palestinian land is expected to push the US president, Barack Obama, into the uncomfortable position of using his first veto in the top UN chamber. The Palestinians have returned to the UN's 15-nation body to settle grievances with Israel after US-brokered talks between the two sides broke down last year, saying that Washington will lose credibility if it blocks their draft resolution.

Israel shows its anxiety at protests in Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - January 31, 2011 - 1:00am

The anti-government protests in Egypt are prompting concerns in neighbouring Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, last week ordered his cabinet to refrain from commenting publicly on the unfolding events in Egypt. But his statements to his government's ministers yesterday, the first spoken openly by an Israeli official about the situation in Egypt since the protests began on January 25, indicated his anxiety.

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