Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israel's settlement expansion plans move forward in defiance of strong criticism from virtually all its allies. If completed, the new projects would seal occupied East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank almost entirely and cut a Palestinian village near Jerusalem in half. All 15 missions at the UN Security Council issued statements condemning the plans, except the US one. Human Rights Watch says Israel's attacks against media journalists during the recent Gaza conflict were unlawful. A Palestinian MK is barred from running for reelection due to participating in the Gaza flotilla. Evidence suggests a recent Tel Aviv bus bombing was an effort to kill government ministers. A new poll shows a large Israeli majority still favors a two-state solution. Palestinian refugees begin returning to a besieged camp near Damascus. The cash-strapped PA borrows $100 million from banks. Palestinian officials say France and Britain are working on an initiative to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Israeli military plans to reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors may be held before appearing before a judge. Hamas is reportedly barring the return of EU observers at the border crossing with Egypt. Naftali Bennett, head of Israel's fastest growing party "the Jewish Home," declares “We should say out loud: There will be no Palestinian state.” The Media Line looks at how Israel's tax withholding is crippling the Palestinian economy. COMMENTARY: Ari Shavit says Israel's election is a final referendum on whether or not to maintain a Jewish and democratic state. Oudeh Basharat says Hamas' extreme rhetoric is an boon to the Israeli far right. Akram Atallah says FM Lieberman's extreme rhetoric is a boon to Palestinian diplomacy. Alan Elsner says Moshe Dayan is a forgotten early champion of the settlements. Kevin Connolly says conditions seem ripe for a strong victory for PM Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli election. Joshua Gleis says Israel and the US should exploit the growing differences between Hamas and Hezbollah. Ben Caspit says a regional chaos makes Israel look like an island of stability, even as settlement expansion continues. Hani al-Masri says any effort at a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation would be a disaster. Meir Javedanfar points out that Iran has no comment on the killing of Palestinians in Syria. Michael Koplow says there is a strong element of domestic politics in Israel's settlement expansion spree. Steve Spiegel interviews PJ Dermer and Steven White on the West Bank security situation.





Israel Defies Allies in Move to Bolster Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


 


Israel moves to further seal off Jerusalem from West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Christa Case Bryant - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


 


New Jerusalem highway to cut Arab neighborhood in half
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


  The Jerusalem municipality is constructing a highway running through the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, cutting the pastoral area in the south of the city into two.


Israeli settlements leave US odd man out at UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Michelle Nichols - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


In a rare move on Wednesday, all but one of the 15 members of the UN Security Council made statements at the United Nations opposing Israeli plans to expand Jewish settlements around Jerusalem after the United States repeatedly blocked attempts to take stronger action.


Group: Israel broke law by targeting media in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


   


Israeli Arab MP who joined Gaza flotilla barred from re-election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


  Israel's electoral authority barred an Arab lawmaker from re-election on Wednesday, saying she had supported the nation's enemies by joining a protest ship that tried to break a naval blockade of Gaza.


Investigation shows militants behind Tel Aviv bus bombing planned to assassinate Israeli ministers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


  The perpetrators of a bombing attack on a Tel Aviv bus last month plotted to assassinate government ministers and other Israeli officials, according to new details of an investigation released Wednesday.


Majority of Israelis support two-state solution: poll
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


  A new poll published on Tuesday revealed that 62 percent of Israelis support the two-state solution and believe it is the best option for the Israeli state, the Jerusalem Post reported.


Fighting subsides at Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, some who fled trickle back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


   Days of intense fighting in a Palestinian refugee camp subsided on Thursday and some of the more than 100,000 residents who fled the violence in the capital Damascus began to trickle back, activists and officials said.


Banks to lend PA $100 million
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


Palestinian banks will lend the Palestinian Authority $100 million to see it through a financial crisis caused by Israeli sanctions, the Palestine Monetary Authority chief said Wednesday.


Presidential aide: France, Britain proposing talks initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


Britain and France are proposing a new initiative to resume negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, an adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday.


IDF to reduce time Palestinian minors may be held without seeing a judge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


  The Israel Defense Forces will further reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors may be held before they are brought before a judge, the state informed the High Court of Justice this week.


Hamas bars EU observers from border crossing with Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Elhanan Miller - December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


  Hamas is preventing the return of European monitors to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, despite an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority requiring their presence at the border.


Netanyahu battered by the Jewish Home-builder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by David Horovitz - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


 


You Must Pay the Rent!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Diana Atallah - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


  Mohammed Saadi hasn’t gone to his job at the Palestinian Authority's Public Works and Housing Ministry for a week now, “I pay seven dollars for transportation each day, which means more than $125 from my $450 monthly salary is being spent on that," he told The Media Line.


Israel's senseless elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


 


Hamas' gift to the right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Oudeh Basharat - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


 


Lieberman good for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


For the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the name Avigdor Lieberman evokes mostly fear.


Moshe Dayan and the settlements: A look back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alan Elsner - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


Recently, while browsing through clips I have collected over the past 30-plus years, I came across a story I wrote when I was a very young reporter for The Jerusalem Post.


Conditions ripe for Netanyahu election win
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Kevin Connolly - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


  So intense is the concentrated spirit of goodwill that the Israeli government shrugs off the baggage of its sometimes fractious relationship with the international media to hold a reception for members of the foreign press.


No Run-of-the-Mill Islamists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Opinion) December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


 


Regional Chaos Makes Israel Seem Like an Island of Stability
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Ben Caspit - (Opinion) December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


  For the first time in ages, an election campaign takes place in Israel, with everyone already knowing what will happen in its wake.  


Palestine-Jordan Confederation Would Spell Disaster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Hani al-Masri - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 12:00am


 


Iran keeps silent on the killing of Palestinians in Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Meir Javendanfar - (Opinion) December 17, 2012 - 12:00am


 


Why Is Israel On a Settlement-Construction Spree?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Michael Koplow - (Opinion) December 19, 2012 - 12:00am


 


PJ Dermer and Steven White on West Bank Security Situation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by David Halperin - (Interview) December 18, 2012 - 12:00am


  David Halperin: Thank you all for joining us for today's call, which is quite timely. We have with us today P.J. Dermer and Steve White, two individuals who have unique experience working on the ground, having represented the United States in coordinating the security activities between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.





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