Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Palestinian leaders and media are largely quiet about events in Egypt. A Fatah official calls for a revolt in Gaza. Police in Ramallah suppress a rally. The PA insists it will set a date for local elections soon, but Hamas rejects the idea. Unrest in Egypt may pose new challenges to the peace process. Israel conducts military maneuvers in the occupied Golan Heights. Pres. Abbas repeats he will run for re-election. Ha'aretz looks at the remains of a Palestinian village from 1948. Arye Carmon, Mordechai Kremnitzer and Yedidia Stern say Israel's democracy is under threat. Asher Susser says shared fears about Palestinian demographics are driving Israel and Jordan apart. Mohammad K. Shiyyab says peace is essential for Jordan.

Why Palestinians remain so quiet as Egyptians loudly rail against Mubarak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Daniella Cheslow - February 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Cries for President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in Egypt are being echoed in Jordan with antigovernment protests and a "day of rage" planned for Syria this Friday. But in the Palestinian territories, it's the silence that is most notable. Part of that quiet is due to a rare common effort from the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip to suppress vocal support for Egyptian protesters. Both sides dispersed solidarity demonstrations that were planned for last Sunday and Monday.

Fatah official calls for revolt in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Major General Tawfiq At-Tirawi, former director of the PA general intelligence and Fatah Central Committee member called Wednesday in a statement for the people of Gaza to rise up in revolt against the Hamas government. The people of Gaza, he said, should take their cue from Egypt and call for the end of the "dictatorship that restricts their freedoms." At-Tirawi's statement is widely believed to be a response to the new group on the social networking site Facebook, Preparation for the Dignity Revolution, which calls for a mass rally in Gaza City on 11 February.

More detentions in Ramallah at rally for Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority police beat back protesters with clubs and detained at least two at what witnesses described as a spontaneous rally and show of support for the Egyptian people as chaos hit Cairo streets. "I was sick and tired of sitting at home and doing nothing," one Ramallah resident said, explaining that she had seen on the social networking site Facebook that friends were attending a peaceful protest at 9 p.m. in the city center.

PA: Elections will go forward, date to be set
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Governance Khaled Al-Qawasmeh confirmed Wednesday that the West Bank government would make a decision on the date of municipal elections in the coming session of the Central Election Committee. The elections would likely come in May, the official said, at least two weeks earlier than the likely date an official from Fatah estimated speaking with Ma'an on Tuesday. Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Al-Madani had said the PA was "adamant" that elections be held on July 17, 2011, one year after they were supposed to have taken place.

Egypt crisis spells trouble for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Josef Federman - February 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has only recently and grudgingly accepted the idea of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel. With Egypt in flux, efforts to bring this about may soon go into deep freeze. Israel's main concern is whether its peace agreement with Egypt, which underpins its security in a hostile Arab world, can survive without President Hosni Mubarak at the helm.

Israeli military maneuvers in Syrian Golan Heights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched wide-range military maneuvers in Syria's occupied Golan Heights, the Damascus Press news website reported Thursday. The IDF Wednesday started live-ammo land drill as hundreds of tanks and thousands of soldiers, backed by helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, massed to drill simulations of war.

Abbas says not to run for re-election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Wednesday that he doesn't intend to run in any upcoming presidential elections, a senior Palestinian official said. The Palestinian leadership is seriously studying to prepare for holding new parliamentary and presidential elections, the official said on condition of anonymity. "President Abbas is expected to call for holding the elections soon, but he hasn't setup a date yet," the official said, in the aftermath of a meeting of Abbas Fatah movement's revolutionary council held in Ramallah.

Hamas rejects local elections under division
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Wang Guanqun - February 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Islamic Hamas movement on Wednesday said it boycotts any local elections as long as split in the Palestinian territories remains in place. A statement by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, rejected the West Bank-based government's announcement that municipal elections would be held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, the statement described the government, led by Salam Fayyad, as "illegal," adding that the elections "will be null and their results unrecognized if they were held without agreement and under the split."

The Lifta that never will be
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Esther Zandberg - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

The first Arab residents have begun to enter their new homes in the village of Lifta at the western approach to Jerusalem. Many of them are descendants of Palestinian families who lived there until the eve of the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. When they left the village, it remained abandoned for decades and its ruins became a symbol of the destruction of the Palestinian community in Israel.

Uneasy lies the head
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Asher Susser - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

In the early 1960s, when Jordan's King Hussein was embattled by Nasser's regime in Egypt that was bent on the export of its revolutionary fervor, the young king published an autobiography entitled "Uneasy Lies the Head". Taking his cue from Shakespeare's King Henry IV ("Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown"), Hussein's characterization of his predicament could equally apply today to his son and heir, King Abdullah II. Egypt is once again the source of inspiration for revolutionary fervor.

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