Middle East News: World Press Roundup

David Remnick says Pres. Obama is right to pursue the establishment of a Palestinian state. Settlers bond over the murder of a family. Hamas forces violently break up Palestinian unity rallies in Gaza. Pres. Abbas says he would travel to Gaza for unity and Hamas says they would welcome him. Two Hamas men are killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. Israel unveils seized arms. Abbas says he will not run for another term. Uruguay recognizes Palestine. Jordan urges a two-state solution. Aluf Benn says DM Barak must join the opposition. France says EU recognition of Palestine is "a possibility." The film "Jenin, Jenin" continues to spark controversy. Nahum Barnea says Israel is only punishing itself with settlement expansion. Israel says it will build a new wall along the border with Jordan. Republicans in the House of Representatives are floating a bill that would force the Executive to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The National says PM Fayyad is right that a fractured Palestinian society cannot form a state. Mkhaimar Abusada looks at security from a Palestinian perspective. Amor Boubakri looks at what the Arab Peace Initiative says about regional security.

ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Yorker
by David Remnick - (Opinion) March 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Psychobiography in politics is ordinarily a mug’s game. Sometimes, though, an assessment of inherited traits and ideologies can be telling. For years, Israeli and American commentators have been waiting for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to leave behind the right-wing Revisionist ideology of his father, Benzion, a historian of the Spanish Inquisition, and, like Nixon leaving for China, end the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Neighbors’ Blood Binds Settlers to West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

To outsiders, this Jewish settlement clinging to a hill in the northern West Bank would seem to offer a precarious existence. Surrounded by Palestinian villages and near one of the largest Palestinian cities, Nablus, with a population of more than 120,000, Itamar has about 1,000 residents, many of them children or transient students studying at its religious academies.

Hamas Forces Break Up Pro-Unity Protests in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Mass protests in Gaza on Tuesday were violently broken up by Hamas police officers and security officers, many in plainclothes, witnesses said. The demonstrations, organized by independent Palestinian youth activists, called for national unity. At least five people, including three local journalists, were treated at a hospital after being beaten at the demonstration, employees at the hospital said.

Palestinians rally for unity in Gaza, West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on Tuesday to demand an end to the rift between the Hamas and Fatah factions that has left the two Palestinian territories in the control of rival governments. "The people want an end to the division!" the demonstrators chanted in the largest such push to date. "National unity!"

Abbas 'ready to travel to Gaza' for unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas says he is ready to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in an effort to promote reconciliation between his Fatah party and Hamas Abbas also said he was ready to postpone the formation of a cabinet in order to give Hamas a chance to join a unity government. "I am ready to delay the formation of the new government to give Hamas a chance to join," he said in a speech at the start of a two-day meeting of the PLO Central Committee, a PLO legislative body of 130 members in which Hamas holds the majority.

Gaza security forces violently disperse rally
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Security forces forcefully dispersed protesters from a square in central Gaza City late Tuesday, witnesses said. Protesters in Gaza said security forces set up hundreds of barriers around the main square of demonstrations and were patrolling the area. They beat people with batons and set fire to tents that were set up by the demonstrators, according to activists in Gaza City. The March 15 Coalition said hundreds of Hamas security forces stormed the protests and tried to evacuate it by force.

Israeli strike kills two Hamas security men
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at a security compound in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing two Palestinian militants, Hamas and Palestinian medical officials said. The Israeli military confirmed it had struck a militant target in the coastal territory in response to a rocket fired at Israel earlier, which caused no casualties. Hamas officials and medics said both men killed were security guards at the compound. Hamas's armed wing said both were members of it.

Israel unveils seized arms cache from cargo ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Josh Lederman - March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Rows of boxes, crates and containers filled with weapons stretched out on a dock Wednesday alongside a ship commandeered by Israel's navy, a display of what Israel said was a shipment of arms, some sophisticated, to Palestinian militants in Gaza. Israel intercepted the ship Tuesday in international waters in the Mediterranean, saying it was carrying weapons sent by Iran via Syria. Israel says the advanced anti-ship missiles found on board could alter the region's balance of power by impeding its ability to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he's not going to run for re-election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he's not going to run for re-election.

Hamas welcomes Abbas' readiness to visit Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Islamic Hamas movement on Wednesday welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' declaration that he would go to the Gaza Strip to work at ending political split. "Hamas welcomes Mr. Abbas' response to Mr. Ismail Haneya's call to visit Gaza," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. "Hamas will follow preparations for this visit," Abu Zuhri told Xinhua. Earlier on Wednesday, Abbas said he is ready to go to the Gaza Strip in translating of public desire to end split between Gaza and the West Bank.

Uruguay officially recognizes Palestinian State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The government of Uruguay on Tuesday announced its official recognition of the Palestinian State as an independent and sovereign country, and reaffirmed its commitment to the Middle East peace process, the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry said. "The reasons for this decision are not any other than Uruguay's strong commitment to the peace process," the ministry said in a statement, expressing Uruguay's wish for the Palestinian and Israeli people to live and "co-exist in peace." This decision "is also the result of the progressive strengthening of

Jordan urges for two-state solution to end Palestinian-Israel conflicts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Jordan on Tuesday called on the international community to pressure the Israeli government to achieve the two-state solution by the end of September. Stressing that developments in the region should not deviate attention away from the Palestinian issue, which is the core issue in the region, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Tuesday that continued Israeli settlement activities threaten the two-state solution.

Barak must join opposition to save Israel from disaster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is a brave man, not only in his operations from the days of the reconnaissance unit, or in his proposal at Camp David to divide Jerusalem. He is also brave in his willingness to stand apart from the choir and say unpopular things on days of terror attacks and mourning. A few hours after the funerals of the Fogel family from Itamar, on Sunday, Barak gave a lecture at the Institute for National Security Studies.

France says EU recognition of Palestinian state a 'possibility'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that European Union recognition of a Palestinian state could be a "possibility that should be kept in mind," according to AFP. "There's no point recognizing the Palestinian state on our own. It must be done together," AFP quoted Juppe as saying about recognition by EU countries. "Personally we're not there yet, I think that it's a possibility that should be kept in mind," he said.

'Jenin, Jenin' gets Hebrew U. campus screening despite ban
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Asaf Shtull-Trauring - March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Organizers of students' Hadash party branch at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem screened the controversial film "Jenin, Jenin" at a Hadash-sponsored event on the university's Mount Scopus campus last night, although the university had prohibited the screening. However, 10 minutes before the end of the film, university security personnel cut the electricity to the hall.

Israel punishes itself
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nahum Barnea - (Opinion) March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The government approved Sunday the construction of 400 housing units in Judea and Samaria in response to the murder in Itamar. Why Only 400, wondered Eli Yishai. We need to build 5,000 units, a thousand for each murder victim. To a certain extent, Yishai is right. If the proper response to the despicable murder of the Fogel family is settlement expansion, 400 is a rather pathetic number. It does not reflect the shock, repugnance and fury. It offers no comfort. At most, it serves as an attempt to calm the hard core among the settlers with a real estate pill.

PM says IDF to build fence along Jordan border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ilana Curiel - March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

During a tour of the fence that is being constructed along Israel's border with Egypt on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had instructed the IDF to begin planning the construction of another fence along the border with Jordan. "We will have to build a fence in the east as well, because if we block one border they will come from the Arava," he later told the Negev Conference in Eilat.

New Jerusalem bill circulating House
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Top Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a bill that would strip the president of his power to waive a law requiring him to move the embassy to Jerusalem. The bill, launched March 10 and sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House's Europe Subcommittee, is also backed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Middle East Subcommittee -- all but guaranteeing its passage in the Foreign Affairs Committee and referral to the full House.

Voices in unity raise new hope for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The phrase "Palestinian resistance" does not usually evoke peaceful images. From the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes, to Israel's use of fighter-jets to strike neighbourhoods in the West Bank, to rocket attacks from Gaza, violence has been ingrained in the story of the Palestinian struggle.

Middle East security from a Palestinian perspective
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Mkhaimar Abu Sada - (Blog) March 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 stipulates that the Arab countries "consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region". This, in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied in June 1967, a "just solution" to the Palestinian refugee problem based on UN Resolution 194, and the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The API and the regional security deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Amor Boubakri - (Blog) March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The Arab Peace Initiative promises to "provide security for all the states of the region". These provisions are at the core of the offer made by Arab states in their initiative to Israel and represent a solemn commitment to withdraw the threat of war and the use of arms in the resolution of problems related to territorial claims in the region.

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