Middle East News: World Press Roundup

News: Palestinians cannot agree on national unity but will not cancel the process. Over the past five years, Israel has detained more than 800 Palestinian youths for throwing rocks. Some argue green energy can advance Palestinian independence. Two Palestinians are injured in Israeli air attacks on Gaza. The PA economics minister denies allegations of corruption. Israel is looking for builders for more West Bank settlement units. MK Hanin Zuabi is stripped of parliamentary privileges. A Palestinian citizen of Israel fights for Arab women’s rights. A senior Israeli commander says settlers are “terrorizing” Palestinians. The PA has two employees charged with preventing clashes with settlers. Palestinian extremists in Gaza say they are planning attacks against Israel. Time profiles jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti. Palestinians may avoid the UN Security Council in September so as not to provoke a US veto. Commentary: The New York Times says Israel’s boycott law is not befitting a democracy. Carlo Strenger says that “bullshitting” is an inevitable fact of political life but can come to threaten democracy. Ha’aretz looks at why rocket fire from Gaza has resumed. Larry Derfner says it’s good the world is running out of patience with Israel. Jonathan Cook says Israel is suppressing Palestinian nonviolent resistance. The Gulf News says Palestinian statehood must be recognized. Adel Safty says the peace process is crumbling because Palestinian interests are not taken into consideration. The Jordan Times says US inaction is driving the Palestinians towards the UN. Yossi Alpher says the Quartet needs to work with, not fear, the UN track. Ghassan Khatib says the international community simply must intervene in the process.





Palestinian factions settle comfortably into limbo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - July 16, 2011 - 11:00pm


Reporting from Jerusalem— A proposed Palestinian unity government that was touted two months ago as a potential Mideast game-changer has been stalled by familiar political realities and lingering antagonisms. Since rival factions Fatah and Hamas announced a reconciliation after four years of feuding, the promised coalition government remains unformed due to disputes over who will serve as prime minister. Other goodwill measures, such as mutual prisoner releases, have also gone unfulfilled since May, and public attacks against one another have resumed.


Rights group: In last 5 years, Israeli army detains 835 Palestinian youths for throwing rocks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Associated Press - July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


JERUSALEM — Over the past five years, Israel’s military has detained more than 800 Palestinian youths and children for pelting rocks at Israelis soldiers, and has interrogated and jailed many of them, a rights group said in a report released Monday. Drawing on military statistics and interviews for its 70-page report, the Israeli rights group B’Tselem counted 835 minors who were taken into custody from 2005 through early 2011, including 34 children who were 13 or younger. In the worst case, B’Tselem cited an 8-year-old who was seized in the West Bank in February.


Can green energy help Palestinians unplug from Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Rebecca Collard - July 14, 2011 - 11:00pm


Outside Khaled Sabawi’s West Bank office it is a sweltering summer day, but inside it is a balmy 73 degrees Fahrenheit – without the use of conventional air-conditioning.


2 injured in air attacks on southern Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Two Palestinians were injured, one of them critically, as Israeli warplanes targeted the southern Gaza Strip for the fifth day in row, onlookers said. A Ma’an reporter said fighter jets fired missiles at the town of Khuza’a east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Two men were injured and were evacuated to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, where medics said one of the victims sustained critical wounds.


Economy minister criticizes allegations of corruption
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 14, 2011 - 11:00pm


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Authority minister of economy Hassan Abu Libdeh has criticized reports linking names from his ministry with allegations of corruption. Abu Libdeh told Ma'an Thursday that he is ready to appear before an anti-corruption committee and answer any questions put forward regarding corruption charges, vowing to defend the work of his ministry. “I am ready to appear before anti-corruption committee everyday and not only in this issue but on any other issue for the forty years I have spent at public service,” he said.


Israel: Support waning for Palestinian state bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Associated Press - July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


Israel's deputy foreign minister says he believes international support for recognizing an independent Palestinian state at the U.N. this fall is waning. Danny Ayalon has been leading Israel's international lobbying effort against the Palestinians. He says he has met with representatives from dozens of countries, and he believes many are not going to vote with the Palestinians. With peace talks stalled, the Palestinians plan to ask U.N. member states to vote for recognition of an independent state. The vote is expected to be largely symbolic, but could isolate Israel.


Arab MK stripped of further parliamentary privileges for role in Gaza flotilla
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zuabi will be stripped of her right to address the Knesset and to participate in committee votes until the end of this parliamentary season, the Knesset Ethics Committee ruled on Monday. The decision to penalize Zuabi, a lawmaker from the Balad party, comes in the wake of her participation in the Gaza-bound flotilla last year. Zuabi, who sailed on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, had already had certain parliamentary rights revoked by Knesset last July. Zuabi will still be allowed to vote in debates at the Knesset plenum, the ethics committee ruled Monday.


Are women's rights on the Arab agenda?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


Arab Israeli filmmaker Ibtisam Mara'ana spent Sunday going from one forum to another, giving extensive interviews about the murder of Maya Fares-Najm, whose body was found Friday in an open lot in Har Halutz in western Galilee. Mara'ana, a personal acquaintance of Maya, been acquainted with the family for several years and is close to Maya's sister, model Angelina Fares. Fares appeared in a film Mara'ana directed about the struggle against traditional society, after the model decided to enter the competition for Israel's beauty queen.


Jewish settlers are terrorising Palestinians, says Israeli general
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


A senior Israeli army commander has warned that unchecked "Jewish terror" against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatens to plunge the territory into another conflict. In unusually outspoken comments, Major General Avi Mizrahi took aim at extremist Israeli settlers, and said the yeshiva, or religious seminary, in Yitzhar, one of the most radical Jewish strongholds in the West Bank, should be closed, calling it a source of terror against Palestinians.


Lone West Bank pair charged with stopping settler-Palestinian clashes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


NABLUS // The job of heading off clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers on the outskirts of this venerable West Bank city falls to a small number of employees of the Palestinian Authority's housing and village affairs unit. Two, to be exact. For more than five years, Ghassan Doughlas and his assistant Khader Oweis have toiled to devise ways to support outlying Palestinian villages that bear the brunt of violence from neighbouring Jewish settlements.


Special from Gaza: Factions vow imminent armed uprising
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


GAZA - Leading Islamic Jihad figure Khaled al-Batch is over fifty and has been a part of the Palestinian struggle for years. His organization is deemed a terrorist group not only by the United States and Israel, but also by the rest of the world. The senior official’s activity in the group hasn’t exactly discouraged such a label. He helped orchestrate a series of bombings in Israel that ravaged the country during the outbreak of the Second Intifada. And now Batch, sitting barefoot in his Gaza office, says he’s convinced the Third Palestinian Intifada will erupt in a matter of months.


The Question of Barghouti: Is He a Mandela or an Arafat?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Karl Vick - July 16, 2011 - 11:00pm


In France, Marwan Barghouti is called "the Palestinian Nelson Mandela," an imprisoned militant turned bookworm who talks of peace when he gets out. In the West Bank and Gaza, many call him the heir to Yasser Arafat, so popular that polls routinely show him winning the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, even while he remains behind bars. Israelis know him as a mass murderer, serving five life sentences for sending suicide bombers to a Tel Aviv fish market and a Jerusalem mall.


Palestinians may turn directly to General Assembly to better chances for UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 16, 2011 - 11:00pm


Wishing to avoid an American veto at the Security Council, the Palestinian Authority is considering turning directly to the United Nations General Assembly in September in order to gain international recognition of Palestinian statehood.


Not Befitting a Democracy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) July 16, 2011 - 11:00pm


Israel’s reputation as a vibrant democracy has been seriously tarnished by a new law intended to stifle outspoken critics of its occupation of the West Bank. The law, approved in a 47-to-38 vote by Parliament, effectively bans any public call for a boycott — economic, cultural or academic — against Israel or its West Bank settlements, making such action a punishable offense.


The boycott law and bullshit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Blog) July 14, 2011 - 11:00pm


MK Zeev Elkin, who initiated the boycott law that was passed by the Knesset this Monday, said that the law was not meant to silence people, but to “protect the citizens of Israel.” Elkin’s statement would, in and of itself, not carry much interest, if it didn’t highlight a hallmark of the eighteenth Knesset that is undermining Israel as a liberal democracy step by step.


Gaza rocket fire: Why now?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Blog) July 16, 2011 - 11:00pm


The new escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza, still limited in scope, is the first of its kind since the bitter round of clashes at the beginning of April. That previous round, which included rocket fire on Ashdod and Be’er Sheva, ended once Israel took the initiative, mustering all its aerial firepower against Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza, and simultaneously intercepting eight Katyusha rockets fired at its territory, using the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system for the first time.


Rattling the Cage: Bring it on, National Camp
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) July 15, 2011 - 11:00pm


As the late, great V.I. Lenin said, the worse things get, the better they get. (Or did Mao say that?) Anyway, it’s all good. The anti-boycott law, the Nakba law, the loyalty oath(s), the hometown ethnic purity law, the Cuban-missile-crisis reaction to the flotillas – that’s what we want to see. This week, the Knesset’s going to vote to summon left-wing NGOs for public interrogation? Can’t wait.


Do not speak, do not resist - Israel rules out non-violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - (Opinion) July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


It was an Arab legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories. Ahmed Tibi asked: "What is a peace activist or Palestinian allowed to do to oppose the occupation? Is there anything you agree to?" The boycott law is the latest in a series of ever-more draconian laws being introduced by the far-right. The legislation's goal is to intimidate those Israelis who have yet to bow down before the majority-rule mob.


Palestine must be recognised as a nation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


It is right that Palestine goes to the United Nations and seeks international recognition as a sovereign state. This is something that should happen without questions and starting that process should not be included in the increasingly bizarre bargaining process between the Palestinians and the ruthless Netanyahu government. The so-called peace process has ground to a complete standstill, and neither the Israelis nor the US government is interested in restarting it.


Peace process is crumbling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Saft - (Opinion) July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


The unrealised peace process recently suffered some setbacks. Last week, the members of the Quartet (US, Russia, UN and the EU) — the driving force behind the peace process — met in Washington. They took stock of the growing gap between the parties and the obvious dead-end the parties and the Quartet had reached.


Ineffective position
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


The recent meeting in Washington of the Quartet, made up of the US, Russia, the EU and the UN, ended without the usual statement calling on the Palestinians and Israelis to resume peace talks. This suggests that there is a rift among the members of the group who are represented by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Only that could explain why such statement was not issued.


Why the Quartet fears the UN track
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


The Quartet failed to find a formula for restarting the peace process because it is either unable or unwilling to recognize that both the Israeli and the Palestinian leaderships are uninterested right now. It failed because all four of its component actors--the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia--are either unable or unwilling to exercise the necessary pressure on the two sides to bring about a viable process.


An urgent need for intervention
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) July 17, 2011 - 11:00pm


Palestinian politicians and analysts were divided in their understanding and evaluation of last week's Quartet failure to agree on a statement promoting the resumption of a Palestinian-Israeli political process. Some Palestinians expressed disappointment and frustration because disagreements within the Quartet that prevented consensus indicate that the international community is not going to be able to help Palestinians and Israelis move forward towards ending the occupation and realizing peace.





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