Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Demonstrators in Gaza call for Palestinian national unity. The Israeli navy intercepts a ship carrying weapons. Israelis remember Gilad Schalit. Jewish groups protest the screening of a new film at the UN. The LA Times says the killing of a settler family is part of a cycle of violence. Settlers are still outraged and erect a new unauthorized outpost. An announcement on the new PA cabinet is expected next week. Israel releases a leader of Palestinian nonviolent protests. Few hopes are attached to PM Netanyahu's new peace plan. Nehemia Shtrasler says Netanyahu is exploiting the murder of settlers. The Danish company says it will stop operating in the occupied territories. Palestinian citizens of Israel compete over music. Settlers throw stones at Palestinians. Gershon Baskin says without a Palestinian state, Israel cannot continue to exist either. Daud Abdullah says Europeans have lost respect and affection for Israel. The Gulf News says the murder of settlers is unacceptable, but is no excuse for settlement expansion. Uri Avnery says Israel's leadership does not know how to respond to Arab change.

Briefing on Protest for Palestinian Unity Becomes a Rally Itself
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Hundreds of demonstrators calling for Palestinian unity took to the streets here on Monday, a day earlier than scheduled, in an effort to prevent what they said were attempts by political factions to hijack their movement for their own agendas. What began as a news conference by protest organizers on Monday afternoon in the Square of the Unknown Soldier unexpectedly developed into a gathering of almost 1,000 people.

Israel says its navy intercepts Egypt-bound ship carrying arms off Mediterranean coast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Aron Heller - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli navy intercepted an Egyptian-bound ship carrying a large delivery of weapons off the country's Mediterranean coast on Tuesday, saying the arms had been sent by Syria to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The military said the cargo vessel "Victoria" initially departed from the Lattakia port in Syria before proceeding to the Mercin port in Turkey. From there it departed for the port of Alexandria in Egypt. Israel says that Turkey had no involvement in the arms shipment.

Israel comes to standstill to remember soldier captured by Palestinian militants 5 years ago
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Traffic has come to a standstill on major roads across Israel as activists hold a nationwide five-minute protest to draw attention to the plight of a captured Israeli soldier still held by Palestinian militants. Sgt. Gilad Schalit was captured nearly five years ago in a cross-border raid by Gaza militants, and successive Israeli governments have been unable to bring him home. Gaza's Hamas rulers want the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including many convicted of murdering Israelis, in exchange for Schalit.

Screening of 'Miral' at the United Nations draws protests from Jewish groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Melissa Maerz, Nicole Sperling - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli-Palestinian politics often prove polarizing at the United Nations, but rarely does the furor involve Hollywood celebrities and power brokers, a red carpet and a film screening at the world body's own headquarters in New York.

A fatal Israeli-Palestinian flaw
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

One of the most depressing characteristics of the dysfunctional Palestinian-Israeli relationship is the self-destructive tit-for-tat mentality that often seems designed to keep the conflict alive rather than to end it.

Netanyahu fails to appease Jewish settlers outraged by brutal attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

The stabbing deaths of an Israeli couple and three of their children Friday night in the Jewish settlement of Itamar has stoked concern about a deterioration of a broad calm prevailing in the West Bank, as well as new blow to negotiations. Palestinian militants are suspected to be behind the attack, which took place in the northern West Bank near Nablus.

Itamar settlers erect new illegal outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Caravan homes were installed 500 meters outside the boundary of the Itamar settlement near Nablus on Tuesday morning, as grieving settlers installed an illegal outpost in memory of the slain members of the Fogel family. Witnesses reported seeing dozens of settlers from the area gather on what is locally known as Silcon hill, a half kilometer east of Itamar. An army spokesman said the settlers had a permit to demonstrate and he was unaware of any violent incident there. By late evening the village was quiet, the Israeli military and Palestinians told AFP.

New PA cabinet to be announced next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Government officials in Ramallah will meet Monday to hear appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's proposal for a new Palestinian Authority cabinet, officials said. Discussions of the proposal will continue until Wednesday, when the cabinet is expected to be announced, government spokesman Ghassan Al-Khatib told Ma'an. If Fayyad does not present a proposal on Monday, Al-Khatib noted, President Mahmoud Abbas will have the option of asking another individual to form the new government.

Israel releases prominent Palestinian activist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

A prominent Palestinian activist has been released from jail after serving time for his role in often violent demonstrations against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank. Abdullah Abu Rahmeh was released Monday after 16 months in jail for convictions of incitement and weapons possession. He was to be released in November, but prosecutors appealed for an extension, saying the original sentence wasn't long enough. Abu Rahmeh lead weekly protests in the Palestinian village of Bilin that often turned violent, with protesters throwing rocks and fire bombs at soldiers.

Regional analysts expect few change in Israeli PM's upcoming peace initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Khaled Khalefe - March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Local media have widely reported in recent weeks that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give a policy speech and launch a new round of peace initiative in May, before a joint session of the U.S. Congress when he visits the long-time ally and major sponsor of the Mideast peace process. Netanyahu's aids have started to prepare a draft for the speech. Mike Herzog and Ron Dermer, his two main political advisers, are taking part in these preparations. In addition, Yaakov Amidror has been appointed as the new national security adviser.

Netanyahu's exploitation of the murders at Itamar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nehemia Shtrasler - (Opinion) March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The horrific murders in Itamar were a crime against humanity. Entering a home in that manner and slaughtering five people in their sleep is a base, cowardly act, and it makes no difference whether the victim is an adult or an infant. Murder is murder is murder. Motti Fogel, brother of Udi Fogel, said at the Har Hamenuhot cemetery on Sunday that the funeral should have been a private affair. "A person is born for himself, to his parents and siblings, and dies for himself, he is not a symbol or a national event, and death must not be allowed to become an instrument of something."

Danish company halts equipment supply to West Bank in wake of public protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shuki Sadeh - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli security firm Hashmira, which is owned by the Danish concern G4S, announced last weekend it will stop providing equipment to security installations over the Green Line. The move comes in the wake of public pressure in Denmark following a report from the Coalition of Women for Peace, which runs the "Who Profits?" project monitoring Israeli companies operating in the territories. The report, released in November, says that Hashmira provides baggage scanning equipment and body scanners for the Qalandiya, Bethlehem, Sha'ar Efraim and Eyal checkpoints.

Israeli Arabs plan to start rival artists association to collect royalties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Several Palestinian and Israeli Arab artists and businesspeople are preparing to start a copyright protection association, with one of the businessmen behind the venture saying that the equivalent Israeli organization, ACUM, doesn't put enough money into encouraging Arab creative enterprise. "There's no doubt that the success of this project will constitute an important step toward the independence of Arab culture and creativity within Israel," the businessman said.

Hooded settlers throw stones in Palestinian village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Some 200 settlers marched on Monday from the West Bank settlement of Itamar to the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta as an act of protest in the aftermath of Friday night's brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family. Earlier, the Palestinians reported that two officers of the Palestinian security establishment were arrested in connection with the massacre. Police said 14 of the settlers, who, according to the Palestinians, were masked, infiltrated the village and threw stones at homes. Border Guard and IDF forces entered the village and dispersed the rioting settlers.

Encountering Peace: The clock is ticking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - March 14, 2011 - 12:00am

It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a peacemaker in Israel. The achievements of the Palestinian Authority of the past years in reestablishing law and order, deploying US-trained forces throughout the West Bank, and security cooperation with Israel in combating terrorism have all been erased from the public awareness and discourse in an instant following the horrific terrorist attack against the Fogel family in Itamar.

Finding excuse for colony expansion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Opinion) March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is back to his old tricks with the recent announcement that 500 new homes for colonists will be built in the West Bank. The decision follows an attack which killed an Israeli couple and three of their children in a colony — Israeli authorities are still searching for the attacker.

Dwarfs in charge of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Editorial) March 13, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM IS abuzz with brilliant new ideas. The brightest minds of our political establishment are grappling with the problems created by the ongoing Arab revolution that is reshaping the landscape around us. Here is the latest crop of mind-bogglingly innovative ideas:

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