Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Report suggests that the late Prisoner X held secretly in Israel may have been part of a Mossad assassination squad that killed a Hamas operative in Dubai. (New York Times) Sources say Prisoner X is not the only "security prisoner" to have disappeared in the Israeli prison system. (YNet) Mossad appears to be becoming more secretive than ever. (The Independent) Palestinians protesting in support of hunger striking prisoners clash with Israeli occupation forces. (AP) Pres. Abbas urges international support for hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. (Oman Tribune) More Palestinian prisoners go on a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with other hunger striking prisoners (Xinhua) UN officials express concern over the fate of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. (UN) A Swedish photographer wins the World Press Photo award for an image of the funeral of two Palestinian children killed in an Israeli missile attack. (AP) Two Palestinians are injured by Israeli gunfire in northern Gaza. (Ma'an) A Palestinian worker is stabbed to death at a construction site in Israel. (YNet) Four Israeli border guards are convicted of abusing a mentally disabled Palestinian. (YNet) Bulgaria expels a Hamas delegation from the country. (Xinhua) The Palestinian public sector employees union says the PA will pay salaries for January soon, but no exact date has been set. (Ma'an) Reports say Israeli and Egyptian officials meet to discuss security matters. (Jerusalem Post) An Israeli playing for an English soccer team is prevented from entering Dubai. (Jerusalem Post) COMMENTARY: Roger Cohen says PM Fayyad's institution-building policy has been a squandered opportunity, but created a new paradigm that will live on. (New York Times) Rami Livni says there can and should be a genuine Zionism of the Left. (Ha'aretz) Michael Cohen says the Chuck Hagel confirmation hearings show how dangerous it is to challenge the American orthodoxy on Israel. (The Guardian) The National says Egypt needs to provide Gaza with a new lifeline from the blockade. (The National) Zuheir Kseibati says Arabs were unpleasantly surprised not to hear the word Palestine or many other references to the Middle East in Pres. Obama's State of the Union address. (Al Hayat) George Hishmeh says Sec. Kerry is offering some signs of hope on American policy towards the peace process. (Gulf News) Frida Ghitis says Obama should have modest aims for his Middle East trip. (Miami Herald) Shlomi Eldar interviews Saeb Erekat, who says a settlement freeze is essential to restarting negotiations. (Al Monitor) Amos Harel says Israelis are oblivious to the very real possibility of another intifada. (Haaretz) Jennifer Jajeh profiles 1970s Palestinian militant Leila Khaled. (The National)

Israel’s Prisoner X Is Linked to Dubai Assassination in a New Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

The Australian-Israeli man recently identified as Prisoner X — found dead in 2010 in a maximum-security prison cell — may have been involved in the assassination of a Hamas leader that year, an episode that was among the most embarrassing in the history of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad.

Sources: Security prisoners 'disappear' in Israeli jails
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

  Israeli-Australian Ben Zygier, the suspected Mossad operative who allegedly committed suicide at Ayalon Prison in 2010, was not the only person to be jailed by Israel under a false name.

Mossad: the service that's really secret
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Alistair Dawber - February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

The murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at an upmarket Dubai hotel in 2010; the killing of Gerald Bull, a Canadian scientist, on his doorstep in Brussels in 1990; the honeytrap set for Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu in Rome in 1986; the death of Ben Zygier in Israel’s most secure prison two years ago.

Palestinian rally for hunger striker turns violent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ian Deitch - February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli soldiers on Friday at a rally held in support of a prisoner observing an intermittent hunger strike to protest his incarceration. The Israeli military said about 200 Palestinians threw rocks at soldiers who responded with tear gas during the rally outside Ofer prison in the West Bank. The protesters called for the release of Samer Issawi, who has been on an on-again, off-again hunger strike for several months as he serves time for alleged terror activity.

Abbas seeks world help to save Palestinians on hunger strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Oman Tribune
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas late on Tuesday called on the international community to intervene urgently in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. “Things may get out of control if the lives of the hunger strikers are not saved,” Abbas said on Palestinian television. “We ask the international community to respond effectively to ease the situation, otherwise it will be impossible to control and it will deteriorate across the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel go on hunger-strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel went on a one-day hunger strike Thursday in solidarity with six mates who have been fasting for months. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoner' Club said in a statement that 360 prisoners in three Israeli jails have gone on the hunger strike, and that most of them are affiliated to Islamic Jihad movement. All Palestinian prisoners in Israel, totaling up to some 4,500, will join the hunger strikers on Tuesday, the statement added.

UN officials voice concern over health of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Nations News Service
February 13, 2013 - 1:00am

Two senior United Nations officials today voiced their concern about Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody, particularly following reports of the fast deteriorating health conditions of several who have been on hunger strike.

Swedish photographer wins World Press Photo award
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Toby Sterling - February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Swedish photographer Paul Hansen won the 2012 World Press Photo award Friday for newspaper Dagens Nyheter with a picture of two Palestinian children killed in an Israeli missile strike being carried to their funeral. The picture shows a group of men marching the dead bodies through a narrow street in Gaza City. The victims, a brother and sister, are wrapped in white cloth with only their faces showing.

2 injured by Israeli fire in north Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Two young Palestinian men were injured by Israeli fire in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, medics said. A 20-year-old man was hit in the chest by gunfire east of Beit Hanoun, and is a moderate to serious condition, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said. Another man, aged 22, was shot in the hand in the same incident and has moderate injuries, al-Qidra said. The pair are being treated in Beit Hanoun hospital.

Palestinian stabbed to death in Rishon Lezion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eli Senyor - February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

A stabbing at a Rishon Lezion construction site left a 25-year-old Palestinian dead. The worker was evacuated to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center early Friday morning after sustaining knife wounds to the chest. He succumbed to his wounds while on the operating table. An initial investigation led the authorities to take one city resident in for questioning.

4 Border Guards convicted of abusing helpless Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Four Border Guard officers were convicted Thursday on charges of aggravated assault and abuse of a helpless person for their involvement in a 2009 incident in which they abused a Palestinian near a Givat Ze'ev checkpoint.

Bulgaria expels visiting Hamas delegation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Bulgarian authorities forced a visiting Hamas delegation to leave the country Friday, the Palestinian Islamic movement said. In a statement, Hamas said security forces stormed the hotel where the three Hamas officials have been staying since Wednesday and transferred them to the airport. Hamas added that the move came as a result of Israel's pressure on Sofia. The delegation was expected to stay for three more days to meet with Bulgarian parliamentarians and party leaders.

Union: No date set for payment of PA salaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority will pay government salaries for January in a week, but has yet to specify a date, the public sector workers union said Thursday. Union chief Bassam Zakarneh insisted the PA must set a date to pay January wages, after a meeting with ministers in Ramallah. Zakarneh said in a statement that the union informed a ministerial committee that government staff were struggling to buy basic necessities and could not afford transport to work. Zakarneh called on civil servants not to strike unless further action is announced.

Israelis, Egyptians discuss security in Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ariel Ben Solomon - February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

An Israeli delegation departed from Cairo on Thursday evening after meeting Egyptian officials to discuss security issues in Sinai, the alleged Israeli strike in Syria, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Egyptian website Al-Shorouk reported Friday.

Israeli on UK team barred from entering Dubai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

An Israeli soccer player for a British club is being forced to skip a team visit to Dubai because of the United Arab Emirates’ policy on Israelis entering the country. The 25-year-old striker, Itay Schechter, who plays for Swansea City, was prevented from attending the six-day group tra The United Arab Emirates does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, and Israeli passport holders can be arrested and deported upon entering if they lack a special visa. Dubai is one of the UAE’s seven emirates, or city-states.

The Success That Failed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

The most progressive and innovative Palestinian thinker on a Middle East peace settlement has been steadily isolated over the past several years. Undercut by Israel, undermined by his own people’s factionalism, unable to meet even once with President Obama, this dynamic Palestinian leader is now close to the end of his rope.

A Zionism of the left
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Rami Livni - (Opinion) February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

The election results strengthened the following message: The left's return to power must include its renewed presence in debates about Zionism. To that end, the left must create a new, liberal and up-to-date perception of Zionism. It must be an alternative to the insular distorted Zionism of the right - disconnected from reality - which has served a minority of Jews throughout history.

Chuck Hagel's confirmation and the orthodoxy of US debate on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Michael Cohen - (Opinion) February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

This week, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel achieved a rather dubious accomplishment: he became the first nominee for Secretary of Defense to be filibustered by the United States Senate.

Gazans need a new lifeline from stifling blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel has inflicted collective punishment on Palestinians in an attempt to weaken support for the armed group. As part of this, Israel has severely limited the importation of goods into Gaza, putting ordinary Palestinians on what Israeli officials once euphemistically termed "a diet".

Obama’s Retreat in Parallel to the Arabs’ Surprise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Hayat
by Zuheir Kseibati - February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

The North Korean nuclear experiment was not good news for President Barack Obama, a few hours before the delivery of his State of the Union address. Indeed, now is the time for a “diplomatic solution” which would draw up the roadmap for some sort of a deal with Iran over its nuclear file. And the solution wanted by Obama and the West must guarantee Israel’s security.

Kerry says it like it is
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

Under American tutelage, history (almost) repeats itself for both the Palestinians and Israelis. President Barack Obama will be travelling next month to Israel, much like what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did four years ago when he met the American president for the first time during his first weeks at the White House.

What Obama can achieve with Israel trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Frida Ghitis - (Editorial) February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

Next month, two months into his second term, President Barack Obama will arrive in Israel, beginning a Middle East trip whose objective is muddled by the turmoil in the region. What exactly does Obama seek to achieve? Any presidential trip begins long before Air Force One leaves the hangar. While the advance travel officials work out the details of the itinerary, the policy, politics and press people are already crafting their desired narrative. Item one on the agenda this time is lowering expectations.

Erekat: No Settlement Freeze Means No Negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Shlomi Eldar - (Opinion) February 14, 2013 - 1:00am

Israel is waiting for President Barack Obama. Social networks across the internet are full of petitions and “likes,” pleading with the president to give a speech about peace to the Israeli masses gathered in Rabin Square.

The distant drums of intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

The public debate Americans have been conducting recently about the implications of the worldwide war they are waging against Islamic terror is not confined to the decade between September 11, 2001, and the assassination of Osama bin Laden, or to the two four-year terms of President George W. Bush. The Americans are also discussing and implementing far-reaching measures in that war during the second term of Barack Obama. It was the Obama administration that formulated a directive permitting the president to authorize the assassination abroad, without trial, of U.S.

Leila Khaled, the 1970s Palestinian revolutionary, is still passionate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jennifer Jajeh - February 16, 2013 - 1:00am

It looks like Leila Khaled has stood me up. It's my last day in Amman, and she's arranged to meet me in front of the Sofra restaurant at noon. It's now 12:45pm. Tired of the unwanted attention I'm receiving as a woman standing alone on the street, I duck into Café des Artistes next door and order an overpriced espresso in the hope they'll let me use their phone to call her again. She answers this time and tells me she is stuck at a meeting for the Palestinian National Council, but will meet me in another 30 minutes.

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