Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: An Israeli court orders a hunger striking Palestinian prisoner released sometime in the next two weeks when his eight-month sentence is concluded, but he may continue his fast anyway. (Reuters) Palestinian security forces are struggling to maintain order, but are facing many challenges, including from Israel. (The Media Line) Israeli police in Jerusalem are reportedly beefing up their presence in preparation for more protests in support of hunger strikers. (Ma'an) The Israeli military is preparing for possible action along the Syrian border. (CSM) Israel is reportedly pressuring the UN to ensure no criticism of its policies in an upcoming report by UNSG Ban on the upgrade of Palestine's status to nonmember observer state. (Xinhua) Jordan says it will continue to work to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. (Xinhua) Palestinian officials reiterate that negotiations can only begin in the context of a settlement freeze. (Ma'an) A Hezbollah operative on trial in Cyprus says he was told to track Israeli flights. (New York Times) A youth in Gaza who immolated himself in front of a Hamas headquarters was apparently protesting against officials in the building. (Xinhua) The EU renews its support for mental health improvement in Gaza. (PNN) PM Fayyad condemns attacks against Palestinian electricity poles in the occupied West Bank, apparently by Israeli settlers. (PNN) A new batch of Israeli documents about the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres are released, but portions regarding the activities of the Israeli military remain heavily censored. (Ha'aretz) Then-DM Sharon said at the time that the Sabra and Shatila report could allow Israel to be accused of genocide. (YNet) Residents of an Arab neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem appeared to be left without health care. (YNet) A new poll suggests that Yesh Atid would crush Likud in new elections. (Jerusalem Post) The BBC looks at two Oscar-nominated films about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (BBC) The only music school in Gaza faces closure due the lack of funds. (Al Monitor) The PA, the EU and the UN are holding a conference in the West Bank on improving the quality of teaching in Palestinian schools. (PNN)

COMMENTARY: Yossi Verter says PM Netanyahu suspects political newcomers Bennett and Lapid of plotting to overthrow him. (Ha'aretz) Linda Gradstein looks at why it's taking so long to form a new Israeli governing coalition. (The Media Line) Anshel Pfeffer says the "Prisoner X" scandal shows Israel has to stop stealing identities. (Ha'aretz) The Jerusalem Post interviews former Deputy FM Ayalon, who says former FM Lieberman's tenure was "a failure," and "it would be wrong" for him to regain the position. (Jerusalem Post) Uriel Halbreich thinks a confederation between Israel, Jordan and Palestine is the best way forward. (Jerusalem Post) Uri Savir says that for peace to be sustained, all mainstream constituencies must buy into and be included in it. (Jerusalem Post) Amy Goodman says the two Oscar-nominated films about the conflict will change the public dialogue on Israel and Palestine. (The Guardian) Adina Friedman says Morocco offers an example of good relations between Arabs and Jews. (The Daily Star) Akiva Eldar interviews Marwan Muasher on the urgent need for an American initiative on Israeli-Palestinian peace. (Al Monitor) Mick LaSalle calls the Oscar-nominated film "The Gatekeepers" revealing. (San Francisco Chronicle) Alon Ben-Meir looks at the perils of mutual delegitimization between Israel and the Palestinians. (Huffington Post)

Palestinian may extend hunger strike, despite release date
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

   A hunger-striking Palestinian jailed by Israel will likely continue his protest because he does not know when he will be freed, despite a court's annoucement that his sentence will end in two weeks time, a Palestinian official said on Thursday.

Palestinian Security Forces Struggle to Maintain Security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Diana Atallah - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

  Calling the police for help in the Palestinian territories doesn't always mean they'll come to the rescue. Fight, murder, drug deal or theft, without Israeli approval the Palestinian security forces can go nowhere. Instead they fight an ongoing battle against what they calls Israeli limitations  and interference with their operations.

Report: Israeli police prepare for Jerusalem protests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

Israeli police are increasing manpower in East Jerusalem ahead of anticipated protests in support of Palestinian hunger strikers, Israeli media reported Friday. The Israeli news site Ynet said police would deploy at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City amid growing protests in solidarity with Samer Issawi, a resident of Jerusalem who has been on hunger strike in Israeli prison for 205 days. Issawi and three other prisoners on hunger strike have been the focus of intensified clashes with Israeli forces throughout the West Bank.

Israel braces for action along the Syrian border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am


Israel pressures UN over Palestinian status report: diplomat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2013 - 1:00am


Jordan pledges continued efforts to revive Palestinian-Israeli peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 22, 2013 - 1:00am


Fatah official: No negotiations without settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh said Friday that the Palestinian leadership is ready to negotiate if Israel stops building illegal settlements and releases Palestinian prisoners. Shtayyeh told Ma'an an end to settlement activity and the release of prisoners were necessary for successful talks. The Fatah central committee member's comments came in response to a report on Israel's Channel 10 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to resume talks with the PLO within three months of forming a new government.

Hezbollah Courier Was Told to Track Israeli Flights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Nicholas Kulish - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am


Gaza youth burns himself over disagreement with Hamas gov't employee
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

A Palestinian youth set himself on fire Thursday at a Hamas government office in northern Gaza Strip after a dispute with an employee there, security sources and witnesses said.

The European Union Renews its Support to Improve Mental Health Services in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Palestine News Network
February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

Research has shown that living conditions in Gaza - such as restricted movement, reduced access to education and health care, poverty and unemployment - can create stress and feelings of isolation and ultimately impact on the level of mental disorders within the population there. According to the UN, psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in the Gaza Strip has dramatically risen following the escalation of violence last November.

Fayyad Condemns Israeli Attacks on Property Near Nablus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Palestine News Network
February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

  Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned Thursday Israeli army sabotage of electricity poles in the Nablus area village of Qusra and arson of cars in the same village by Israeli settlers.

Sharon in 1983: Israel could be accused of genocide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roi Mandel - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am


Archives shed light on the collapse of the Begin government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

  The Sabra and Shatila documents, released today for publication by the State Archives, are an important addition to public knowledge of the 1982 Lebanon War and the functioning of the Menahem Begin government of the time.

Arab couple denied medical care
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Noam Dvir - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

Are residents of Arab neighborhood expected to go without medical care due to their place of residence? Natali Seculife, a medical and emergency services company refused to send a physician for a house-call in Beit Safafa, a resident of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhood said.

Poll: Yesh Atid would crush Likud in new election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

MK Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would easily defeat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Beytenu if an election were to take place now, according to a Panels poll taken on Wednesday for Sof Hashavua, The Jerusalem Post’s weekend sister newspaper in Hebrew.

Oscars: From West Bank to Hollywood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Kevin Connolly - February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

  Two of the films nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary deal with the vexed issue of Israel and the Palestinians.

Gaza's Only Music School May Close
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Asmaa Al-Ghoul - February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

  During rehearsals in a music school in Gaza, Firas al-Sharafi, age 10, and his friend Abdel Aziz Abu Sharkh, age 11, were playing a song by Lebanese singer Fairuz. The two boys were playing the dulcimer, reading musical notes and occasionally glancing at each other with a smile on their faces.

First Palestinian Conference about Quality Teachers for Quality Education
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Palestine News Network
February 22, 2013 - 1:00am


Netanyahu suspicious as the coalition-building race continues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - (Opinion) February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

As the stopwatch ticks toward the end of the coalition-building race, the glut of emotions and passions is surging. Usually in processes like these, time is a healer and relations of trust are created. Not this time.

Math and the Israeli Election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Linda Gradstein - (Editorial) February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

Why is it taking so long to form a government? It is now a full month since the Israeli public went to the polls, but the winner, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is not even close to forming a new government. He needs to reach the magic number of 61 parliament members out of a total of 120, who will join his coalition government.

Mossad identity crises
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Reports in the foreign press that the espionage agency has for decades used the passports and identities of citizens who have immigrated here from various countries, including major Western states that have friendly relations with Israel, have been, of course, well documented. However, it is very hard to find someone who will admit on the record to having being asked to “lend” his or her passport to the agency.

Ayalon: Liberman portrayed Israel as belligerent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Opinion) February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

Four more years of Avigdor Liberman in the foreign ministry would harm the country’s interest because he is irrelevant abroad and viewed as unnecessarily belligerent, Liberman’s former deputy, Danny Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post this week.

Editor's Notes: What about a mini-region?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Steve Linde - (Editorial) February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

Uriel Halbreich, an internationally respected professor of psychiatry, has devoted much of his long career to finding ways to combat depression. This year, after being awarded a Fulbright grant, he decided to spend some time away from his work at the State University of New York at Buffalo and return to Jerusalem, where he was born in 1943, to pursue a research program on resilience and stress-related disorders.

Savir's Corner: Raising expectations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - (Opinion) February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

On March 20, Air Force One will land on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport. US President Barack Obama will be received with pomp and circumstance by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his new government. All of Israel, the region and indeed the world will be watching.

The Israel-Palestine drama will play out at the Oscars
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Amy Goodman - February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

The Academy Awards ceremony will make history this year with the first ever nomination of a feature documentary made by a Palestinian. 5 Broken Cameras was filmed and directed by Emad Burnat, a resident of the occupied Palestinian West Bank town of Bil'in, along with his Israeli filmmaking partner Guy Davidi.

Morocco offers a paradigm for good ties with Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Adina Friedman - February 22, 2013 - 1:00am

At a ceremony recently marking the end of the restoration of a 17th-century synagogue in Fez’s Old City, Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane read a message from King Mohammad VI hailing Morocco’s “spiritual wealth and diversity” and the “values of coexistence, tolerance and harmony between the different components of the nation.”

Muasher: Obama Should Try to Solve Conflict in a 'Few Months'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Akiva Eldar - (Interview) February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

Among reports about President Barack Obama’s intention to restart the diplomatic process, which he will bring with him to Jerusalem and Ramallah on his visit next month, one especially prominent report says the senior visitor plans to pull the Arab Peace Initiative out of his hat. This initiative offers Israel a groundbreaking deal: “in exchange for a complete withdrawal from the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) and a ‘just settlement’ of the Palestinian refugee problem (based on U.N.

'The Gatekeepers' review: Revealing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The San Francisco Chronicle
by Mick LaSalle - (Film Review) February 21, 2013 - 1:00am

Documentary about Shin Bet. Directed by Dror Moreh. (PG-13. 97 minutes.)

The Peril of Mutual Delegitimization
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Alon Ben-Meir - (Opinion) February 20, 2013 - 1:00am

Brief synopsis: The most puzzling aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be that after 65 years of violence, enmity and suffering, it remains unresolved when coexistence is inevitable and a two-state solution remains the only viable option. Although there are many contentious issues that must be specifically addressed, directly impacting every conflicting issue is the broader psychological dimension of the conflict making it increasingly intractable.

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