Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israel takes the unusual step of naming a city square after a Palestinian doctor. Israeli troops kill an unidentified man on the Sinai border. The Israeli government asks residents of the largest "unauthorized settlement" to voluntarily relocate. Gaza's power-plant shuts down again. A Palestinian woman being held without charge by Israel is on a hunger strike. Hanan Ashrawi says Israel should end its "policy of racism." Israeli occupation authorities say they intend to build an industrial zone on the site Palestinians had identified for a future Palestinian state airport. Israeli officials reportedly say they would not warn the United States before attacking Iran. J Street brings a delegation of Americans, including six members of Congress, to Israel and the occupied territories. Hamas leaders admit that Iran is angry with the organization for siding with the Syrian opposition. Palestinian officials ask Qatar-based Islamist cleric Qaradawi to retract an opinion that non-Palestinians should not visit Jerusalem. COMMENTARY: Xinhua interviews Gaza-based Hamas leader Haniyyeh. Moshe Arens says Palestinian Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel must serve in the military. The Jerusalem Post praises the late former Israeli PM Begin for not wanting to end the occupation. Susan Hattis Rolef says Israeli courts must decide the demarcation line between Zionists and fascists.Gershon Baskin continues to answer questions from those skeptical about the possibility of peace. Lara Friedman says a recent conference on Jerusalem in Qatar totally ignored Jewish history and much of what was said there was objectionable and painful. Bilal Hassan says confronting Israel is an Arab, and not just a Palestinian, imperative. Hussein Ibish says conditions for the eruption of a third intifada are quickly building.

In Israeli city, a tribute to a Palestinian doctor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

JAFFA, Israel – Freighted with memories, a bus carrying Najwa Dajani and her extended family pulled into this city by the sea that she had left under gathering clouds of war more than six decades ago. “We’re going home,” she said. Najwa, 75, had not been back since she left for Cairo with her mother and siblings in January 1948 as fighting raged between Arabs and Jews in the war that accompanied the creation of Israel. The departure, part of a mass Palestinian exodus, was supposed to be temporary, until the hostilities died down, but became a lifelong exile.

Israeli troops fatally shoot infiltrator who crossed border from Egypt’s Sinai desert
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops have killed an unidentified man who illegally crossed into Israel through the porous border with Egypt’s Sinai desert. A military statement says soldiers patrolling the border overnight spotted a group of people who had breached the frontier. It says the soldiers called on the people to stop, but the infiltrators opened fire, drawing return fire from the Israeli troops. The military said Tuesday that one man was killed and the others fled back to Egyptian territory.

Israel urges settlers in West Bank outpost of Migron to relocate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem— With negotiations apparently at an impasse, the Israeli government launched a last-ditch effort Monday to avoid a confrontation over the court-ordered evacuation of Jewish settlers living in the West Bank outpost of Migron. Lawmaker Benny Begin, who has been leading government efforts to resolve the issue, held a news conference to urge the families to accept an offer to relocate them.

Gaza power plant closes again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Gaza's only power plant has been forced to shut down for the second time in two weeks due to a fuel shortage, the energy authority in the Gaza Strip said Tuesday. Energy officials appealed to Egypt to provide Gaza with a sufficient amount of fuel to allow regular operation of the plant, adding that the disruptions were inflicting a heavy toll on the 1.7 million Palestinian residents of the blockaded strip.

Palestinian woman on hunger strike in prison
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A Palestinian woman, released by Israel in a prisoner swap last year but re-arrested earlier this month and held without charge, is on a hunger strike to protest at her treatment, officials said on Monday. Hana Shalabi started refusing to eat 12 days ago, her lawyer and a Palestinian prisoners's organisation said, becoming the second Palestinian detainee to go on a hunger strike in quick succession.

PLO official calls to end Israel's "policy of racism"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- An official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Tuesday called on the international community to force Israel to end its "policy of racism" against Palestinians. Hanan Ashrawi, head of the PLO information and culture department, criticized Israel's "racist separation system" against Palestinians, referring to the West Bank barriers, checkpoints and the expansion of Jewish settlements. In the West Bank, which Israel occupied in 1967, there are 500, 000 Jewish settlers "living on the sources of income of the Palestinians," she added.

Israel to promote east Jerusalem project on area claimed to be future Palestinian airport
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Jerusalem municipality Building and Planning Committee last week started bureaucratic arrangements for building an industrial zone in north Jerusalem's Atarot area, where the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) plans to establish its international airport in future state, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday. Meir Margalit, a Jerusalem council member from Meretz party who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio slammed the municipality's plans.

Israel wouldn't warn U.S. before Iran strike, says intelligence source
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.

U.S. congresswomen see Israel, Palestinians in the eyes of J Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Linda Gradstein - February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

KALANDIYA, West Bank (JTA) -- The U.S. congresswomen get off the bus and stand in the chilly shadows of the Kalandiya crossing point between the West Bank and Jerusalem. It’s late morning, well past the rush hour when thousands of Palestinians congregate here, and only a few dozen Palestinians stand in line. To cross, the Palestinians go through a series of metal turnstiles and wait with their documents until they are called, one by one, to approach the Israeli soldiers sitting behind bullet-proof barriers. One Palestinian man strikes up a conversation.

Iran angry at Hamas abandoning Al-Assad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Paula Astatih - February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat –Hamas political bureau deputy chief Moussa Abu Marzook sought to draw a line under the speculation regarding Hamas’s position in Syria, confirming that the Palestinian movement has left Syria because it respects “the will of the people” and rejects the “security solution” being enacted by the al-Assad regime.

PA urges top cleric to annul Jerusalem fatwa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority minister of religious affairs on Tuesday urged a top Muslim cleric to annual his recent fatwa which ruled that non-Palestinian Muslims should not visit Jerusalem while it remains under occupation. Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a respected Sunni Muslim cleric, gave the decree after President Mahmoud Abbas urged Arabs and Muslims worldwide to visit the city at the Jerusalem conference in Qatar on Sunday.

Interview: Hamas, Fatah agree to give more time to form unity gov't: Haneya
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Interview) February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Ismail Haneya, head of the deposed government of Islamic Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, said in a special interview with Xinhua on Monday that Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party have agreed to give more time to form the new transitional unity government. At his office in Gaza City, Haneya told Xinhua that leaders of Fatah and Hamas movements had bilaterally agreed in Cairo to give the consultations on forming the new unity government some more time until the two sides come up with a final decision.

Muslims and Christians must also serve in IDF
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Moshe Arens - (Opinion) February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

If you're an Israeli citizen who is ultra-Orthodox, Muslim or Christian, you're exempt from sharing the burden of the country's defense with your fellow citizens who are Jewish or Druze. There is no discrimination here - these religious communities are equal when it comes to not defending the country. To be precise, not quite all. The young men of the small Circassian community residing in Kafr Kama and Reikhaniya in the Galilee, although Muslims, are obligated to do compulsory military service. They are the exception.

Begin’s legacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

On the 20th anniversary of Menachem Begin’s death, many are revisiting the former prime minister’s important legacy. Perhaps the most significant aspect of Begin’s political leadership was his unique ability to bridge the gap between ideological purity and political realism, an important component of his ultimate political success. It was in large part due to Begin’s pragmatism and moderation that violence was avoided immediately after the establishment of the State of Israel.

Who's a fascist and who's a Zionist?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Susan Hattis Rolef - (Opinion) February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

The Jerusalem District Court will soon be deliberating on an interesting libel suit; the Im Tirzu movement is suing a group of talkbackers who claimed that Im Tirzu’s campaigns against the New Israel Fund and various human rights organizations in Israel smack of fascism.

Encountering Peace: Q&A on the future of the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Interview) February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

Meeting with American Jews and non-Jews on college campuses, synagogues and churches all across America is always a refreshing opportunity to see how much interest our small country attracts. It is also quite disturbing how divisive the issue of support for Israel has become. The divisions are not between Jews and non-Jews, but within each community there are conflicts between those who are pro-Israeli versus those who are pro-Palestinian.

Jerusalem Isn't Just for Arabs, Either
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Lara Friedman - (Opinion) February 27, 2012 - 1:00am

I write this late on Sunday night in Doha, following the first day of the Arab League’s Conference on Jerusalem. I am attending the conference as an individual and a member of the foreign policy community — not as a representative of any organization (as is the case when I attend most conferences). That said, the organizers of the conference knew when they invited me that I am a Zionist. Most of my professional life (and much of my personal life) has been dedicated to fighting for peace for Israel and fighting against biased views on all sides of the issues.

The root cause of the confrontation with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Bilal Hassan - (Opinion) February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

Last Friday, the al-Aqsa Mosque transformed from a Palestinian, Arab and Islamic symbol to a scene of confrontation and clashes between Palestinian civilians and the Israeli occupant forces, with Israel resorting to violence even within a yard of the mosque. What was the reaction to this?

Don’t discount a third intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) February 28, 2012 - 1:00am

Is a third Palestinian intifada coming in the foreseeable future? An Israeli Foreign Ministry intelligence report circulated in the government last week and leaked over the weekend to Ha’aretz suggests it could well be. The report is right, and its assessment should make sobering reading for Israeli officials and citizens alike.

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