Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israel says a bomb blast in Tel Aviv yesterday was "criminally motivated," and not political. Palestinian towns and villages are being affected by extreme weather. Israeli officials are trying to expedite controversial settlement expansion plans in occupied East Jerusalem. Israel exported $7 billion in arms in 2012. Critics within the Likud party say its new, more extreme leadership is abandoning some of the values of founder Menachem Begin. Palestinians say settlers destroyed over 200 olive trees near Nablus. Masked gunmen claiming to be Fatah dissidents in Nablus say they will confront Palestinian security services if arrested. The UAE is donating $50 million to a housing project in Gaza for Palestinian former prisoners of Israel. A news photograph depicts a settler woman and child using their bodies to prevent Palestinians from plowing their own fields in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian activists have been erecting structures in the strategic E1 area slated for settlement expansion by Israel. The Obama administration confirms that the PLO's upgrade in status at the UN violated no American laws. Palestinian protesters say Israel is increasingly using "skunk liquid" against them. COMMENTARY: The New York Times says "Israel, the Palestinians, Arab states and the international community all have a stake" in making sure the PA has the requisite funding to function properly. Mahmoud AbuRahma says Europe should rethink its role regarding Gaza border crossings. Ha'aretz interviews Amos Oz, who says the Netanyahu government is the most "anti-Zionist" ever. Anshel Pfeffer says the extremist and annexationist Israeli politician Naftali Bennett is not only stealing votes from PM Netanyahu, he's also outdoing him in command of English and messaging. Eyal Megged says a recent interview with former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin should have been the political end of Netanyahu, but has made barely a ripple. Randa Haider says both Israelis and Palestinians will suffer if Israel's extreme right prevails in the coming election. Uri Savir says everyone might benefit from it, but a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation is up to the two parties. Hillel Halkin says Israeli voters don't face any good options. J.J. Goldberg critiques the management styles and "failures" of Netanyahu and DM Barak. Ben Caspit says the recent spat between Israel's officials and diplomats will not end well. David Horovitz says Israel's mainstream right has shifted to the extreme right.

Israeli police say blast criminally motivated
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 10, 2013 - 1:00am


Walls and winter rains afflict Palestinian towns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Noah Browning - January 9, 2013 - 1:00am

  Heavy winter downpours have turned some Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank into a morass of filth and flooding as an Israeli barrier blocks the waters from draining away.

Israeli officials try to expedite construction of controversial East Jerusalem neighborhood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 11, 2013 - 1:00am

  The Israeli government along with the Jerusalem municipality are working hard at marketing the controversial East Jerusalem construction project prior to the Jan. 22 elections, local media reported Thursday.

Israel's arms exports reached 7 bln USD in 2012
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

  According to estimates published Thursday by the defense ministry, Israeli defense equipment exports reached 7 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. The figure marks a 20-percent increase from the amount of defense-related exports in 2011. Official data will be provided by the ministry in March 2013.

Critics of Likud's new vanguard say party has abandoned founder's ideals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ben Lynfield - January 10, 2013 - 1:00am


Official: Settlers destroy over 200 olive trees in Nablus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 11, 2013 - 1:00am

Settlers destroyed over 200 olive trees in a Nablus village on Friday, an official said.

Nablus gunmen warn PA security services
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

A group of masked gunmen claiming affiliation to Fatah's military wing warned on Thursday that they would fight back against the imprisonment of their members by Palestinian security forces.

UAE donates $50 million to 'prisoner city' in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

Gaza's housing minister said Thursday that the United Arab Emirates has donated $50 million to build a housing project for Palestinians released from Israeli jails.

Snapshot: Foul play in the West Bank fields
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tal Niv - January 10, 2013 - 1:00am


Palestinians erect outpost in E1 zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - January 11, 2013 - 1:00am

A group of 200 Palestinians, backed by foreign activists, have been erecting an outpost in the disputed E1 zone, near Ma'aleh Adumim, since the early hours of Friday morning.

Obama administration: PLO’s U.N. elevation broke no laws
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

  The Obama administration said the Palestinians' ascension in U.N. membership status did not violate U.S. law.

Palestinians protest use of 'skunk' liquid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Irish Times
by Mark Weiss - January 11, 2013 - 1:00am

  Palestinian activists claim the use by the Israeli security forces of a foul-smelling liquid, dubbed “the skunk”, against protesters and, in some instances, private homes, may be putting lives at risk.

Financial Crisis in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am


EU should re-think its border assistance role
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Mahmoud Abu Rahma - (Opinion) January 9, 2013 - 1:00am

The European Union must abandon the idea of redeploying its border monitoring mission on Gaza's border with Egypt, raised again by EU officials last month.

Netanyahu government is Israel's most anti-Zionist ever, says Amoz Oz
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - (Opinion) January 11, 2013 - 1:00am

  The writer and Israel Prize laureate Amoz Oz harshly attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich.

Politics and the English language: What we can learn from Naftali Bennett’s international interviews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

Each of the senior politicians called up to the stage at Tuesday's foreign policy debate conducted by the Israel Project at the Hebrew University, scurried up to the podium as their name was called. Only Habayit Hayehudi leader, Naftali Bennett, paused for a moment, turned around, and waved to the audience before stepping up. "It was a short gesture, but there was something about it that distinguished him," a friend who was there told me.

Bibi, ask not what you can do for you
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

  In another country, in a place that is normal, the in-depth interview with former Shin Bet security service director Yuval Diskin, published in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper last weekend, would have cost a sitting prime minister the election.

Israeli extremists' victory
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Randa Haidar - (Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

Winds of rightist political extremism are blowing through the election campaign in Israel these days. Some two weeks before the elections, it appears that the Israeli arena is becoming more extreme and divided.

A Palestinian-Jordanian confederation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - (Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

Prominent Israeli Knesset candidates, many of them most probably part of the next coalition, are in these days of vigorous campaigning attempting to highjack us into their fata morganas (mirages) regarding the future of the West Bank; be it Naftali Bennett with his ridiculous proposal to annex 60 percent of the West Bank to Israel; or

An Israeli Ballot With No Good Options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Hillel Halkin - (Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

  Israel doesn’t need to hold elections. It only needs to ask for whom I’d vote, because I’ve never voted for anyone but winners. I was for Golda in 1974, for Begin in 1977, for Rabin in 1992, for Netanyahu in ’96, for Barak in ’98, for the Sharon of the Likud in 2000 and the Sharon of Kadima in 2005, for Ehud Olmert in 2006, for Netanyahu again in 2009. You can’t be more infallible than that.

Enduring Failures of Israel's 'Decision Makers'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - (Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

  One of Israel’s worst-kept military secrets is the simmering tension between the country’s top security professionals and their civilian bosses, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The headlines surface regularly and tend to look the same, so it’s easy to miss the big picture.

Netanyahu and Israel's Crisis of Democracy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Ben Caspit - (Opinion) January 10, 2013 - 1:00am

  Ron Prosor is one of the most distinguished ambassadors in the history of the Israeli Foreign Service. He was the No. 3 man at the embassy in Washington. He was director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Silvan Shalom; he was a highly respected ambassador to the United Kingdom, and he is now in charge of Israel's public diplomacy efforts as Israel's permanent representative to the United Nations.

A different Israel after January 22
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by David Horovitz - (Opinion) January 9, 2013 - 1:00am

  You may wish to celebrate. You may be plunged into despair. But signs are the country to which you will wake up on January 23 will be a different Israel.

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