Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders say they might try to review the peace treaty with Israel if United States eliminates aid. Palestinians mourn schoolchildren killed in a bus accident. Israeli leaders and foreign diplomats are among those extending condolences. PM Fayyad says the PA is operating in occupied East Jerusalem, which is central to any peace agreement with Israel. A village near Nablus has become an epicenter of settler violence. Hezbollah denies any involvement in recent attacks on Israeli diplomats, as Israel says Iran is planning more. Israelis and Palestinians come together to search for bargains in a small West Bank town. The president of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee says laws barring Palestinians from owning property are “unjust.” Reuters looks at the future of Israel's largest “unauthorized” settlement outpost, Migron. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says it's unacceptable that Israeli airport security treats Palestinian citizens of Israel as suspicious objects. Yoel Marcus says Israel doesn't have the military ability to destroy Iran's nuclear program. Esther Zandberg looks at controversies regarding Israel's urban planning strategies in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post says it's important that Israel continues to build stronger relations with Cyprus and Greece. Donald MacIntyre compares hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan to the IRA's Bobby Sands. André de Nesnera asks if the Hamas-Fatah agreement will have an impact on the peace process with Israel. The Jerusalem Post interviews the new New York Times Jerusalem Bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren. Logan Bayroff says passionate arguments about the BDS movement are suffocating dialogue at campuses like U Penn. Moriel Rothman says the tragedy of the Holocaust needs to be disentangled from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sarah Wildman looks at the emergence of the new left-wing Israeli webzine +972.

Muslim Brotherhood Threatens to Review Treaty With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by David Kirkpatrick - February 16, 2012 - 1:00am

CAIRO — The Islamist party that leads the new Egyptian Parliament is threatening to review the 1979 peace treaty with Israel if the United States cuts off aid to the country over a crackdown on American-backed nonprofit groups here. The pact is considered a linchpin of regional stability, and the statements, from at least two senior leaders of the party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, represent the first time that Egyptians have explicitly raised it during an escalating standoff over the crackdown.

Palestinians Mourn Schoolchildren in Bus Attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM RAMALLAH, WEST BANK –- At least six people, including five Palestinian chidren, were killed Thursday when their bus collided with a truck and overturned outside Ramallah during a school field trip. Palestinian police and medics said the children, ages 4 to 7, and their teacher were killed instantly and another 30 children were injured, seven seriously. The accident, in which the bus caught fire after the collision, took place in rainy and foggy conditions.

Condolences Pour in After Deadly Crash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Condolences poured in from near and far Thursday, as Palestinians mourned the deaths of at least five children in a fiery accident south of Ramallah. Some 39 others were injured in addition to the five children and their teacher who perished when a school bus and truck collided on a field trip, Palestinian medical officials said. Israeli leaders were among the first to extend condolences; President Shimon Peres phoned his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas to express sorrow, Israeli media reported.

Fayyad: PA Operating in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The prime minister in Ramallah said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority was working inside occupied East Jerusalem, despite Israeli restrictions on PA activities. The PA is continuously trying to allocate resources inside the city, which Israel occupied in 1967, Salam Fayyad said. The Israeli government is trying to impose its policies to control Jerusalem and its institutions, which is contrary to international law and signed agreements, Fayyad said.

Nablus Village at the Center of Settler Violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Charlie Hoyle - February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

ASIRA AL-QIBLIYA (Ma'an) -- A drive along the northern section of route 60 paints a telling picture of the physical geography of settlements and settler violence in the West Bank. Winding through picturesque Nablus countryside, the main north-south highway acts as a boundary between Israeli settlements on one side and Palestinian villages on the other. Overlooked by these illegal hilltop residences, local Palestinians are all too familiar with the disadvantages of the neighborly proximity, especially given that the Nablus district experienced the majority of settler violence in 2011.

Hezbollah Denies Attacks Against Israeli Targets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

BEIRUT, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The head of Shiite armed group Hezbollah denied Thursday his party's involvement in recent security incidents in India, Georgia and Thailand against Israeli diplomats. "We, in Hezbollah, played no part in these incidents," Hasan Nasrallah said during a televised speech during a rally to commemorate Hezbollah's slain commanders. Israel has accused Iran and its ally Hezbollah of standing behind unsuccessful plots targeting Israeli officials in various countries this week. Iran has also dismissed the claims.

Iran, Hezbollah Seek to Attack More Israeli Targets Abroad, Official Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

Iranian and Hezbollah operatives are still seeking to attack Israeli targets in several countries, Israel's Counterterrorism Bureau indicated on Friday, warning Israeli citizens to adhere to the directives of local security forces. The remarks, given during a press briefing, came after earlier Friday Thai security forces have upped alertness levels in the country's international airports and rail system over what local police is saying is an Israeli warning against new terror attacks.

A Divided Town, Where the Pursuit of Bargains Brings Together Israelis and Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Linda Gradstein - February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

BARTA'A, West Bank (JTA) -- In these days of frozen peace negotiations, most Israelis and Palestinians have little contact. Palestinians need a special permit to enter Israel, and Israelis need army permission to enter the parts of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, just a mile north of this small West Bank town, a large yellow sign reminds drivers that “it is illegal to hand over cars for repair to the Palestinian Authority or to enter Palestinian areas.”

Palestinian Property Ownership Law ‘Unjust’ Says LPDC Head
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Annie Slemrod - February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

BEIRUT: Abdul-Majid Kassir, president of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, has called Lebanon’s law that bars Palestinians from owning property “unjust” and a “violation of human rights.” The former diplomat took the helm of the body tasked with improving relations between the two communities last summer, and spoke with The Daily Star Thursday about a wide range of issues that affect an often strained relationship.

Insight: In Israel, an Illegal Outpost Faces its Reckoning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Crispian Balmer, Maayan Lubell - February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

MIGRON, West Bank (Reuters) - The Jewish settlement of Migron perches high on a blustery hill in the occupied West Bank. Its inhabitants pay taxes, are hooked up to the electricity grid and get round-the-clock protection from Israeli soldiers. Over the past decade the government has spent at least 4 million shekels ($1.1 million) on establishing and maintaining the cluster of squat, prefab bungalows, even building a neat tarmac road up the steep incline to the treeless ridge.

Airport security can't treat Arab Israelis like suspicious objects
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

Yara Mashour wanted to return to her home in Israel. A natural-born citizen and the editor of a popular Israeli weekly, she arrived at an El Al counter in a Milan airport this week, her passport and an airline ticket in hand. What happened next is what happens to almost every Arab Israeli traveler: She was singled out, put through rigorous security checks, asked ridiculous, humiliatingly intimate questions and had her baggage thoroughly searched. But when it reached the stage of a body search, Mashour, a proud citizen, refused, choosing instead to give up her flight.

Striking Iran's nuclear program is out of Israel's league
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

Our favorite duo, Bibi and Barak, operate like Sylvester Stallone's Rambo. Real macho men who win in every movie. Against his powerful enemies, Rambo sweats, gets a black eye or two, bleeds, but in the end he wins, to the appropriate background music. Rambo's weakness, at least early in his films, is that he doesn't seem to think ahead, even when he's bleeding after what happened to him. The viewers in the movie theater know that the blood is paint and in the end he'll be victorious.

Whose city is it anyway?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Esther Zandberg - (Analysis) February 16, 2012 - 1:00am

The photos are recognizable from everyday life. In one corner of a public park, boys are getting ready for a ball game, setting up goals and marking off territory that strangers should not dare approach. In other corners, large groups gather for birthday parties or family picnics and mark off a patch of grass with flags and balloons. Others light barbecues under the trees despite the signs warning against doing so.

The Cyprus connection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) February 16, 2012 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s historic trip Thursday to Cyprus – the first by an Israeli prime minister – is being presented by many as a direct result of Israel’s deteriorating relations with Turkey.

Khader Adnan: The West Bank's Bobby Sands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Analysis) February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

It was only after talking with lucidity and animation for an hour about her husband's 61-day hunger strike that Randa Jihad Adnan's eyes, visible though the opening of her nekab, filled with tears. Until then, this articulate 31-year-old graduate in sharia law from Al Najar University in Nablus, the pregnant mother of two young daughters aged four and one and half, had described with almost disconcerting poise the two months following the arrest of her husband, Khader Adnan, on 17 December.

Will Fatah/Hamas Accord Affect Mideast Peace Process?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
by Andre de Nesnera - (Interview) February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

The power-sharing agreement was brokered by the Emir of Qatar and signed in Doha by the leader of Fatah - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas - and Khalid Meshal, leader of Hamas. The accord calls for Abbas to lead an interim unity government that will prepare for new presidential and parliamentary elections this year. Challenges ahead Fawaz Gerges, Middle East expert with the London School of Economics, welcomes the accord. But he says many challenges lie ahead given what he calls the "deficit of trust" between the Fatah and Hamas leaderships.

‘NYT’ J’lem bureau chief pick sparks uproar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Oren Kessler - (Opinion) February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

The New York Times’ choice of its next Jerusalem bureau chief touched off a fierce social-media debate on Tuesday, just hours after its announcement and months before she is to arrive in Israel. On Tuesday evening, the Times announced on its Twitter feed that Jodi Rudoren, hitherto the paper’s education editor, would replace veteran bureau chief Ethan Bronner in the capital. By nightfall Rudoren’s had found herself in hot water, accused of pro- Palestinian bias in arguably the world’s most sensitive journalistic posting. Much of the controversy has occurred on social media.

Opinion: BDS Absolutism Undermined Discourse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Exponent
by Logan Bayroff - (Opinion) February 15, 2012 - 1:00am

The atmosphere in the lead-up to the recent boycott, divestment and sanctions conference at the University of Pennsylvania was characterized by acrimony and anger not native to this campus. Yet this acrimony did not come from students or university representatives, or from campus institutions like Hillel. We in the Penn community did our basic duty to uphold free speech on campus. And the conference went forward without incident. Not only Penn students, however, responded to what went on here.

Detangling the Holocaust from Israeli-Palestinian politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily News Egypt
by Moriel Rothman - (Opinion) February 16, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM: Late last month I went to the children's memorial in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. I stood there and took in the names, the candles and the glass. And I felt confused and sad and a little bit broken. It was 27 January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and it was the first time I had gone to the memorial in five years. I went because I wanted to reclaim a small part of myself and my history from the tornado of political and historical ownership that twists so jaggedly in this place.

Israel's New Left Goes Online
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Sarah Wildman - (Opinion) February 14, 2012 - 1:00am

In mid-December a young Palestinian named Mustafa Tamimi was struck in the face with a tear-gas canister fired from an Israeli armored vehicle. It happened during one of the Friday protests, a weekly event in West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, where Tamimi lived; he later died from his wounds. In the ensuing battle over culpability—so much of which took place, like everything else these days, on Twitter—a number of English-language bloggers challenged Israeli military spokespeople about the event, again and again, and kept the story of Tamimi’s death in the news.

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