Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Gaza-Israel violence continues in spite of cease-fire efforts ongoing in Cairo. Hamas is reportedly trying to link a truce to the end of the blockade of Gaza, trying to leverage the growing clout of regional Islamists. An Israeli attack on an apartment building in Gaza kills 11 Palestinian civilians, with the Palestinian death toll now exceeding 91, mostly civilians, including many children. Longer-range missiles, which Israel insists are from Iran but Tehran denies supplying, give Gaza militants a deeper reach into Israel. Israel attacks a media center in Gaza, injuring six journalists. Pres. Abbas says Israel is trying to undermine a renewed Palestinian UN bid. Residents of southern Israel say they are frightened but determined. Gaza children are trying to cope with the terrors of war. Pres. Obama reiterates Israel's right to self-defense, but recommends against any ground offensive. Israeli government websites are under a massive hacking attack. Gaza doctors say they are running low on medicine and equipment. Palestinians blame settlers for a fire at a West Bank mosque. COMMENTARY: ATFP calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza militants. Yossi Alpher says the Israel-Palestine conflict simply isn't going to go away. Max Fisher says Israel is trying to use social media to support for its Gaza campaign. The LA Times says the two-state solution is still the only answer for Israel and the Palestinians. Amos Harel says Israel's leaders need to think very carefully before launching a ground campaign in Gaza, but the Jerusalem Post thinks it's a good idea. Aluf Benn says PM Netanyahu will take any credit and give DM Barak any blame for the conflict. Shaul Arieli says Abbas wants peace, not the right of return. Nehemia Shtrasler says the current Israeli government is comfortable dealing with Hamas, but not with the PA. Musa Abumarzuq defends Hamas' actions. Sam Bahour says the Israeli-Palestinian relationship is unsustainable. Leonard Fein says Abbas lacks a peace partner in Israel. The National says de-escalation requires US leadership. Dalia Hatuqa says Hamas is trying to use the conflict with Israel as an exit strategy from a sustained crisis. Hugh Naylor says pragmatists are losing out in the leadership struggle within Hamas. Tariq Alhomayed says the people of Gaza, as always, will pay the price for the conflict. The Daily Star calls Israel's actions "rampant butchery."Jonathan Schanzer says there are eight outstanding questions about the conflict that have to be answered. Nahum Barnea says it would be politically catastrophic for Netanyahu for Israeli soldiers to be killed on the battlefield in Gaza. Reuters says Hamas may be politically benefiting from the conflict.

Israeli Airstrike Kills Three Generations of a Palestinian Family
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY — An Israeli bomb pummeled a home deep into the ground here Sunday afternoon, killing 11 people, including nine in three generations of a single family, in the deadliest single strike since the cross-border conflict between Israel and the militant faction Hamas escalated on Wednesday.

Hamas links truce to end of Gaza border blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Karin Laub - November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza's Hamas rulers are aiming high in the conditions they place on stopping rocket fire into Israel in indirect cease-fire talks launched this weekend. Emboldened by Arab support and confident in their arsenal, the Islamists say calm can only come if Israel opens the gates of the tiny, closed-off territory.

An Outgunned Hamas Tries to Tap Islamists’ Growing Clout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by David Kirkpatrick - November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

CAIRO — Emboldened by the rising power of Islamists around the region, the Palestinian militant group Hamas demanded new Israeli concessions to its security and autonomy before it halts its rocket attacks on Israel, even as the conflict took an increasing toll on Sunday.

Medics: Israel Strike Kills 11 Civilians in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Statesman.com
November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

An Israeli missile has flattened a two-story house in a residential neighborhood of Gaza City, as Palestinian militants in Gaza continue to fire rockets toward Israelis cities. (Nov. 18)

Fresh Israeli airstrikes raise Gaza death toll to 91
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Newly launched two Israeli airstrikes killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip shortly before noon on Monday, as the raids against Gaza entered the sixth day, Palestinian sources said on Monday.

PLO leader: Ceasefire talks underway in Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Negotiations in Cairo for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have made progress, but a truce is unlikely in the coming days, PLO official Nabil Shaath said Sunday. Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and his deputy Mousa Abu Marzouq updated Shaath on talks in Cairo between Palestinian factions and an Israeli delegate. Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas is also in direct contact with Mashaal, Shaath said.

With Longer Reach, Rockets Bolster Hamas Arsenal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - November 17, 2012 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV — When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting, it was aiming not just at a Palestinian leader but at a supply line of rockets from Iran that have for the first time given Hamas the ability to strike as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Iran denies supplying Fajr-5 rockets to Gaza militants-report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

DUBAI, Nov 18 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian lawmaker denied his country had supplied Palestinian Islamist militants in Gaza with missiles capable of hitting Israel's commercial centre, Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam television reported.

IDF Tracked Rockets From Iran to Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Akhikam Moshe David - November 16, 2012 - 1:00am

The smuggling operation was highly complex. The Fajr-5 rockets made in Iran, each six meters long, were transported all the way from their country of origin — dismantled and re-assembled along the way, smuggled via the Gaza Strip tunnels and then hoisted out using cranes — until they were positioned at their launching sites in Gaza. However, the smugglers were unaware that all that time, for over a year, IDF intelligence, headed by Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, was after them, tracking them down from the moment they left Iran, targeting and destroying the rockets in a matter of minutes.

Israel hits 2 Gaza media HQs, 6 journalists injured
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An Israeli airstrike damaged two media headquarters in Gaza City early Sunday, injuring at least six journalists, witnesses said. Khader al-Zahhar, a cameraman with al-Quds TV, had a leg amputated due to injuries sustained in the attack.

Abbas: Israel trying to undermine Palestinian UN move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday accused Israel of launching an deadly assault on the Gaza Strip to undermine his efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations. Israel started an air offensive on Wednesday with the assassination of a Hamas commander. Medics say 28 Palestinians have been killed, and three Israelis died from rocket fire from Gaza.

Southern Israel residents scared but determined
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Aron Heller - November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

BEERSHEBA, Israel — After days of incessant rocket fire, the largest city in southern Israel has been turned into a ghost town. Schools are closed, stores are shuttered and normally bustling streets are empty.

Gaza children struggle to cope with life under fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Noah Browning - November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Barefoot boys chase each other in circles around the street, pointing pretend guns made out of rubber pipes up at the Gaza sky, which is thick with Israeli F-16s and surveillance drones.

Obama Defends Israel's Right to Defend Itself
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Statesman.com
November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

President Barack Obama on Sunday defended Israel's airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, but he warned that escalating the offensive with Israeli ground troops could deepen the death toll and undermine any hope of a peace process with the Palestini...

Obama: Preferable to avoid Gaza ground operation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

President Barack Obama insisted on Sunday that Israel had a right to defend itself but said it would be "preferable" to avoid an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza. He said persuading Israel not to attack would depend on the success of efforts by Middle East leaders to bring a halt to Hamas rocket fire into Israel.

Israeli government websites under mass hacking attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Steven Scheer - (Opinion) November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

  More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government web sites since Wednesday when Israel began its Gaza air strikes, the government said on Sunday.

Overwhelmed Palestinian doctors run out of life-saving medicines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Jeremy Lawrence - November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

Health authorities in Gaza warned last night of a critical shortage of life-saving drugs and medical supplies as casualties threatened to overwhelm the main Al Shifa hospital in the city.

West Bank mosque damaged by fire; locals blame settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Vandals set fire to the entrance of a West Bank mosque on Monday, damaging the door, in an attack that villagers blamed on Jewish settlers.

ATFP Calls for Immediate Cease-Fire Between Israel and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from American Task Force on Palestine
by Ghaith Al-Omari - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

Nov. 18, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today urged the US government and all concerned parties to spare no effort in securing a cease-fire between Israeli forces and militant groups in Gaza. Palestinian sources say at least 72 Palestinians, many of them civilians and some children, have been killed in Israeli attacks since the latest round of violence began following Israel's assassination of Hamas' military commander Ahmed al-Jabari last Wednesday.

The Israel-Palestine Conflict Won't Go Away
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) November 16, 2012 - 1:00am

Tel Aviv THE Israel-Hamas clash in and around the Gaza Strip offers an important reminder to the second Obama administration: You can ignore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for only so long.

Why is Israel tweeting airstrikes?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Max Fisher - (Opinion) November 16, 2012 - 1:00am

Governments have always sought to manage public perception in wartime, but the Israel Defense Forces’ steady stream of updates on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook since it began airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday seems different.

Middle East peace takes a beating
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) November 16, 2012 - 1:00am

After months of relative quiet — broken, in this country, only by the pandering of the presidential candidates — the century-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict has burst back into the news. It began last week when the Palestinian Authority revived its plan to seek an upgrade in the United Nations to "non-member observer status." On the face of it, that's hardly a game-changing power grab, and it seems unlikely to dramatically alter the regional balance of power.

Israeli leaders should think twice before launching a Gaza ground offensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - (Opinion) November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

While Cairo is still applying pressure on Hamas to agree to a quick cease-fire with Israel, and while in Israel an airlift of diplomats has been landing seeking to stop a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Force is continuing its intensive preparations for the ground phase of Operation Pillar of Defense.

Ground invasion?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

As Israel enters the sixth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas and other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip continue their assaults on civilian centers.

Operation Pillar of Defense is Ehud Barak's test
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

Operation Pillar of Defense is Defense Minister Ehud Barak's war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the public stage, the microphone and the tours in the field to him. Together, of course, with the political gamble.

Abu Mazen wants a state, not the right of return
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shaul Arieli - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

On November 29, the Palestinian Authority will ask the United Nations General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a non-member state. That is on the assumption that pressure on the PA to delay until after the election in Israel does not bear fruit. Many of those close to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas consider this step to be the last bullet in his revolver and the final chance of renewing the negotiations with Israel Apparently that explains the moderate text it is expected to contain.

We in the Gaza Strip will not die in silence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Musa Abumarzuq - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

The latest Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has prompted several European countries and the US to reaffirm their position of unwavering support for the aggressor. William Hague, Britain's foreign secretary, Cathy Ashton, the EU high representative for foreign affairs, and Barack Obama, have all claimed that Hamas's rockets were responsible for the crisis and that it is the right of Israel to defend its citizens. Had they checked the facts, they would have realised Israel started the attacks.

A Palestine That Israelis Can't See
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Sam Bahour - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

The status quo in Palestine and Israel is unsustainable. Anyone involved in the reality on the ground in this part of the world knows this for a fact. As such, one can view the current Palestinian bid to the United Nations General Assembly for non-member state status as a last-ditch effort by the secular Palestinian leadership to save whatever may be remaining of the two-state paradigm as the basis to ending Israel’s 45 years of military occupation.

Who Is Palestinians' Partner for Peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) November 17, 2012 - 1:00am


A de-escalation in Gaza requires US leadership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am


Old rivalries, new allies as Hamas fights to save face
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Dalia Hatuqa - (Opinion) November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

  On July 22, 2002, shortly after midnight, an Israeli F-16 warplane dropped a one-tonne bomb on a house in a crowded neighbourhood in Gaza City, killing 13 civilians, including women and children. The target: Salah Shehadeh, a high-ranking Hamas leader, who was one of the founders of the faction's military arm, the Izzedine Al Qassam Brigades.

Hamas pragmatists lose out in leadership struggle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

  No one doubted that Hamas would hit back when its military commander was blown up by an Israeli air strike.

Mursi and Hamas in a predicament
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq al-Homayed - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am

  For three days of Israeli aggression on Gaza, Hamas flatly rejected calls for mediation and said that those who want to go down that route should go to Egypt. But yesterday the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, hinted at the possibility of accepting mediation with Israel, and not only this, he also stressed the need to go to the United Nations and complete President Abbas’ project, even though Abbas has not been enthusiastic about Hamas in the past.

Rampant butchery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) November 19, 2012 - 1:00am

  What is happening in Gaza right now is an exact deja vu of four years ago, albeit with stronger Palestinian rockets. Then, as now, the conflict was completely unbalanced, the rapidly growing civilian Palestinian death count evidence of that, should proof be needed.

A Pillar of Problems
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Jonathan Schanzer - (Opinion) November 16, 2012 - 1:00am

  Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense, after three days of air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, could be entering into a new phase of a larger ground invasion. While the war has been dissected six ways to Sunday, there are still gaping holes in our understanding of it, and several questions remain unanswered. Here are eight of them.

The third front
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nahum Barnea - (Opinion) November 16, 2012 - 1:00am

In political terms, a military maneuver is always risky. What appears in the beginning as a glorious move may turn out to be an electoral disaster. This is why most politicians hate launching a military campaign on the eve of elections. A military operation entails giving up control. The candidate's fate is in the hands of others – a pilot's error, a rocket that lands on a day care center, civilians not following safety guidelines.

Hamas finds cause to smile under Israeli assault
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - (Opinion) November 18, 2012 - 1:00am


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