Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: The Emir of Qatar visits Gaza. The Gaza trip is seen as the latest part in Qatar's efforts to develop more regional influence. Fatah officials say they were not invited to meet him. An Israeli soldier is wounded by a bomb on Israel-Gaza border. Pres. Obama and GOP candidate Romney both pledge support for Israel in their final debate. Former Pres. Carter questions whether Israel is interested in a two-state solution, as a new survey indicates most Jewish Israelis would support an apartheid regime in their country. The Israeli Housing Ministry is marketing at least 700 new settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank.UNRWA staff go on strike to protest cuts in services. An Israeli former military lawyer says international opinion on Israel's actions in the occupied territories undermines its self-defense. Israel's Arab citizens are struggling to attend universities. The JGA profiles maverick Gaza journalist Asmaa al-Ghoul. Israel is forbidding the unification of married Palestinian couples between Gaza and the West Bank. Israel is also refusing to allow Gaza students with US-funded scholarships to study in the West Bank. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Israel is an openly, shamelessly apartheid state. Akiva Eldar looks at a new book on Israel's policies towards Lebanon. Anshel Pfeffer says PM Netanyahu is still counting on a Romney victory next week. Harriet Sherwood says intensifying Israeli settlement activity is an indicator of the consequences of Obama's failure to secure a peace agreement. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews a prominent Salafist-Jihadist based in Gaza. Yigal Sarna reviews the film “5 Broken Cameras,” and Marshall Yarbrough reviews “'Sons and Others.” Ibrahim Abu-Ta'a says, whoever wins, the next American president must confront the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hanan Ashrawi says it's absurd to expect Palestinians to ask Israel's permission when applying for international recognition.

Qatari emir visits Gaza in boost to Hamas rulers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip —The emir of Qatar received a hero's welcome in Gaza on Tuesday, becoming the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since the Islamist militant Hamas seized control of the coastal strip five years ago.

Qatari emir comes to Gaza bearing gifts – maybe with some strings attached
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Whitney Eulich - October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

The emir of Qatar traveled to Gaza today, becoming the first head of state from any nation to visit the territory since the Islamist group Hamas took power five years ago. The emir is bringing significant offers of aid, furthering the small oil-rich nation's efforts to gain influence around the region.

Fatah 'not invited' to meet Qatari emir
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah has not been invited to meet Qatar's emir who is due to visit the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a Fatah leader said Monday. Yahya Rabah told Ma'an that Fatah received no invitation from Qatar or the Hamas-led government in Gaza to meet Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Rabah, who is based in Gaza, said Fatah was not informed of the reason for the visit or any of the arrangements but said the trip raised questions.

Bomb wounds Israeli officer on Gaza border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Maayan Lubell - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM - An Israeli officer was severely wounded on Tuesday when a bomb went off beside an army patrol along the border with the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. The attack came hours before the Emir of Qatar arrived in Gaza in the first visit by a head of state to the blockaded enclave since it was taken over in 2007 by the Iranian-backed Islamist Hamas movement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will deliver a strong response to the attack. "We will fight and we will hit them very, very hard," Netanyahu said.

Romney, Obama pledge Israel backing, agree Iran strike last resort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tabassum Zakaria - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney vied on Monday over who was Israel's strongest defender but both agreed that a military strike over Iran's nuclear program must be a "last resort." Tehran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is for developing weapons and that economic sanctions have so far failed to stop, is almost certain to be among the top foreign policy challenges facing the next president.

Israel not committed to two-state solution -Carter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis, Maayan Lubell - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Monday said the Israeli-Palestinian peace process had reached a crisis point and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was not pursuing a two-state solution. "That policy of promoting a two-state solution seems to be abandoned now and we are deeply concerned about this move towards this catastrophic so-called one-state choice ... this is a major concern," Carter told a news conference.

Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank. A majority also explicitly favors discrimination against the state's Arab citizens, a survey shows. The survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exposes anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a majority of Israeli Jews. The survey was commissioned by the Yisraela Goldblum Fund and is based on a sample of 503 interviewees.

Israeli ministry markets hundreds of housing units in controversial area
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli housing and construction ministry announced Monday the marketing of 5,000 new housing units nationwide, nearly 700 of which are located in a controversial area beyond the 1967 borders, local news outlets reported. The announcement comes just several days after the European Union (EU) denounced Israel for building in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

UNRWA staff to strike over cuts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- UNRWA staff employed in schools, clinics and offices in refugee camps across the West Bank will strike on Tuesday in protest over cutbacks in services. UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, is cutting health services and other emergency programs, and firing 130 employees, a spokesman for refugee camps in the West Bank said Monday. Imad Abu Ismail said in a statement that medical operations had been canceled due to a financial crisis in the UN agency.

Ex-IDF legal expert: World's take on Israel's West Bank operations saps our self defense
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gili Cohen - October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

The way the world perceives Israel’s activity in the territories is detracting from the country’s ability to defend itself, the former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ International Law Department said Monday.

Israeli Arabs fighting battle to attend university
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ilene Prusher - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Only about 11 percent of college and university students are Arab, according to the Council on Higher Education (CHE). Given that the Arab population in Israel now stands at more than 20%, that number is indicative of the barriers still holding Israeli Arabs back from gaining the education they seek, and therefore keeping thousands of citizens from integrating into the Israeli workforce.

Palestinian reporter Asmaa al-Ghoul aims to keep thorn in Hamas’ side
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ben Sales - October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV (JTA) -- She can't stay out of trouble there, but Asmaa al-Ghoul always comes back to Gaza. A secular, feminist Palestinian journalist, al-Ghoul, 30, has been harassed by Hamas. She's also been beaten and arrested by Hamas police for protesting its Islamist policies and suppression of human rights.

Israel Bans Even Marriage Ties Between West Bank and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Hayat
by Mohammad Younes - October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

Ali Batha — from the West Bank — met Rihab Abu Hashish — from the Gaza Strip — while studying at Birzeit University in the West Bank in 2000, and lived a love story that led them to marriage. However, at the time, this young couple didn't know that Israeli policy is aimed at completely separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, and prevents any contact between the two sides, including even marriage.

Israel denies West Bank permits for students on US-funded scholarships
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV // Ghadir Abu Rokba has become one of the latest victims of Israel's years-long bid to separate the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The 18-year-old from Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp last spring applied for a US-sponsored scholarship to study mathematics at Birzeit University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Apartheid without shame or guilt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

As elections draw near, the season of public opinion surveys is upon us. But here is a survey that is more disturbing and significant in its revelations than those informing us whether Yair Lapid is taking off or Ehud Barak is crashing in the polls. This one lays bare an image of Israeli society, and the picture is a very, very sick one. Now it is not just critics at home and abroad, but Israelis themselves who are openly, shamelessly, and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists.

How Israel dug its own grave in Lebanon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Editorial) October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

A former high-ranking intelligence officer in Beirut has written a book documenting four decades of bloody misdeeds and shameful acts perpetrated by the Israel Defense Forces. Among them, he accuses the Defense Ministry of abandoning members of the South Lebanon Army who came to live in Israel following the withdrawal from Lebanon.

Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu bets on Mitt Romney winning US presidency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

The third presidential debate tonight focusing on America's foreign policy will probably not have much impact on the race, two weeks before election day – and with an electorate much more concerned about economic prospects close to home than when exactly did Barack Obama acknowledge that the Benghazi 9/11 attack was an act of terror rather than a spontaneous reaction to the anti-Islam video.

Israel's cranes reprove Barack Obama's failure to pursue two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - (Opinion) October 21, 2012 - 12:00am

At the eastern tip of the Israeli settlement of Ariel, cranes and earth-movers are at work on the college campus, which stretches across a hill overlooking the villages and valleys of the West Bank. Eleven miles from the internationally recognised Green Line separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories, construction is under way of buildings to accommodate a projected growth from 13,000 to 20,000 students over the next 10 years.

Salafis determined to establish Islamic Emirate in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - (Editorial) October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat - A prominent Salafi jihadist based in the Gaza Strip has stressed that his group’s efforts of establishing an Islamic Emirate in the Gaza Strip continues despite the severe blows handed to them at the hands of Israel and the Hamas Movement. "We always are planning to establish God's Sharia on earth. This is the duty of every Muslim. Our project, God willing, exists, and the day will come when the mujahidin will fulfil their project." Abu Abdul-Muhajir told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Israeli Land Grab Is Depicted In a Disturbing Documentary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Yedioth Ahronoth
by Yigal Sarna - (Film Review) October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

In this pre-election period, I found myself wondering, in a dark little theater in Tel Aviv, about the accuracy of a statement I recently read by a Polish [sic] monk named Thomas Merton. Merton wrote than when a “myth becomes a daydream, it is judged. … To cling to it when it has lost its creative function is to condemn oneself to mental illness.” I watched the new documentary film “5 Broken Cameras,” and I felt disturbed, like a father watching a recording of police interrogating his son, who harmed a young girl.

Sons and Others
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Cinespect
by Marshall Yarbrough - (Film Review) October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

The French title of “The Other Son,” “Le fils de l’autre,” translates literally as “the son of the other.” The original title better expresses director Lorraine Lévy’s intentions in this, her third feature. Set in Israel, the film takes as its subject two eighteen-year-old boys, one Israeli, one Palestinian, brought together by strange circumstances and forced to confront their differences.

Obama and Romney need to confront, solve Israeli-Palestinian divisions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Hill
by Ibrahim Abu Ta'a - (Blog) October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

I was born and raised in Jerusalem. Most of my work colleagues are Jewish, and despite the growing tension between Jews and Palestinians in Israel, years of working together have made us quite close. I speak Hebrew fluently, as well as my native Arabic, and I have always engaged my Jewish acquaintances with the same openness and respect I would give to anyone else.

Israel's grand illusion on Palestinian UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Hanan Ashrawi - (Opinion) October 23, 2012 - 12:00am

The artful magician relies on basic tricks in order to perform his illusions. He talks to distract the audience, giving irrelevant details to keep their minds occupied. He uses his skills to draw their attention to a certain place. Then, while all eyes are focused in one direction, he subtly and deftly carries out his deception, making them believe in a distorted reality; something their common sense tells them cannot be, but that their minds are inclined to accept.

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