Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Egyptian military officials say “elements from Gaza” were involved in the recent attack on their soldiers in Sinai. Smugglers say the renewed closure of Gaza has sent prices soaring there, as Egyptian officials say they're planning to reopen the crossing soon. Israel claims Hezbollah smuggled explosives into northern Israel. Palestinians are angered by FM Lieberman's comments highly critical of Pres. Abbas. Abbas asks donors to fulfill their pledges to the PA, and reiterates that Palestinians are going to resume efforts at the UN even if that conflicts with the interests of others. Israel evacuates and dismantles a tiny “unauthorized” settlement outpost. The JTA profiles gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Palestinian homes in Israeli military “fire zones” in the occupied West Bank face demolition. COMMENTARY: The New York Times says Pres. Morsy must work with Israel to restore order in the Sinai Peninsula. Yaron Friedman says the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty needs to be revised to accomplish this. Khaled Abu Toameh says the Sinai attack is a disaster for Hamas. Osama Al Sharif says all parties -- Israel, Egypt and Hamas -- will have to play their part. The Daily Star says Gaza is paying dearly for the militarization of Sinai. Ruth Marcus says the social and political influence of the ultra-Orthodox is growing in Israel. Zvi Bar'el says Israel is about to take away one of the few remaining glimmers of hope for Palestinians living under occupation: Israel's court system, and Shaul Arieli says the proposals are part of a disturbing pattern. Yizhar Hess says Israel needs to address its own problems with religious freedom. Frank Jacobs tracks the history of mapping the "Holy Land." Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi says Fatah may be facing a Palestinian uprising against itself.

Egypt Military: 'Elements from Gaza' involved in Rafah border attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ahram Online
August 6, 2012 - 12:00am

In a military audio statement aired on state television Monday afternoon, the armed forces presented their account of the deadly attack on the Egyptian-Israel border Sunday. "A terrorist group of 35 people attacked a border guard south of Rafah Sunday evening at 7pm, right around Ramadan Iftar time, where 16 of our soldiers were martyred and 7 injured; three of them severely injured. The terrorist group then took over an army Armed Personnel Carrier and used it to penetrate the Egypt-Israel border where Israeli forces destroyed it."

Gaza closure sends prices soaring, smugglers say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Gazans say the sealing of their territory following a weekend attack by Islamic militants on the Egypt-Israel border has sent prices soaring and is leaving hundreds of medical patients stranded. Egypt says the attackers who killed 16 Egyptian soldiers had help from Gaza. In response, Egypt closed its border crossing and shut down hundreds of smuggling tunnels.

Official: Rafah crossing to reopen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Egyptian authorities are expected to reopen the Rafah land crossing to Palestinian travelers in the coming days, says Mahir Abu Sabha, director of crossings in the ministry of interior in Gaza. Abu Sabha told Ma’an that he expected the Rafah crossing to be opened Thursday-Saturday. He asserted that talks with the Egyptian side over reopening the crossing were ongoing. Abu Sabha reiterated that the Gaza Strip had nothing to do with the "terrorist" attack on Egyptian soldiers Sunday which left 16 dead.

Israel: Hezbollah smuggled explosives into Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Israeli security forces say Hezbollah militants have smuggled explosives into northern Israel using a network of drug dealers on either side of the Lebanese-Israeli border. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Wednesday the explosives were to be used in attacks on Israelis. He says 14 Israeli Arabs were arrested over the past few weeks in connection with the case. The arrests followed a months-long undercover operation.

Israeli FM's anti-Abbas remarks anger Palestinian leadership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's comments against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas angered the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Wednesday. Nabil Abu Rdineh, a PNA spokesman, said the Israeli foreign minister's statements "reveal the mentality of killing peace and fueling conflict."

Abbas urges donors to support Palestinian budget
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged donor countries to support the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)'s crippling budget deficit. "The PNA suffers a difficult financial situation," Abbas said at a meeting with Toni Blair, the former British prime minister who is now the envoy of the International Middle East peacemakers, known as the Quartet.

Abbas says going to UN even if it conflicts with others' interests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority would insist on the UN bid seeking to obtain international recognition that Palestine is a state under occupation rather than a disputed territory. “Even if this step conflicts with other parties' interests, we will not step back,” Abbas said in remarks at Al-Najah National University as he joined a ceremony to honor top high school graduates in Nablus district.

Israel evacuates illegal buildings in West Bank outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Israeli security forces evacuated residents and demolished several structures in an illegal West Bank outpost early Wednesday, with no clashes reported. The Maoz Esther outpost, located in the Benjamin regional council, was founded in 2007 on a private Palestinian land. It was dedicated to the memory of Esther Galia, resident of a neighboring settlement who was killed by Palestinian militants.

For Sheldon Adelson, political and Jewish giving are all of a piece
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - August 7, 2012 - 12:00am

Call it the Adelson conundrum: What happens when the guy who acts as if he owns the room really does? In March at TribeFest, the annual gathering of young adults organized by the Jewish Federations of North America at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson walked in on a surrogate debate between Matt Brooks, who directs the Republican Jewish Coalition, and his counterpart at the National Jewish Democratic Council, David A. Harris.

'Palestinian homes in IDF fire zones face demolition'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinians living in IDF firing zones, particularly in the Jordan Valley and the South Hebron Hills, are especially vulnerable to home demolitions by Israeli security forces, according to a UN report issued this week by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Some 45 percent of demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures in Area C since 2010 have occurred in firing zones, displacing over 820 Palestinian civilians,” the OCHA report said.

Egypt’s Sinai Problem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) August 7, 2012 - 12:00am

President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt took office less than two months ago and has been struggling to steer his country, its economy and its politics on a post-Hosni Mubarak course. Now another steep new challenge is on the Islamist leader’s list, after a border attack in the Sinai Peninsula killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and turned longstanding security concerns into a full-blown crisis.

Revise peace treaty to uproot terrorism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yaron Friedman - (Opinion) August 7, 2012 - 12:00am

Until recently the Sinai Peninsula was a tourist paradise: A demilitarized area nearly empty of soldiers that symbolizes the peace between Israel and Egypt – with enchanting desert views and tropical beaches on which courteous Bedouins serve coffee. So how did it become a terrorist paradise?

Morsy, Hamas and the short-lived honeymoon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

For Hamas, the timing of Sunday night’s terror attack in Sinai could not have been worse. The attack, which resulted in the killing of 16 Egyptian border guards while they were enjoying the fast-breaking meal of Ramadan, took place just when it seemed that Hamas and Egypt were about to embark on a honeymoon. In fact, the terror attack has been a complete disaster for Hamas, both politically and economically.

Battle for Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Egypt is going to war in a bid to reclaim sovereignty over Sinai. Its armed forces will fight to stop arms dealing, overcome rebellious bedouin tribes and chase out foreign jihadist infiltrators.  Sunday’s terrorist attack on a checkpoint along the Sinai-Israel border in which 16 Egyptian soldiers and officers were killed has triggered the biggest security operation by the Cairo government in years to end the state of lawlessness in the peninsula.

Gaza pays dearly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

The militarization of the Sinai by all kinds of extremist factions, as well as the spread of such parties inside Gaza, began under the nose of Hosni Mubarak, and has been going on in Gaza since Hamas took over the strip.

The ultra-Orthodox tighten their grip in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Ruth Marcus - (Opinion) August 7, 2012 - 12:00am

The rock hit Nili Philipp on the side of her helmet as she biked last year along the main road in this Jerusalem suburb. A few years earlier, the spitting had begun, as Philipp jogged on a road bordering an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. Men called her names: Shikseh, the derogatory term for a Gentile woman. Prutzah, whore.

Was there an occupation?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

All told, what did the justice minister really want to do? Insert a small correction. Clerical. Fair, like most of the minister's ideas. Courts, he decided, cannot review claims that do not cite the identity card number or passport number of the plaintiff. Yet this is no naive directive. It is designed to nullify the basic rights of thousands of work migrants and residents from the territories. It will stop them from lodging claims in Israeli courts. One small step for bureaucracy, one giant leap for the occupation.

Reality and the rule of law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shaul Arieli - (Opinion) August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Anyone who seeks to undermine Israel's future as a democratic country and as the state of the Jewish people could find no better way to do so than to adopt the Levy Committee report. In fact, should the Israeli government adopt the committee's recommendations, it would constitute further proof of the political blindness and abandonment of the Zionist idea that seem to be the principles guiding this government in its management of the conflict with the Palestinians.

No religious freedom in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yizhar Hess - (Opinion) August 8, 2012 - 12:00am

I am the son of a Yekke. My father was born in Germany. His parents, my grandparents, fled to Palestine just before the war broke out. Two doctors who did not speak the language and were out of a job. But order is order. Grandma was strict about everything, particularly words. "You don't talk just for the sake of talking," she used to say.

The Elephant in the Map Room
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Frank Jacobs - (Opinion) August 7, 2012 - 12:00am

My better half: “Are you sure about this? They’ll kill you.” Me: “Sure I’m sure. You can hardly expect me to write a series called Borderlines, about the strange lines that people draw to distinguish ‘us’ from ‘them,’ and then finish it without discussing the border between Israel and Palestine.” Better half: “Do what you have to. But they are going to kill you.” Me, slightly apprehensive: “You mean metaphorically kill me, right?”

An Intifada in Fatah's Future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi - (Opinion) August 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Could we soon begin to see the end of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a coherent Palestinian national movement? There is much evidence that appears to point in that direction. To begin with, it is apparent that there is a deep contradiction in the stance of Fatah and the PA. As Avi Issacharoff notes, they feel a need to glorify terrorists such as Dalal Mughrabi, who was one of the perpetrators of a massacre in 1978 that killed 37 Israelis.

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