Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israel and militants in Gaza exchange attacks. At least five Egyptians are killed in the fighting. Israel blames "poor security" in Sinai for the attacks. Israeli attacks strike a refugee camp in central Gaza. Reuters looks at the group blamed for the attacks in southern Israel. The Media Line looks at the state of Egyptian security in Sinai. The US urges Egypt to do more to control Sinai. Israel opens a light rail service linking West Jerusalem with occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas says the PLO will not accept observer status at the UN. The battle intensifies in Congress over how to react to a Palestinian UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Israel no longer looks like a Goliath in the region. Avi Issacharoff says the Egyptian revolution has left a vacuum in Sinai. David Borowich Ya’ari says Israelis are awakening to "social justice" issues. Roi Ben-Yehuda says the protests may lead to a new era of Jewish-Arab cooperation, but Yisrael Harel says they are indifferent to the Palestinians. Abir Kopty explains how Palestinians in Israel are trying to involve themselves in the protests. The Daily Star says the exchange of attacks shows the status quo is untenable and peace is the only option. Shane Farrell and Mona Alami say Abbas achieved much in his trip to Lebanon.

Israelis Hit Gaza and Militants Fire Rockets After Deadly Attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner, David Kirkpatrick - August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli warplanes launched air strikes on Gaza and militants fired more than 10 rockets into Israel, the Israeli authorities said early Friday, a day after armed attackers, described by the authorities as Gazans who had crossed into Israel from Egypt, carried out multiple deadly attacks near the popular Red Sea resort of Eilat.

Gaza-Israel violence escalates after deadly attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Globe and Mail
August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Gaza militants launched barrages of rockets deep into Israel early Friday and Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Palestinian territory in the aftermath of the deadliest attack against Israelis in three years. Gunmen who appear to have originated in Gaza and crossed into southern Israel through the Egyptian desert ambushed civilian vehicles traveling on a remote road, killing eight people. Six were civilians, and two were members of Israeli security forces responding to the incursion.

Israelis blame 'terrorist' border attacks on Gaza militants, poor security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Militants carried out a series of attacks on Israeli buses and cars on a highway near the border with Egypt midday Thursday, highlighting the deteriorating stability along the open frontier between the two neighbors. The coordinated attacks on at least three separate targets north of the city of Eilat that left at least seven Israelis dead, including one soldier, and dozens injured were highly unusual for the quiet border region. Surprised by the scope of the attacks, Israel security forces killed some seven militants.

Israel strikes central Gaza refugee camp
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli warplanes struck An-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza on Friday morning in an ongoing assault which has killed at least seven Palestinians in the coastal enclave since Thursday. One Palestinian was lightly injured as Israeli fighter jets bombed a generator near the camp, causing a power outage across the area, said Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya. Missiles also hit a training camp of the armed wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, witnesses said.

Who is the Palestinian group blamed for the attacks?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel has blamed a Palestinian faction, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), of launching attacks along its border with Egypt that killed seven Israelis on Thursday. Within hours of the assault, the IAF struck back at the PRC, which is based in Gaza, killing five of its members, including the leader and his lieutenant. Following are some details on the organization, which denied involvement in the attack in southern Israel:

Bloody Attack Along Egyptian Border Reveals Weakening Control
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

In a series of coordinated attacks along Israel’s border with Egypt on Thursday, terrorists killed at least seven Israelis and wounded dozens more, including civilians and soldiers. The Israeli army said they had “targeted” seven of the gunmen in the attack, which will likely raise Israeli concerns in the stability of Egypt to retain control over an increasingly lawless Sinai.

US urges Egypt to control Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The United States pressed Egypt Thursday to follow through on promises to ensure security in the Sinai following a string of attacks in southern Israel said to have been staged from the desert region. The White House denounced the attacks, which left seven Israelis dead and thirty injured, and expressed hope those responsible "will be brought to justice swiftly." "We condemn the brutal terrorist attacks in southern Israel today in the strongest terms," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

Israeli light rail finally rolls in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The Jerusalem municipality says a long-awaited light rail system is beginning operation after years of delays, inconvenient archaeological finds and political haggling. The train took its first passengers early Friday. The project has been a decade and an estimated $1.4 billion in the making. The unique complexities of Jerusalem repeatedly delayed the project. The discovery of graves drew pressure from Orthodox Jews and forced route adjustments. Archaeologists preparing the ground uncovered ancient bathhouses and a 6th-century monastery.

Abbas: We refuse observer status at the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian leadership rejected upgrading Palestine to observer status at the UN and would demand full membership, the official news agency Wafa reported. Palestine refuses to be like the Vatican, which is not a member of the world body but has observer status, Abbas said. Speaking in Beirut, Abbas said 122 countries supported an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders, adding that the number could increase. Palestine also had the support of nine of the 15 UN Security Council members, the president said.

Hill fight simmers over Palestinian statehood vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Marin Cogan, Jake Sherman - August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill will spend much of the fall warring over budget deficits and the national debt, but a mass excursion by lawmakers to Israel this month offers a glimpse into a simmering foreign policy fight that could unify the two parties and cause headaches for the White House.

The myth of Israel's Goliath image has been slain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The planning, time, place and methodology of the attacks in the south indicate that the intention was not just to kill Israelis, avenge Palestinian deaths, or speed up the end of occupation. Whoever sent the terrorists is no friend of President Mahmoud Abbas and his people, who are scurrying around trying to lobby support for a UN General Assembly vote for a Palestinian state next month.

The Egyptian revolution has created a vacuum in Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Opinion) August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Thursday's attack, in which eight Israelis were killed and some 30 wounded, was one of the worst terror attacks Israel has experienced in recent years. Israeli defense sources said the cell, belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, left the Gaza Strip through the tunnels and entered Israel from Sinai to carry out a suicide attack combined with an abduction. Seven of the terrorists who carried out the attack were killed by the IDF and special police forces, as well as by fire from the Egyptian army.

Israelis awakening to the power of grass-roots activism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by David Borowich Ya'ari - (Opinion) August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

On a recent Saturday night, my wife and I waded into a sea of 6,000 protesters in Modiin as part of 12 other similarly staged rallies across Israel to demand social justice and greater accountability from our elected officials in Israel. This was Modiin, the newly created suburban retreat of the middle class -- a far cry from the social challenges facing the country. Amid a wave of upwardly mobile suburbanites, we found common cause with the hundreds of thousands of protestors who believe that Israel must provide greater social mobility and opportunity.

Semites unite! You’ve nothing to lose but your pain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Roi Ben-Yehuda - (Opinion) August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

On July 15 a small bit of history was made in Jerusalem. Around 3,000 Jews and Arabs marched from the Jaffa Gate in the Old City to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem calling for Palestinian independence, freedom and dignity. The demonstration was organized by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement and leaders of the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood committees. We, an Israeli from Tel Aviv and a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, were among those who joined and made our voices heard.

The Israeli protest is indifferent to the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yisrael Harel - (Opinion) August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Until Barack Obama entered the White House, Abu Mazen (PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas) was obliged, under pressure from the United States and the Quartet, to negotiate with Israel. But his goal was never to reach agreement. This was graphically illustrated in late 2008 by his refusal to accept the most generous set of principles ever proposed by an Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

The boundaries of July 14
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Abir Kopty - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Although some Israelis are calling for making a clear connection to Israel's occupation, the July 14 movement for "social justice" is far from endorsing a position on this, for many reasons.

Deadly direction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

When attacks and counterattacks erupted Thursday in Gaza, it might have been expected to hear analysts and the media talk about a sudden outbreak of violence – in fact, the developments of the last few months represent an instance of deliberately laying the groundwork for such an explosion.

Palestinians on statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Mona Alami - (Opinion) August 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas most likely left Lebanon Thursday a satisfied man. With high-level talks—most notably with President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri—as well as the inauguration of the Palestinian Embassy in Lebanon on his itinerary, the Palestinian president has laid some important diplomatic groundwork in preparation of an event next month that has the potential to define his career.

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