Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Municipal elections are planned in the West Bank for October 22. The UN says there is a clear link between Palestinian displacement and settlement expansion. A Palestinian man is convicted of murdering a settler family. The US and Israel are working on a formula to avoid a Palestinian statehood initiative at the UN in September. Analysts doubt PM Netanyahu's latest proposals will produce any results. 42 MKs say the answer to Israel's cost-of-living crisis is more settlement activity. A new poll shows overwhelming Jewish and Muslim American support for a two-state solution. A Knesset committee says Palestinian efforts at the UN will harm Israel diplomatically. Israel's public security minister claims “a large-scale military operation is needed in Gaza.” COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says Israeli courts must end discrimination against Palestinians. Gilad Stern, Einav Yogev and Yoram Schweitzer say the border region between Israel, Egypt and Gaza remains very volatile. The Arab News says only Palestinians should decide what to do at the UN. Osama Al Sharif says Israeli and American opposition to Palestinian statehood initiatives is incomprehensible to the rest of the world. Yossi Alpher says a deal on Jerusalem has to be part of a broader agreement. Ghassan Khatib says the international community must do more on Jerusalem. David Myers says hope for peace can still be found in the actions of ordinary people. Marwan Muasher says Pres. Obama must act now to avoid an Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

PA announces schedule for local elections in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 3, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Central Elections Committee on Tuesday announced its schedule for the upcoming local council vote, which will be held in the West Bank on October 22. The ministry said in a statement that registration would take place between August 13 - 17. A 10-day candidacy period would begin on September 6, the ministry added. The electoral campaign is scheduled for October 8 - 20, and results of the election will be announced 24 hours after voting closes, the statement added.

UNRWA: Clear link between settlements and demolitions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The link between Israel's settlement expansion in the West Bank and the displacement of Palestinians from their homes is now "abundantly clear," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said Tuesday. "Many displacements are taking place where settlements are expanding and with it we are seeing an upturn in vicious attacks by Jewish settlers. Palestinians are being thrown off their ancestral lands to make way for settlers," Gunness told Ma'an.

Court convicts Palestinian of settler family murder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Maayan Lubell - August 3, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Aug 3 (Reuters) - An Israeli military court found a Palestinian man guilty of murdering five Israeli family members in the occupied West Bank in March, an army spokeswoman said on Wednesday. Hakim Awad, 18, was convicted on Tuesday after he admitted that he and his brother, who is also on trial for murder, had killed a Jewish couple and three of their children, one a three-month-old baby, in their home in the settlement of Itamar.

Israel, US race to avert Palestinian UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josef Federman - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel is working with the United States to find a way to revive peace negotiations with the Palestinians in a desperate attempt to avert a diplomatic showdown at the U.N. next month, an Israeli official confirmed Tuesday. The talks, meant to provide a framework for negotiations, are focusing on two of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the borders between Israel and a future Palestine, and Israel's demand that the Palestinians recognize the country as the Jewish homeland.

Netanyahu's latest peace initiative not to bear fruits: analysts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - August 3, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be willing to renew peace talks with his Palestinian counterpart in an effort to stave off a Palestinian bid for UN- backed statehood. The new negotiations would focus on a formula to set borders of an independent Palestinian state, Israeli officials told local media. They would also include Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a demand that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has so far rejected.

Dozens of MKs to Netanyhu: Solve Israel housing crisis by building in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Forty-two cabinet ministers and MKs, all members of the Eretz Yisrael Lobby, signed a petition addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, calling on him to solve the housing crisis that has swept up the country by building in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Jews and Muslims Share Common Values, Poll Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by JTA - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Muslim and Jewish Americans share common values on key questions, according to a Gallup poll. The poll, released Tuesday, found that the Muslim Americans exceeded Jewish belief in religious pluralism and in the fairness of elections, and also in support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – 81 percent for Muslims, 78 percent for Jews. Jews and Muslims also were the only religious groups surveyed in which a majority backed President Obama.

FADC: Palestinian UN bid will harm Israel in int'l arena
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jpost.com Staff, Herb Keinon - August 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said in a report presented Tuesday that recognition of Palestinian statehood in the United Nations this September would harm Israel's standing in the international arena and could lead to a continued state of escalation, Israel Radio reported. Heading the team that prepared the report was MK Yonathan Plesner of Kadima.

'Large-scale military operation needed in Gaza'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jpost.com Staff - August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Monday called on Israel to undertake a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip in response to continued rocket fire from the territory into southern Israel, Israel Radio reported. During a tour of Beersheba, Aharonovitch said that the constant flow of rockets from Gaza cannot be allowed to continue, giving specific reference to an attack on Monday, in which a woman in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council was injured by shrapnel.

Israeli courts must end anti-Arab discrimination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) August 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli courts discriminate against Israeli Arabs. If there had been any doubt left about this, a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind study commissioned by Israel's Courts Administration and the Israel Bar Association just determined it decisively.

Egypt-Sinai-Gaza: The triangular threat to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yoram Schweitzer, Gilad Stern, Einav Yogev - (Opinion) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Last week’s attack on the gas pipeline in the El- Arish area in northern Sinai was the fifth such attack in the past six months. According to reports in the Egyptian press, four armed, masked men infiltrated the gas terminal, blew it up and escaped without disclosing their identities. The explosion caused serious damage to the pipeline, even more extensive than the damage caused in the attack of the previous week.

Editorial: A conjurer’s trick
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

It is reported that, as a result of pressure from Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now willing to negotiate the border that will separate Israel and the future Palestinian state. It is being said that this represents both a breakthrough and a climb down by him.

Showdown over statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Compared to East Timor, the first state to be welcomed into the UN community in the 21st century, or South Sudan, the latest newcomer into the 193-member organization, Palestine may fare much better as a state in terms of political, economic and social indicators. It certainly qualifies, in the view of many, in relation to the four accepted elements that are needed to be recognized as one. The elements are permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter into relations with others.

AN ISRAELI VIEW Only by prioritizing the issues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

It is not too late to create a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem alongside Israel's capital--unless this arrangement has to be part of a comprehensive, end-of-claims settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. In that case it is, and probably always has been, impossible.

A PALESTINIAN VIEW Sabotage or arrogance?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) August 1, 2011 - 12:00am

The illegal changes that the Israeli occupier is undertaking in East Jerusalem have far-reaching consequences, not only for the day-to-day life of the Palestinian people, but also for the possibility of peace between the two sides.

Where hope Is to be found
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Journal
by David Myers - (Opinion) August 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Recent events have cast a dark pall over Israel. The total collapse of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has led the latter to pursue the course of unilateral action, as reflected in the drive for United Nations affirmation of Palestinian statehood in September. Meanwhile, a wave of parliamentary activity, instigated by Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party, threatens to undermine key foundations of Israel’s democratic tradition by seeking to stifle dissent and free expression.

Something's Got to Give
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Marwan Muasher - (Opinion) July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Something -- or someone -- has got to give. With international momentum building for a U.N. resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood, Washington is finally coming to the realization that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is unsustainable.

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