Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: PA Finance Minister Kassis tells a donor meeting that the Palestinian economic crisis is a threat to a two-state solution. The PA says it will sue the transport workers union if it goes on strike. Israel has reportedly taken urgent economic steps to ease the financial pressure on the PA, but Deputy FM Ayalon urges donor states to cut all funding to the PA. DM Barak says Israel should withdraw unilaterally from large parts of the occupied West Bank if peace talks with the Palestinians remain stalled. An obscure militia in the Sinai Peninsula claims a role in recent attacks. The violence in Sinai may force changes to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. PM Netanyahu apologizes to UNSG Ban for leaking parts of a recent conversation. Israel says it has arrested an extortion ring linked to Hamas. PA security forces uncover a secret Hamas detention center in the West Bank. A Hamas official says Khaled Misha'al will step down as head of its Politburo. A press organization condemns the PA arrest of a journalist. A senior PA minister is reportedly being investigated for sexual harassment. COMMENTARY: David Ignatius interviews Pres. Ahmadinejad about Israeli threats and Iran's nuclear program. Ma'an interviews Vera Baboun, a leading candidate for mayor of Bethlehem. Chaim Levinson says the Israeli military is helping settlers develop armed militias. Ha'aretz says Israelis should listen carefully to what Pres. Morsy has to say about the Sinai Peninsula and the peace treaty. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Hamas Deputy Leader Abu-Marzuq. Lena Odgaard says economic protests in the West Bank are also a political crisis for the Palestinians. The Times of Israel interviews Strategic Affairs Ministry head Kuperwasser. Amira Hass looks at the politics of water in the occupied West Bank.

Finance minister tells donor conference: Peace at risk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority finance minister warned on Sunday that if the government's fragile financial situation persists, the peace process between Israel and Palestinians is at risk. Nabil Kassis was addressing a meeting of donors to the PA, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee, in New York.

PA threatens to sue union over transport strikes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority will go to the Supreme Court of Justice if the public transport workers union proceeds with strikes this week, a Palestinian minister said on Sunday. The union has confirmed it will proceed with planned strikes this week after it was not satisfied by the government's response to their demands. Workers will go on strike Monday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and all day Wednesday.

Israel working to avert collapse of ailing Palestinian economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel has taken significant steps to ease the Palestinian Authority's financial difficulties, fearing that instability in the West Bank threatens the PA's future, and that the Israel Defense Forces could eventually become the target of demonstrations there.

Israel Wants to Strengthen the Palestinian Economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Linda Gradstein - September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinians say Measures Fall Short of What is Needed

Ayalon calls on donor states to cut off Palestinian Authority funding
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Gabe Fisher - September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called for international donors to halt funding to the Palestinian Authority, alleging that much of the money is ultimately used to support terrorism.

Israeli defense chief proposes West Bank pullout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josef Federman - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel's defense minister called for a unilateral pullout from much of the West Bank in published comments Monday, saying Israel must take "practical steps" if peace efforts with the Palestinians remain stalled.

Sinai Group Claims Role in Attack on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by David Kirkpatrick - September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

CAIRO — An obscure militant group based in Egypt’s North Sinai region claimed responsibility over the weekend for a cross-border attack that killed an Israeli soldier last week. The claim called fresh attention to the uphill struggle the newly formed Egyptian government is facing to control the restive Sinai region

Sinai raids may force Israel-Egypt accord changes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josef Federman - September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli officials said Sunday they would resist any Egyptian attempts to reopen the military arrangements under the countries' historic peace deal, despite the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

Israeli PM apologizes to UN chief for leaking conversation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently apologized to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon over leaking to the Israeli media parts of their conversation about Ban's visit to Iran last month, according to local media. On Aug. 10, the two officials discussed the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit, in which Ban was about to participate in Iran's capital of Tehran.

Hamas extortion ring uncovered in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Israeli police arrested Sunday four Jewish men accused of cooperating in the kidnapping of an Eritrean migrant in an extortion ring which leads to Hamas and Sinai-based militants.

PNA forces discover secretive West Bank detention facility for Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian security forces discovered Sunday a detention facility in the West Bank and said it was prepared by elements affiliated with Islamic Hamas movement. The "prison" was found under a restaurant in Nablus, said the governor of the city, Gabreen Al-Bakri.

Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshal says intends to step down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Hamas' leader in exile, Khaled Meshal, is tired of policy challenges from the Islamist group's Gaza-based leadership and is not seeking re-election in a vote now underway, political and diplomatic sources said on Sunday.

Press group condemns PA arrest of journalist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian press freedom group on Sunday condemned the arrest of a journalist last week by Palestinian Authority security forces.Walid Khalid, office director of the "Felesteen" newspaper, was arrested by PA security forces on Sept.

Senior PA minister suspected of sexually harassing employee
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered an investigation into a senior minister suspected of sexually harassing an employee in his office, Haaretz has learned. The minister is considered an Abbas appointee.

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Israeli threats, nuclear program and Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Interview) September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Iran may be on the firing line, but President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was as calmly combative as ever Sunday, dismissing Israel’s military threats and predicting that nothing will happen in the nuclear talks until after the U.S. presidential elections.

Female candidate tops list to become mayor of Bethlehem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Interview) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Having a woman compete for the municipal council of a city as famous and spiritually important as Bethlehem would have been seen as a pointless adventure a number of years ago. In 2012, however, fellow candidates of Vera Baboun are proud that she is leading a list of hopefuls to become the first female mayor of the city of Bethlehem. Speaking to Ma'an's reporter, Baboun says she belongs to the history and geography of Bethlehem and is keen to serve the city with a scientific and practical vision developed during her professional life.

The settlers' army
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - (Opinion) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Two weeks ago, I happened to be at a large settlement where I used a camera to document a property offense committed by one of the residents against land belonging to another person, a Palestinian. An argument broke out between me and the settlement resident. He tried to prevent me from taking the pictures, saying this was his private property, while I claimed there was no legal barrier to my continuing.

Listen to Morsi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Since being elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi has said several times that his administration is committed to the peace treaty with Israel. Despite the fears raised by the regime change in Cairo, Egyptian security officials continue to cooperate with their Israeli counterparts against terrorists operating in Sinai. And despite their ideological and political affinity with Hamas, the heads of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party express support for the Israel-Palestinian peace talks, the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Asharq Al-Awsat talks to Hamas Deputy Leader Musa Abu-Marzuq
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Salah Jumaa - (Interview) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Asharq Al-Awsat, Dr. Musa Abu-Marzuq, Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau spoke about the situation in the Gaza Strip, the prospects of inter-Palestinian reconciliation and elections. Musa Abu Marzuq also touched upon numerous other topics including Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in Egypt, the worldwide Muslim protests against the US film that insulted the prophet and the killing of the US ambassador to Libya. The following is the full text of the interview:

Protesters Signal Political Crisis For the Palestinian Authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Lena Odgaard - (Opinion) September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH – A World Bank report released Wednesday urged international donors to react quickly to a deep fiscal crisis in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian Authorities have been under significant pressure this month due to a sudden eruption of continuous protests as thousands took to the streets in a cry of despair over increasing living expenses.

'We want the PA to have stability and prosperity, even if we have to fund it'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Raphael Ahren - (Interview) September 23, 2012 - 12:00am

s the director-general of Strategic Affairs Ministry, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser has spent a lot of time researching Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews. Under his tutelage, the ministry earlier this year published an Incitement Index, which listed numerous examples of statements made by senior Palestinian Authority officials who ostensibly demonized Israel, insulted Jews, marginalized the Holocaust and radiated a general unwillingness for peace and reconciliation.

Two pipes for two peoples: The politics of water in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

The IDF's Civil Administration is preventing the Palestinian Authority from laying a water pipe that would alleviate the acute water shortage for more than 600,000 Palestinians in the West Bank. The reason given for preventing the pipe's construction is that a section of less than two kilometers of it, laid on the margins of Route 50, would disrupt Jewish passenger traffic on the road.

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