Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: A new UN report says the Israeli occupation is continuing to impede Palestinian access to basic services. PM Netanyahu plans to tour Europe to discuss Iran. Pres. Abbas reiterates that Palestine will apply for UN nonmember observer state status sometime in the next 2 months. The PA says it is trying to coordinate with the EU over the language of the draft resolution. Hamas is reportedly upset about Egypt's new policies towards Gaza, and is seeking a free-trade agreement. Human Rights Watch says Hamas’ security forces in Gaza are committing severe abuses, including torture. Qatar is inviting bids on reconstruction projects it is financing in Gaza. The PA says it will comply with a court order to rehire teachers fired for “security reasons,” and that it will announce a minimum wage on October 15. EU foreign ministers are pushing to clearly label all Israeli settlement products. Israeli media reports suggest Netanyahu may be blaming DM Barak for instigating tensions with the United States, but Barak denies the accusations. The political science department at Ben-Gurion University is placed at risk due to a controversy over settlements. New reports in the Arab press suggest Gaza-based Hamas leader Hanniyeh may become the next head of the organization, not the Cairo-based Abu Marzouk. 20 more Palestinians are reported killed by bombing from Syrian government forces. COMMENTARY: Daniel Haboucha dissects Israel's new campaign to compare Palestinian refugees with Jewish refugees and migrants from the Arab world. Shmuel Rosner says Palestinians need to do more to acknowledge Jewish history in Jerusalem. Shaul Arieli says for all of the settlement activity, there isn't enough Jewish demographic dominance in the West Bank to make unilateral annexation possible. Shlomo Avineri says foreign donors, particularly conservative Americans, are dominating Israel's election financing, and distorting its democracy. Gershon Baskin says the UN charter requires 2 states for 2 people. Kenneth Bandler says the biggest obstacles to peace come from Palestinian attitudes. Gil Troy agrees, citing Abbas' UN speech. David Makovsky says the US and Israel should keep their bickering behind closed doors. Raja Shehadeh says Palestinians are being coerced, and even blackmailed, by Israeli occupation authorities over access to healthcare.

UN Agency: Israel Continues to Impede Palestinians' Access to Basic Services
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

A new report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) last week stated that many of the movement restrictions in place on Palestinians in the West Bank were applied during the four years following the outbreak of the second Intifada, and most of them remain in place to this day, despite significant improvements in West Bank security.

Israeli premier to visit Europe, discuss Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ian Deitch - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — An Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Europe in a few months to persuade leaders to step up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. The official spoke anonymously Tuesday because he was not authorized to discuss the issue with reporters. Netanyahu told the U.N. last week that Iran will likely have the bomb by next summer. He has said he does not rule out a military strike.

Vote on Palestinian UN bid within two months: Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Tuesday that the bid for the UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member state will be presented and voted on in October or November.

PA seeks help from Europe over resolution draft
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority wants EU countries to help draft a resolution that would admit “Palestine” as a non-member state in the UN General Assembly in an effort to gain EU support for the move, The Jerusalem Post has learned. PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat met with the heads of EU missions in Jerusalem last month and asked them – either as individual countries or collectively as the EU – to help draft the resolution that will be taken to the world body. So far no country has expressed a willingness to do so.

Hamas upset about new Egyptian policy towards Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement is upset about Egypt's mounting security campaign on the borderline area between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, a well-informed source in Gaza said Tuesday. The source, close to Hamas and speaking on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the movement watches with anger and disappointment the latest developments along the border.

Gaza Tunnel Demolitions Increase As Hamas Seeks Free Trade Zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Mohannad Abdel Hamid - October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Egyptian [security] forces continue to demolish tunnels [running between Gaza and the Sinai], following the Rafah attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. An Egyptian security spokesman declared that 31 tunnels have been demolished out of 225. Despite contradictory information on the actual number of tunnels — which ranges from 225 to 1200 — these tunnels play a major role on the political and economic level, regardless of their numbers.

International rights group accuses Hamas security forces in Gaza of prisoner abuse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — An international rights group said Wednesday that Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip commit rampant abuses against Palestinian prisoners, including beatings with metal clubs and rubber hoses, mock executions and arbitrary arrests, and urged the Islamic militant group to swiftly reform its criminal justice system.

Qatar invites bids to reconstruct Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Qatari government on Tuesday invited tenders for four construction projects, in the first stage of a $254 million project to rebuild the war-torn Gaza Strip. Qatar's ambassador to Gaza Muhammad al-Imadi is heading a committee overseeing the work. Consultants have been invited to submit designs for a city to be named after Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa al-Thani.

PA to rehire teachers dismissed for 'security reasons'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education will comply with court orders to rehire teachers fired for "security reasons" as jobs become available, the minister said Tuesday. Lamis al-Alami said the ministry had not yet received most of the high court orders to rehire dismissed teachers.

PA preparing to set minimum wage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority will announce a minimum wage on October 15, the minister of labor said Tuesday. Ahmad Majdalani declined to reveal figures, but told Ma'an that detailed discussions on monthly, daily and hourly minimum wages had been held for two months. Palestinian labor law regarding internships and probation contracts had also been considered, Majdalani said. "We are close to reaching an agreement on the minimum wages," he said.

EU foreign ministers pushing to label all settlement products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

The foreign minister of Denmark, Villy Sovndal, is urging the European Union to set down regulations that would force European marketing chains and stores to clearly label products originating in Israeli settlements. The initiative, which is raising fears in Jerusalem, is getting backing from France, Britain and several other EU countries.

Netanyahu: Barak is trying to stir up trouble between me and Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu's office has declined to comment on a report that the prime minister has accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of trying to damage relations between Israel and the Obama administration.

Barak fends off Netanyahu criticism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday commented on accusations leveled at him by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relating to the role he plays in Israeli relations with the United States.

Israeli university political unit at risk over stance on settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV // The political science department at one of Israel's largest universities has become the latest battleground between the country's anti-settler movement and those who want to advance Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israel's top higher education body, which is chaired by Gideon Saar, the right-wing education minister, and includes other pro-settler board members, will this month rule on possibly closing Ben-Gurion University's department of politics and government.

Prime Minister in Gaza Likely To Become Hamas Leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Hayat
by Fathi Sabbah - October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinian sources told Al-Hayat that "[the Prime Minister in Gaza] Ismail Haniyeh is likely to be elected as chairman of the executive committee of the Hamas movement in the next few days or weeks, thus succeeding the current head of the movement’s political bureau, Khaled Meshaal.” The sources said that the name of the new chairman of the executive committee will likely remain a secret.

Group: 20 Palestinians killed in Syrian refugee camp
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Twenty Palestinians were killed overnight Tuesday in a refugee camp in southern Syria, a Damascus-based Palestinian group said. The coordinating committee of Yarmouk refugee camp told Ma'an that 20 Palestinians in Deraa camp were killed and dozens injured in heavy bombing by the Syrian army.

Danny Ayalon and the Jewish refugee fallacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Daniel Haboucha - (Opinion) October 1, 2012 - 12:00am

The Israeli government has recently launched a campaign to win international recognition for the plight of the approximately 700,000 Arab Jews, or Mizrahim, who fled their homes during the 20-odd-year period following Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Our Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Shmuel Rosner - (Blog) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — A week ago, just days before his U.N. speech, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met a small number of so-called American Jewish leaders. It wasn’t the first time he tried to talk with a group that supposedly holds sway with both American and Israeli audiences.

The lies about the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shaul Arieli - (Opinion) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

"More and more people are internalizing the fact that our presence here as emissaries of Israeli sovereignty is a fait accompli," declares Dani Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, the mainstream settler leadership, in a short promotional film summing up the past year.

Foreigners taking over Israeli democracy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

An amazing fact emerged, almost by chance, from reading Chaim Levinson's report in Haaretz last week that was headlined, "Netanyahu and Romney share ideology, donors": Of the 46 people who contributed money to Benjamin Netanyahu for the Likud leadership primary last January, 37 were Americans.

Two states for two peoples
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

In his United Nations speech, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Security Council to “to urgently adopt a resolution comprising the basis and foundations for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that would serve as a binding reference and guide for all if the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, is to survive and if peace is to prevail in the land of peace.” In November 2009 I drafted a proposal for a Security Council resolution which I shared with the leaders of

Peace journey
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Kenneth Bandler - (Opinion) October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

The scenic, 18-acre riverfront property that is United Nations headquarters is protected international territory, legally distinct from its New York environs. For some heads of state who make the annual September pilgrimage to address the UN General Assembly, the enclave also is a welcome shelter from political reality.

Commitments Not Reaffirmed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Gil Troy - (Opinion) October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Are there any progressives out there sufficiently committed to the peace process and the two-state solution to criticize Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly?

The Case for Humility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by David Makovsky - (Opinion) October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Speaking at the United Nations on Sept. 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a red marker to graphically sharpen the focus on the need for a "red line" in halting the Iranian nuclear program.

License to Care
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Raja Shehadeh - (Blog) October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Last month I took my wife to Al Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital in East Jerusalem to have the head of the orthopedic ward, Dr. Rustom Nammari, examine her arm; she broke it this summer during a hike in Scotland. Since its establishment in 1968, this hospital has been the medical institution of choice for Palestinians in the West Bank.

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