Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: PM Fayyad announces new economic measures in response to Palestinian protests at the rising cost of living in the occupied West Bank. The protests have focused on the PA leadership, and are beginning to turn violent, but no injuries are reported yet. Palestinian leaders are looking for ways of improving the economic situation. Pres. Abbas says Israeli restrictions are impeding an effective response to the economic crisis. The PA says it is working to facilitate the creation of an industrial zone in Jenin. Palestinians say Israel intends to confiscate land near Nablus for a new settler bypass road. Israeli officials complain about US policy towards Iran. PM Netanyahu suggests the United States has no right to restrain Israel from attacking Iran. UN officials criticize both the blockade of Gaza and rocket attacks against Israel. Israel is creating a new police unit to combat “price tag” violence against Palestinians. Hamas says it has agreed to create a joint security committee with Egypt. Israel instructs its diplomats to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from the Arab world in Israel to “counteract” the Palestinian refugee issue. India reiterates its support for Palestinian independence. Israeli and Palestinian women launch a joint business in handicrafts. The tax exempt status of the Zionist Organization of America has reportedly been revoked. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says a new study demonstrates that Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living under Israeli occupation have developed separate narratives, and, in a separate column, he argues that those who have given up on the two-state solution are surrendering to defeatism. The Jerusalem Post claims that Palestinians and other Arabs are not only responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem, but also for Jewish refugees in Israel from the Arab world. Sophie Claudet and Saleh Jadallah doubt Pres. Morsy will adopt substantially new policies towards Gaza.

Fayyad announces measures to alleviate economic crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced several measures on Tuesday to alleviate the economic crisis. VAT will be reduced to 15 percent and diesel, gas and kerosene will revert back to August prices, he said during a Ramallah press conference. Palestinian Authority ministers had met earlier on Tuesday to discuss ways of easing economic hardships as protests erupted across the West Bank this week against rising living costs.

Spreading Palestinian Protests Focus on Leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

HEBRON, West Bank — A week of Palestinian protests against rising prices and economic hardship erupted Monday into rioting against the Palestinian Authority in this city and others in the West Bank, posing a new challenge to the Western-backed government that has worked to promote stability.

Palestinian protests turn violent in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

HEBRON, WEST BANK — Palestinian protests against the high cost of living have turned violent in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Palestinian leaders seek economic solutions after protests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Noah Browning - September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Palestinian ministers met on Tuesday to discuss ways of easing economic hardships, which have provoked growing protests across the West Bank, challenging the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. The demonstrations turned violent in the cities of Hebron and Nablus on Monday as thousands of angry youths burned tyres, blocked streets and hurled stones at armed police, raising pressure on Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Abbas promises Palestinians action on rising prices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - September 8, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Thrown on the defensive by street protests against rising prices of basic goods, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas backed his embattled prime minister Saturday and blamed Israel for restrictions that he said hampered an effective response. Abbas said that he bore ultimate responsibility for government policies and that he had asked Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the cabinet to meet with representatives of the business sector and civic groups to examine ways to lower the cost of living.

Minister: PA making efforts to facilitate Jenin industrial zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority is making efforts to facilitate the construction of an industrial area in Jenin, the PA Ministry of Economy said Monday. PA economy minister Jawad Naji made the comments during a meeting with the Turkish ambassador to the PA, Shaker Ozkan, and the executive director of Turkish development company Jovan Sak. The Turkish company is involved in the construction of the industrial area and will begin implementing a working plan of the project, Naji said.

PA Official: Israel to confiscate Nablus land for bypass road
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities will confiscate 800 acres of land west of Nablus to build a bypass road, a PA official said Tuesday. Ghassan Doughlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that Israeli forces handed confiscation orders to several farmers in the villages of Beit Iba, al-Naqura, Zawatta and Ijnisinya on Tuesday.

Israeli official: US resisting on Iran ultimatum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ian Deitch - September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — An Israeli official said Monday that Washington's refusal to issue an ultimatum to Iran over its nuclear program brings Tehran closer to producing an atomic bomb. Israel has been pushing for the international community to give Iran "clear red lines" with regard to the disputed program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes only. An Israeli official reiterated his country's position on Monday night, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Netanyahu: Those that refuse to set red lines for Iran can't give Israel red light
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday launched an unprecedented verbal attack on the U.S. government over its stance on the Iranian nuclear program. "The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu told reporters on Tuesday.

U.N. hits at Israel and Palestinian authorities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

GENEVA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Israel on Monday that keeping its long-standing blockade of Gaza would only condemn the area's people to lasting poverty and play into the hands of extremists in the Middle East. In a speech to the world body's Human Rights Council, Ban also blamed what he called "indiscriminate rocket fire" into Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza and serious rights violations there for "the immense human suffering" of its population.

New Israel Police unit to battle anti-Palestinian vandals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

  JERUSALEM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli police will soon inaugurate a new unit aiming to target the so-called "price tag" vandalism attacks against Palestinian and military property. "We must show zero tolerance to terrorism, to attacks on religious institutions and other price attacks," Aharonovich said at a toast to the Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year holiday next week.

Hamas reaches agreement over forming joint security committee with Egypt: spokesman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

The Hamas authority in the Gaza Strip announced Monday it has agreed to form a joint security committee with Egypt. A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior in Gaza, Ihab Ghussien, released a statement on the ministry's website, confirming the agreement has been signed and the committee will cover common security issues, especially along the Palestinian-Egyptian border. Ghussien added that the agreement was built upon issues discussed during the meeting between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya in June.

In bid to counter Palestinian efforts, Israeli diplomats told to raise issue of Jewish refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Judy Maltz - September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

Israeli diplomats and representatives abroad have been instructed to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries at every relevant forum. This is part of a new international campaign to create parity between the plight of Jewish and Palestinian refugees, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon announced on Monday

India reiterates support for Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- India's prime minister stressed his country's support for a Palestinian state on Tuesday, the official PA news agency Wafa reported. Manmohan Singh made the comments during a joint press conference with President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently visiting the country for three days. "India has played an active role in supporting the efforts of the state of Palestine to secure full member ship status at UNESCO," Singh said.

Crafting Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Linda Gradstein - September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

  As the sun set over Jerusalem, about one hundred women milled around tables covered with hand-made crafts. There were delicate earrings, hand-embroidered shawls, olive wood jewelry boxes and brightly colored ceramic bowls. There was chatter in Hebrew and Arabic and a lot of laughter.  

ZOA's Uncertain Status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

The Zionist Organization of America’s tax-exempt status has been revoked after the group missed three consecutive years of filings to the Internal Revenue Service, the Forward has learned. The 115-year-old Zionist group has not been allowed to accept tax-deductible donations since February.

Separated by shared history: The story of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

This column is dedicated in particular to the radical right-wingers who speak of transferring Israeli-Palestinian villages to the Palestinian side of the Green Line ("willing transfers") and to the despairing left-wingers who recommend the unification of the Israeli residents of Baka al-Garbiyeh with their neighbors in Baka al-Sharkiyeh (the binational state).

The defeatism of the left
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) September 11, 2012 - 12:00am

The settlers are right. Had today’s Zionist left been leading the Jewish community here in the 1940s there is a good chance we never would have had a state. Had those who lay proud claim to being “the peace camp,” who explain how “it’s impossible to evict 300,000 settlers,” been running the show in the early ‘50s, the Yishuv − with its population of 600,000 − would never have taken in one million Jews. The word “irreversible” does not exist in the vocabulary of the settlers.

Refugees and peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) September 10, 2012 - 12:00am

‘Palestinians” are the first people to come to mind when the word “refugee” is uttered in a Middle East context. And Palestinians have paid dearly to reinforce this misconception. Largely dispossessed by their fellow Arabs, Palestinians have lived as second-class citizens in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere in the region. Palestinians’ dismal treatment by their Arab brethren is undoubtedly due in part to strongly held prejudices and exclusionary nationalist loyalties.

Will Morsi Offer Change for Gaza?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Sophie Claudet, Saleh Jadallah - (Opinion) September 5, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY – When Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing border with Gaza late last month, Palestinians hailed the move as a possible end to their isolation from the rest of the world after years of near-total closure enforced by both Israel and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017