Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: The US and Israel say they are working on a new framework for negotiations. Israel bombs targets in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli museum in Jerusalem highlights work by artists from the Islamic world. Settlers are issued restraining orders to prevent planned attacks on Palestinians. Palestinian officials say mass protests are planned to coincide with a possible UN initiative in September. Occupation authorities worry about possible Palestinian use of arson. Palestinian police establish a radio station. The EU says it's contributing €22.5 million to help the PA pay salaries. Israel’s supreme court orders the dismantling of the largest settlement outpost. The UN says occupation zoning policies are driving Palestinians out of “Area C.” COMMENTARY: Gershon Baskin says Israel’s economic health depends on peace with its neighbors. Ben White says the Israeli left needs to wake up. Daniel Seidemann says the two-state solution is hanging on by its fingertips in Jerusalem. Mousa Qous says Israel takes a settler mentality in Jerusalem. The Daily Telegraph says PM Netanyahu is offering nothing new. Amos Oz says fanaticism is the underlying problem. Bloomberg looks at Middle Eastern commentary on possible Palestinian UN initiatives. Lara Friedman says Israeli protests highlight the costs of the occupation. Bradley Burston says the protests leave Netanyahu with only pursuing peace

US, Israel propose new talks to head off Palestinian UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel is willing to begin new peace talks using the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations, if the Palestinians drop their UN membership bid, an Israeli government official confirmed on Tuesday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official confirmed that Israel has been working with Washington and members of the international peace-making Quartet to draw up a new framework that could relaunch stalled talks.

Air strikes hit targets in the Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli warplanes struck two targets in the northern and southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, with no casualties reported. Israeli air crafts fired at a target in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip causing material damage but no human casualties, medical sources told Ma'an's correspondent. Israeli jets also fired missiles at a smuggling tunnel in the Al Brazil neighborhood of Rafah in southern Gaza, causing material damage only.

Israeli museum showing Muslim-world artists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — A museum on the road separating Jewish west Jerusalem from the Arab neighborhoods in the city's east is attracting a daring group of artists from Middle Eastern nations that shun contact with Israel, trying to erode political barriers through art. It's been a years-long process for the Museum on the Seam, which is one of the few art museums in Israel that aggressively tries to convince Arab and Muslim artists to show in its galleries.

Settlers served restraining orders from West Bank over planned attacks on Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Judea and Samaria District Police and Shin Bet security services served 12 West Bank settlers with administrative restraining orders overnight on Monday. The orders were served in the wake of intelligence gathered by the Shin Bet, according to which a group of extremists have been involved in leading, planning and carrying out widespread secret, violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank over the last two years.

Palestinians plan mass demonstrations against Israel on eve of UN vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian officials said Monday they plan to begin mass marches against Israel's occupation of the West Bank on September 20, the eve of a largely symbolic UN vote expected to recognize their independence. Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo said leaders hope to attract millions, and the protest will be the first of a prolonged effort. He said the campaign would be called "Palestine 194," since the Palestinians hope to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

Military officials warn of 'arson intifada'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Akiva Novick - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Residents of various West Bank settlements have found themselves under a new threat recently – arson. According to a report published by Yedioth Ahronoth Tuesday, more than 20 fires have been maliciously set in West Bank settlements and outposts in the past few weeks. Police investigators determined that all of the fires were the result of arson and evidence in all cases led to surrounding Arab villages. The Judea and Samaria District Police have recently arrested six suspects.

Palestinian Police Taking to the Air
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

The idea of turning to the police to hear the news, catch some of the latest tunes and vent some frustration to a talk show host seems a bit odd, but Palestinians will soon be able to do this with a new radio station being set up by the local police force in the West Bank. The Palestinian Civil Police said they plan to model their new station on the popular ones run by the neighboring Israeli and Jordanian armies. With financial support already pledged from Turkey, senior commanders say they hope to be on air by the end of the year.

EU contributes €22.5 million to pay PA salaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The European Union announced Tuesday that it would contribute €22.5 million to help the Palestinian Authority pay July salaries and pensions for around 83,000 Palestinian public service workers and pensioners. The EU announced that the money would be channeled through PEGASE, the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians, a statement said. "This is a clear message of our solid commitment toward the Palestinian people at this critical time" said Christian Berger, the EU representative.

Israel's Supreme Court orders state to dismantle largest West Bank outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an unprecedented ruling ordering the state to dismantle the largest illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank by April 2012. The decision follows a petition filed by Peace Now movement. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch harshly criticized the Israeli government for failing to dismantle the outpost of Migron, which is home to some 50 families, despite earlier promises it would do so and after it had admitted that it was in fact built on lands belonging to Palestinians.

U.N.: Zoning laws driving Palestinians out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Restrictive zoning and planning rules by Israel are forcing Palestinians out of an area in the West Bank, a U.N. report released Monday indicated. The report said factors forcing Palestinians from "Area C" include difficulty in obtaining building permits, construction of a barrier, home demolitions and difficulty in accessing services such as schools and water, among other things, the United Nations said in a release.

Encountering Peace: I should be a millionaire!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

‘The people demand social justice” – I can hear the rhythm of the chant of the masses along the route from the tent encampment on King George Street in Jerusalem to the prime minister’s house. The beat, the words – “the people demand….” so reminiscent of the sounds of Tahrir square in Cairo or Tunis a few months before. The Arab spring has arrived in Israel – unbelievable!

How Israel's left is missing the point
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New Statesman
by Ben White - (Blog) July 31, 2011 - 12:00am

While Israeli PM Netanyahu's coalition seems steady, recent events like the response to the new anti-boycott law, the march for Palestinian independence, and the housing protests have some claiming a resurgent "peace camp". Yet the rhetoric by Israel's "left" has merely highlighted how much remains to be done to realise equality and basic Palestinian rights.

Holding on by our fingernails
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Daniel Seidemann - (Blog) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

No two-state solution is possible unless an agreement can be implemented that satisfies both Israeli and Palestinian requirements in Jerusalem. Today, such an agreement in Jerusalem is still possible, but barely.

Israel's settler mentality continues to prevail over Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Mousa Qous - (Blog) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

No doubt Jerusalem could be the key to peace in the Middle East, if Israel--the occupying power--cedes East Jerusalem to enable the Palestinians to establish the capital of their future state. Instead, the opposite is taking place. To consolidate its grip over Jerusalem, the Israeli government continues with its settlement activities in the middle of Arab Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. These create new facts on the ground that make any future withdrawal almost impossible.

Middle East peace process: Netanyahu offers much and nothing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Anthony Billingsley - (Blog) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, is reported to have offered to resume negotiations with the Palestinians to address the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state. These negotiations would be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. According to media reports, Netanyahu would be willing to consider a formula on borders "that would be difficult for Israel to accept".

Amos Oz on Fanatics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from J-Wire
by Henry Benjamin - (Opinion) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Distinguised Israeli author Amos Oz delivered the Ervin Graf Oration in Sydney last night. Under the auspices of the Shalom Institute, the city’s Sofitel Wentworth Hotel’s function room was filled to capacity to hear the gifted wordsmith speak on the subject of fanatics with the inevitable focus on the Middle East. Michael Graf, the son of the late Ervin Graf opened proceedings speaking about his late father’s love of education. Shalom director Dr Hilton Immerman outlined some of the projects currently undertaken by the Institute.

Debating a UN Debate on a Palestinian State: Noe and Raad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Nicholas Noe, Walid Raad - (Opinion) August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to take a statehood bid to the United Nations in September has triggered a robust media debate over the wisdom of the move.

Israeli housing protests spotlight government priorities, including settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Lara Friedman - (Blog) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Thousands of Israelis are in the streets protesting high housing costs. It is an amazing, indeed, stunning development. Israelis from all walks of life are fed up with Israel's wealth gap as it continues to widen. These protests are not about Netanyahu's policies regarding the Palestinians or the settlements. But let no one be confused: these protests shine a bright spotlight on policies of the Netanyahu government regarding settlements.

Netanyahu's trump card against Israeli protests: Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Blog) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Early Monday, when the news broke of the IDF trading fire with the Lebanese army, everyone in this house, and undoubtedly many others in Israel, had the same thought: That's it. Netanyahu's decided to solve the protest crisis by going to war. In fact, even before the Lebanon tension began, journalist Yossi Gurvitz outlined exactly such a scenario. In the face of the mushrooming protests over social welfare issues, "Netanyahu's magic hat is emptying quickly," Gurvitz wrote last week, adding that the prime minister might choose a war as the way out of his troubles.

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