Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Egypt reportedly brokers a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, as two more Palestinians are killed under Israeli fire. Israel is considering settling nomadic Bedouins on a landfill. Israel says “all options” are on the table if Western talks with Iran fail. Some Palestinian refugees still dream of returning home after 64 years. The PA fines date dealers for selling settlement products. A new report finds that only 6 percent of public sector employees in Israel are Palestinian citizens of the country. Deputy PM Mofaz says he thinks there's a good chance negotiations with Palestinians will resume soon, and the Obama administration is also reportedly working on renewed talks. Hamas publicly celebrates what it hopes is the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in the Egyptian presidential election. Palestinians are reportedly interested in a new Israeli technology combining solar and wind generated power. A UN expert criticizes censorship by Israel, the PA and Hamas. Palestinians are seeking to attract more Muslim visitors to the al-Aqsa Mosque. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon work to contain the fallout from recent deadly clashes with the Lebanese military. COMMENTARY: The Washington Post interviews DM Barak and Pres. Peres. Gideon Levy says Hamas and the Israeli government are behaving like kindergartners. Khaled Diab says both principle and pragmatism call for an end to the Gaza blockade. The Forward says the Olympics should honor slain Israeli athletes. Danny Rubinstein looks at the future of the Palestinian high-tech sector. Moriel Rothman looks at the logic behind Israel's planned destruction of a Palestinian village near Hebron.

Hamas Military Wing Accepts a Cease-Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The military wing of Hamas, the Islamic group that governs Gaza, announced late Wednesday that it was committed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire to end three days of fighting with

Hamas signals ready for truce after Israel kills 2
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Gaza militants said on Wednesday they were ready to sign up to an Egyptian-brokered truce to end three days of cross-border fighting after Israeli air strikes killed a Palestinian militant and a 14-year-old boy. In a statement, the militant wing of the Islamist Hamas group in control of Gaza said: "Responding to the Egyptian efforts, we and the armed resistance announce our commitment to stop this round of confrontation as long as the occupation stops this aggression."

Israel eyes landfill site for Bedouin nomads
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jihan Abdalla - June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Bedouin tents and wandering goats dot the barren hills on the drive from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea, giving residents and visitors a glimpse of how the Holy Land must have looked in ancient times. With their corrals, water cisterns and tractors the camps look more like rudimentary homesteads. But the Bedouin tradition is slowly dying out as Israel clears the camps to make way for expanding Jewish urban settlements.

Israel: "all options" open after Iran talks fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, June 20 (Reuters) - Israel responded on Wednesday to a lack of progress in talks aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme by demanding that the West impose stiffer economic sanctions on Tehran and hinting anew that a military option was still on the table. Six world powers and Iran failed to secure a breakthrough at talks in Moscow this week, the third round under the latest diplomatic initiative, and set no date for more political negotiations.

Palestinian refugees with dream of returning home after 64 years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian refugee Abdel Majid al- Mabhouh, 81, does not understand the ongoing complexities in politics, but only keeps in mind his right to return to his house and his village that he was forced to leave during the 1948 Arab- Israeli war with his family.

PA fines date traders for selling settlement produce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

JERICHO (Ma'an) -- PA consumer protection officials fined two traders in the West Bank for selling dates from Israeli settlements in violation of the government's boycott, a press statement said Wednesday. The dealers, from Jericho and Tulkarem, were ordered to pay $11,900 shekels ($3,000) and sign a commitment not to sell settlement goods, the consumer protection unit of the national economy ministry said.

Report: Just 6% of civil service is Arab
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tali Heruti-Sover - June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

The ad campaign to encourage hiring Arab employees has generated hundreds of requests by private businesses for Arab workers. But it turns out that government ministries, which are behind the campaign, have what to be embarrassed about.

Mofaz: Peace talks with PA soon to be renewed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz said Thursday morning that he believed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would be renewed soon without preconditions. Speaking to Israel Radio from Washington, Mofaz said that "I believe that there is an opportunity to restart negotiations. I have a firm basis for believing this will happen in the near future."

Obama administration keeps Israeli, Palestinian wheels spinning, hopes for traction on peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is accelerating diplomatic efforts to get Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks although there is little evidence the two sides are ready to resume direct negotiations.

Hamas-Controlled Gaza Celebrates Morsi Victory with Little Hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omar Ghraieb - June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Loud speakers attached to mosques across the Gaza Strip rang out with happiness news of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammad Morsi’s victory in Egypt’s presidential run-off election. Gazans appeared to be elated as word of the victory by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party standard-bearer spread throughout Gaza. 

New Solar, Wind Energy Combo Promising for Israel and Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Yael Darel - June 19, 2012 - 12:00am

A new Israeli adaptation that integrates solar energy with wind energy is arousing interest in the Palestinian Authority — precisely in places where connection to electrical infrastructure is inadequate. The “solar turbine,” developed by the Shahar Energy Company, will be on display for the first time at the Clean Tech exhibition being organized by the Mashov Company, which will take place at the beginning of July in the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds.

UN expert slams censorship by Israel, Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CBS News
June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

GENEVA — The government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza are all unduly limiting free speech through restrictive laws, intimidation and censorship, a U.N. human rights expert said Tuesday. The global body's independent investigator on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, said the measures have had a chilling effect on the work of journalists and peaceful activists, and urged Israel and the Palestinians to uphold international standards on free speech.

A Palestinian plan to attract Muslims back to Al-Aqsa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Heneghan - June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The grand mosques in Mecca and Medina, the two holiest in Islam, draw millions of pilgrims annually. Al-Aqsa, the last of the three sacred sites the Prophet Mohammad urged Muslims to visit, sees only a few thousand foreign worshippers a year. The difference is political, not religious. The first two mosques are in Saudi Arabia, a proudly Muslim kingdom, while Al-Aqsa stands on Israeli-controlled land that may be the most disputed religious spot on earth.

Palestinians, Army try to contain fallout of clashes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Mohammed Zaatari - June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

SIDON, Lebanon: As calm returned to the Ain al-Hilweh and Nahr al-Bared refugee camps, Palestinian factions across Lebanon worked to contain the repercussions of two days of clashes between residents and the Lebanese Army. In a letter to residents of refugee camps in Lebanon, Maj. Gen, Sobhi Abu Arab, the head of the Palestinian National Security Forces in Lebanon, said there is daily contact between Palestinian leaders in Lebanon and the Lebanese Army command.

Lally Weymouth’s interview with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Lally Weymouth - (Interview) June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sat down this week with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth. Excerpts: Q. An Israeli was killed this week in the south by someone from the Sinai. How do you see the situation in the Sinai?

Israeli President Shimon Peres discusses Syria and Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Lally Weymouth - (Interview) June 15, 2012 - 12:00am

President Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to Israeli President Shimon Peres at a dinner at the White House on Wednesday. The last surviving founder of the state of Israel, Peres went on to serve as prime minister and leader of the Labor Party, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his role in the Oslo Accords, the first Israeli agreement with the Palestinians. The morning after the White House dinner, Peres sat down with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth at Blair House to discuss Syria, Iran and U.S. presidents from Kennedy to Obama. Excerpts:

They started it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

This time there is no argument - they started it. This time one can say with certainty that Gaza Kindergarten started the brawl and Israel Kindergarten in the south continued. That's how it is with quarreling kindergarten children.

Principle and pragmatism demand an end to Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Diab - (Opinion) June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Thursday marked the fifth anniversary of Israel’s imposition of a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. Although the land, sea and air blockade has not made Israelis any safer or enhanced Israel’s security, it has had a clear humanitarian and economic impact on Gazans.

Olympic Spirit Calls for Memorial
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jessica Apple - (Opinion) June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Recently, I sat with my sons in our Tel Aviv apartment and watched a documentary about the massacre at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. Five days before the end of the games, eight Palestinian terrorists from the group Black September broke into the Olympic Village, killing two Israelis and taking nine others hostage. The Palestinians demanded the release of more than 200 prisoners from Israel. In an ensuing battle, all nine Israeli hostages were killed.

Can the Palestinian Tech-Industry Catch Up to Its Neighbors?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Calcalist
by Danny Rubenstein - (Opinion) June 19, 2012 - 12:00am

The name of the Arab portal “Maktoob” is well-known in Palestinian high-tech centers in Ramallah. Two Jordanian entrepreneurs, both from families of Palestinian origin, sold Maktoob two years ago to search engine giant Yahoo for $150 million. Maktoob is the biggest portal in the Arab world. It sees some 17 million surfers every month, and it includes news, computerized services, telecommunications and various technologies.

Why Susya is "Illegal"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Moriel Rothman - (Opinion) June 20, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel plans to demolish the entire village of Susya.  Defending the proposed demolition, the "Defense/Security" section of the settler news site Arutz Sheva (they file anything relating to Arabs under "defense" or "security") calls Susya an "illegal Arab outpost in the southern Hevron Hills." Their arguments are lousy and typical apologetics for Israel’s unjust land policies in the West Bank. 

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