Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Hamas' appeal rises in Gaza but it still faces financial woes. Hamas holds an unusual public rally in the West Bank that continues for second day. Israel says in spite of its jubilation, Hamas has been daunted by its losses in the recent conflict. The end of conflict is bringing some life back to Gaza markets. FM Lieberman faces indictment on lesser charges, Including breach of trust, that may allow him to continue his political career. Israeli soldiers assault two Reuters cameramen. An Israeli court urges the rerouting of parts of the West Bank separation barrier. An Israeli border police officer who killed a Palestinian youth is "wanted for murder" on Facebook pages. Israel will equip its military reservists with a new generation of rifle. The Arab League calls on donors to meet pledges to the PA. Reports say PA officials may be studying the possibility of a confederation with Jordan. Gaza fishermen continue to tentatively explore whether Israel has in fact expanded the area in which they are permitted to fish following the cease-fire. COMMENTARY: Adam Gonn says Lieberman's indictment will have little political impact. Oded Carmeli says both Israelis and Palestinians are having fewer children. Sara Hirschhorn says extremist Israeli politician Feiglin poses a clear and present danger to Israel. Salman Masalha says a little-known Israeli "park project" is as dangerous to peace as the E1 settlement expansion plan. Arsen Ostrovsky says Israel is "winning" in Europe by removing the conflict as the central issue in bilateral relations. Uri Savir says the Middle East needs a coalition of young progressives. Raja Shehadeh reflects on recent events. Gil Troy says Pres. Obama's attitude towards Israel reminds him of the late Sen.Moynihan. Amy Ayalon says constructive unilateral moves can help the situation. Jonathan Schanzer asks who or what can succeed Pres. Abbas.Henry Siegman calls Hamas leader Mishaal's Gaza speech "reckless incitement."

Hamas Gains Allure in Gaza, but Money Is a Problem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY — Hamas has been riding high of late, after its professed victory in the recent conflict with Israel and the overthrow last year of Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, an avowed enemy.

In Step Toward Palestinian Unity, Hamas Holds Rally in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

NABLUS, West Bank — Hundreds of men and boys sporting the signature green of the militant Hamas faction marched through the narrow alleys of the old city here on Thursday afternoon, calling for Palestinian unity but also renewed attacks on Israeli cities, in the first public demonstration by the Islamist party allowed in the West Bank in years.

Hamas subdued despite Gaza victory claim-Israeli military
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Israel's offensive on Gaza has deterred Hamas from new hostilities despite its claims of victory and the front is now at its quietest in 20 years, a senior Israeli military officer said. Vastly lopsided shelling exchanges over eight days killed 170 Palestinians and 6 Israelis before the Nov. 21 truce brokered by Egypt.

Hamas announces second day of West Bank rallies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- Hamas will hold rallies in the West Bank on Friday in the second day of its celebrations to mark the movement's 25th anniversary. On Thursday, thousands turned out in Nablus to celebrate the founding of Hamas, the first time Hamas was authorized to hold a mass political event in the West Bank by the Fatah-dominated government.

Truce brings extra gleam to Gaza marketplace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The horizon of the claustrophobic Gaza Strip stretches further out to sea after a bloody eight-day battle last month and its main market gleams with extra supplies of locally-caught fish. In a low-key move it has yet to acknowledge, Israel moved a naval blockade it imposed in 2009 back to six miles (10 km) from the Palestinian enclave's coast from three on Nov 23, two days after signing an Egypt-brokered truce with Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Israeli Foreign Minister Faces Indictment on Lesser Charges
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s blunt-talking and polarizing foreign minister, will be charged with breach of trust but not with fraud and money laundering, prosecutors announced Thursday, ending an investigation lasting years and throwing a curve into Israel’s coming elections.

Israeli soldiers assault two Reuters cameramen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

HEBRON, West Bank, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers punched two Reuters cameramen and forced them to strip in the street, before letting off a tear gas canister in front of them, leaving one of them needing hospital treatment. Israel's military said on Thursday it took the allegations seriously, but offered no explanation for the assault that occurred on Wednesday evening in the heart of Hebron.

Israeli court urges reroute of planned West Bank barrier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Israel's highest court has urged defence officials to reroute a barrier planned for construction on ancient farmland at a West Bank Palestinian village. Israeli judges have ordered changes in Israel's barrier through occupied land before, but the latest decision followed a rare appeal involving support from an Israeli government environmental agency for a Palestinian challenge.

Israeli police wanted "for murder" for killing Arab youth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli female border police who shot an Arab teenager on Wednesday after he held a fake gun to another soldier's head is wanted "for murder" on Arabic Facebook pages.

Israel reservists to equip with new rifle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 4, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military will soon begin equipping reserve forces with its most advanced assault rifle, Ma'ariv daily reported on Thursday. Plans to train and equip reservists with the rifle Tavor TAR-21 were accelerated in the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense, the army's eight-day airstrike in the Gaza Strip last month to curb rocket attacks.

Arab League calling in pledges to fund PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Arab League has begun calling in donor pledges to Palestine from its members, but cannot confirm the exact date the so-called Arab safety net will be transferred to the government. Assistant Secretary General of Palestine Affairs in the Arab League Mohammad Sbeih told Ma’an on Thursday evening that the group had opened communications with Arab states over the $100 million monthly payment promised on Sunday.

Abbas mulls forming confederation with Jordan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority officials confirmed Thursday that they were studying the possibility of establishing a confederation with Jordan, but stressed that this would take place only after the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 line

Gaza’s Fishermen Testing the Limits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Linda Gradstein - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel says it has eased restrictions, but Palestinians are not so sure   

Indictment of Israeli FM to have limited political ramifications
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - (Analysis) December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday announced that he would charge Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman on accounts of fraud and breach of trust. However, Weinstein dropped the more severe charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice. The decision by Weinstein marks the end of the 12 year process during which Lieberman has been under investigation for allegedly pocketing millions of U.S. dollars from foreign businessmen via shell companies.

The myth of an Israeli-Palestinian demographic disaster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Oded Carmeli - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Since the 19th century, and more intensively since the 1960s, demographers like Paul Ehrlich, who was interviewed in this magazine last week, have been telling us that the world is a ticking bomb because of the population explosion. When we think about the “population explosion” we conjure up street crossings in New York or, alternatively, refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. But the truth is that the world is quite empty of people.

Feiglin: Israel's clear and present danger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Sara Hirschhorn - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

This is the story of Moshe Zalman Feiglin, an Israeli ultranationalist activist who “had a dream” to lead the government of the Jewish state  - and that day may well arrive soon. On January 22, Israelis will go the polls to elect, in all likeliness, a new Likud-Israel Beiteinu slate that some consider the most right-wing in the party’s history - a candidate list where even MK Benny Begin, the heir of the Revisionist movement, has now been edged out in favor of a new identity politics and ideological orientation.  

'Neutralizing' East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Salman Masalha - December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

All of a sudden, everyone is protesting vehemently - those who are called left-wing here, and all the other sorts of hypocrites from the rest of the world - about the plans to build in the area known in the Zionist secret code as E-1. I must admit that I haven't fully understood those who are protesting. Because in which way is this site more outrageous than the other conquests we have witnessed in the past decades, so that it has aroused their ire?

Israel winning in Europe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Arsen Ostrovsky - (Opinion) December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

Before the ink was even dry on the Palestinian vote at the UN last week, headlines already started flooding on how Israel 'lost Europe.' The reality however, could not be further from the truth, as Israel continues to make stunning headway in its trade and bilateral relations with the EU.

A Middle East union of young progressives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

I have a young Egyptian friend, Ahmed Meligy, who also happens to be a Jerusalem Post blogger. At the moment that this article is being written, he is taking part in pro-democratic demonstrations in Cairo, as he did continually during the Tahrir revolution. The courage and outspokenness of Meligy and his peers is the hope for the Middle East to steer toward greater democratization and peace.

Palestine: Diary of a historic month
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Raja Shehadeh - (Opinion) December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

9 November It was inevitable that at some point Jewish settlements in the West Bank would endanger even the trees. This was the thought I had as I was driven through the northern part of the West Bank on a field trip organised by Oxfam, which is working with Palestinian NGOs to help local cooperatives improve their agricultural practices and open up local and international markets to them. The villagers told us that tens of thousands of olive trees have been uprooted to make way for the construction of the Israeli separation barrier.

On Israel, Obama brings Moynihan to mind
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Gil Troy - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (JTA)  -- Those who view American-Israel relations through a dualistic “are you pro-Israel or anti-Israel” lens must be confused. In one week, the United States stands virtually alone with Israel against the Palestinians’ upgrade of their status at the United Nations, then immediately condemns Israel’s settlement expansion. Similarly, despite Republican warnings that a reelected Barack Obama would “throw Israel under a bus,” the president backed Israel during the recent Gaza War.

How Unilateral Moves Can Help
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Ami Ayalon - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Several signs lately reinforce the conclusion that the direct negotiations paradigm for resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict has failed and must be replaced. The recent U.N. vote accepting Palestine as a non-member state is one such sign: 138 states supported the Palestinians’ resolution, only 9 voted against it, including the United States (a prisoner of the old paradigm).

After Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Jonathan Schanzer - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas went to the United Nations last month and brought his people one step closer to statehood. But amid all the fanfare, Western diplomats quietly conceded that the General Assembly vote to upgrade the Palestinians' U.N. mission was not simply a step taken to advance their national project. It also reflected a desire to counter Hamas's growing influence, particularly after the Gaza-based terrorist group claimed victory in its war with Israel in November.

Meshal's folly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Henry Siegman - (Opinion) December 14, 2012 - 1:00am

Just as the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a state in the occupied territories beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders, providing new hope and encouragement to those who have not given up on the struggle for a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the State of Israel; and as major European countries condemned in unprecedentedly strong terms Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to enlarge the settlement project in the Jerusalem area and elsewhere, a move that would prevent such a two-state outcome, Hamas' political bureau chief Khaled Meshal las

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