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ATFP News Roundup October 10, 2016


A Palestinian who was due to begin a prison term in Israel next week went on a shooting spreeon Sunday, killing a pedestrian and a police officer in Jerusalem before being shot dead by police, medical and law enforcement officials said. (Reuters\Washington Post\Times of Israel\Ha'aretz)

The U.S. State Department strongly condemned a terrorist attack in Jerusalem that left two people dead. (JTA)

Israeli PM Netanyahu reportedly told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call that settlers from the Amona outpost would be relocated to an authorized settlement only as a last resort. (JTA)

In the wake of a deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli forces carried out massive raids across different neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem, where they detained some 39 Palestinians, at least nine of whom were minors, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. (Ma'an)

A senior Israeli government minister is due to visit Turkey this week in the first such trip since the Jewish state and Ankara normalized relations after a six-year crisis over Israel’s deadly storming of a Gaza-bound ship, an official said. (Times of Israel)

Israeli forces shot and lightly wounded an Associated Press photographer with a rubber-coated steel bullet while he was covering clashes in the occupied West Bank village of al-Ram on Sunday, the global news agency reported. (Ma'an)

A Palestinian man died after being accidentally electrocuted inside a smuggling tunnel between Egypt and the southern besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday. (Ma'an)

Israeli authorities sentenced Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi to seven months in prison on Sunday, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society. (Ma'an)

Russia intends to establish a permanent naval base on the site of an existing facility it leases at the Syrian port of Tartus, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov said on Monday, Russian news agencies reported. (Reuters)

Debate over the merits and risks of America’s role as a moral authority has raged for decades, from the war in Vietnam, to Iraq, and now to Syria. (New York Times)

France's foreign minister is calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate Russia for possible war crimes in Syria. (AP)

A Syrian man who came to Germany during a migrant influx into the country last year was arrested on Monday after a weekend manhunt on suspicion of planning an Islamist bomb attack, Saxony state police said. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthi movement fired ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, and the United States said a failed missile attack from Houthi-controlled areas targeted one of its warships, two days after an apparent Saudi-led air strike killed 140 Yemenis. (Reuters\New York Times)

An Arab coalition intercepted two missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi group at targets in Saudi Arabia and Yemen's Marib province on Sunday, Saudi Arabian official media reported. (Reuters)

AT&T’s partnership with an Iranian company suggests that promises President Hassan Rouhani made long ago of welcoming Western businesses may at last be coming true. (New York Times)


Ahmad Abu Amer says Palestinians are not convinced by the Palestinian Authority's justifications for delaying a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. (Al-Monitor)

Uri Savir says the late President Shimon Peres is irreplaceable, but one of three people — his son Chemi Peres, former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi or former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz — could go on from where Peres left off. (Al-Monitor)

Shlomi Eldar says despite a boycott of late President Shimon Peres' funeral by Arab Knesset members, several Arab-Israeli regional council heads and mayors paid a condolence visit to his family, to wide public approval. (Al-Monitor)

Josh Rogin says Putin and Assad could face justice for war crimes in Syria. (Washington Post)

Hassan Hassan looks at the fragmentation of rebel groups around Aleppo. (The National)

James Traub looks at the mess Pres. Obama left behind in Iraq. (Foreign Policy)

ATFP News Roundup October 7, 2016


UN Security Council to hold special meeting on Israeli settlements next week. (Ha'aretz)

Vice President Joe Biden said Shimon Peres’ legacy should be one of tolerance at a time of rising bigotry. (JTA/Times of Israel)

The 81-year-old Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, underwent an emergency heart procedure on Thursday after suffering exhaustion and chest pains, but was given a clean bill of health and quickly discharged from the hospital. (AP)

Israeli police escorted by Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet, raided and closed several institutions in Nazareth and Um al-Fahem in northern Israel allegedly affiliated with the Islamic Movement, reportedly confiscating equipment and computers. (Ma'an)

Israeli forces closed all the stores in the village of Huwwara in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, and prevented residents from the town from passing through the Beita crossroads after Palestinians allegedly threw rocks at Israeli settler vehicles on the main road. (Ma'an)

Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats of the coast of Gaza city on Friday, before detaining two Palestinian fishermen and confiscating their boat. (Ma'an)

Hundreds of supporters of Mohammed Dahlan, a dismissed leader of the Fatah movement in Gaza exiled from the occupied Palestinian territory, marched on Unknown Soldier square in central Gaza on Thursday and burned pictures of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Ma'an)

The British government’s Department for International Development has reportedly frozen part of its aid to the Palestinian Authority over concerns the aid was being used to fund salaries for convicted Palestinian terrorists. (Times of Israel)

Groups representing liberal streams of Judaism appealed to Israel's Supreme Court Thursday to force the government to implement its decision on equal prayer at a key Jewish holy site. (AP)

Rebels holed up in Aleppo can leave with their families if they lay down their arms, President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday, vowing to press on with the assault on Syria's largest city and recapture full control of the country. (Reuters)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russia on Friday to use its influence with the Syrian government to end the devastating bombardment of Aleppo, as her government opened the door to possible sanctions against Russia for its role in the conflict. (Reuters)

In Lebanon, getting Syrian children in school a huge task. (Reuters)

Modern technology is used to reproduce artifacts that were destroyed in Iraq and Syria; the results are on display at the Colosseum in Rome. (New York Times)

Involving Shi'ite militias in an operation to drive Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul will not bring peace, Turkey's foreign minister said on Friday, adding that Turkish-trained forces should be involved. (Reuters)

Some former officials and aid groups worry that President Obama will begin a ground campaign in Iraq without a comprehensive plan for what happens afterward. (New York Times)

The implementation of a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers is still fragile, the head of the U.N. agency that polices Iran's side of the deal has said, warning that small mistakes could have grave consequences. (Reuters)

Millions of Moroccans headed out to vote Friday, with worries about joblessness and extremism on their minds as they chose which party will lead their next government. (AP)


The New York Times says the latest Israeli settlement in the West Bank makes it more urgent for the United Nations to help forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians. (New York Times)

Akiva Eldar says American presidents have made historic speeches about the Middle East, and have delivered inspiring eulogies at the funerals of PM Rabin and Pres. Peres — but all that has not brought peace any closer. (Al-Monitor)

Ahmad Abu Amer says Palestinians are not convinced by the Palestinian Authority's (PA) justifications for delaying a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. (Al-Monitor)

Adnan Abu Amer says Hamas might be issuing a document soon detailing its stances toward various aspects of the Palestinian cause, as well as its ties with local parties and foreign countries. (Al-Monitor)

Rasha Abou Jalal says Fatah’s Central Committee announced the holding of the movement’s seventh conference after a seven-year absence, which would help unite Fatah’s ranks and prepare it for any future elections. (Al-Monitor)

Raphael Ahren says while empathizing with Gazans during 2014 war, Antonio Guterres has mostly stayed mum on the Palestinian question. (Times of Israel)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says everyone wants to have the honor of defeating ISIS. There are high expectations as they are all confident that they will finally liberate Mosul, even if there are no estimates about the duration of the war and its human cost. (Al Arabiya)

ATFP News Roundup October 6, 2016


The United States strongly condemned Israel's decision to advance a plan for a new settlement deep in the West Bank, the State Department said on Wednesday, saying it would damage prospects for a two-state solution. (Reuters)

The PLO slammed Israel’s decision to advance plans for the construction of a new settlement -- expected to be used to relocate the residents of the illegal Amona outpost, which the Supreme Court ordered to be demolished by the end of the year -- saying the move affirmed Israel’s “resolve to destroy the two-state solution.” (Ma'an)

An outpost on privately owned Palestinian land must be dismantled, Israel’s Supreme Court says, but residents and their supporters plan to resist. (New York Times)

Israel sends female naval cadets to stop women’s boat headed to Gaza. (Washington Post/Ma'an/JTA)

A West Bank hospital official says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will undergo a heart test after being hospitalized. (AP/Times of Israel)

rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck Israel for the second day in a row. (JTA)

The new president of FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, said he would make finding a resolution to the conflict over West Bank Israeli soccer teams “a priority.” (JTA)

court in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip sentenced a Palestinian woman to death by hanging on Wednesday, after she was convicted of premeditated murder. (Ma'an)

The union of employees of UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing services to some five million Palestinian refugees, announced a one-day strike on Wednesday in the besieged Gaza Strip, with only schools and health centers exempted, to protest a reduction of UNRWA services to refugees and employees. (Ma'an)

France is to launch a new push for United Nations backing for a ceasefire in Syria that would allow aid into the city of Aleppo after some of the heaviest bombing of the war. (Reuters)

Analysis of satellite imagery of a deadly attack on an aid convoy in Syria last month showed that it was an air strike, a U.N. expert said on Wednesday in remarks that were later toned down to say it was not a conclusive finding. (Reuters)

President Vladimir V. Putin, analysts say, is advancing goals in the Syrian conflict while President Obama is on the way out and his replacement is undetermined. (New York Times)

Syria's army will reduce air strikes and shelling on rebel-held eastern Aleppo on humanitarian grounds, it said on Wednesday, after mounting international criticism of it and Russia. (Reuters)

At least 20 Sunni tribal fighters were killed in an air strike south of Mosul early on Wednesdaywhen they were mistaken for Islamic State militants, Iraqi police said. (Reuters)

The widely anticipated ousting of the Islamic State group from its stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq is likely to transform the extremist group into an even more dangerous force, a Canadian general who directs training of Iraqi security forces said Wednesday. (AP)


Adnan Abu Amer says Hamas might be issuing a document soon detailing its stances toward various aspects of the Palestinian cause, as well as its ties with local parties and foreign countries. (Al-Monitor)

Ahmad Abu Amer says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is under Egyptian pressure to achieve reconciliation with dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, but it might push the president to agree on reconciliation talks with Hamas instead in Doha. (Al-Monitor)

Shlomi Eldar says Israel has been revoking the travel and import permits of Gaza merchants and importers, threatening the collapse of Gaza's economy. (Al-Monitor)

Ben Caspit says Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog keeps denying reports by which he is negotiating with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the possibility of joining the government. (Al-Monitor)

Khaled Diab explains why flotillas and protests threaten Israel more than rockets from Gaza. (Ha'aretz)

Ari Shavit says two speeches by Pres. Obama were more precise, on-point and moving than anything said by any center-left Israeli leader of the past generation. (Ha'aretz)

Samer Attar says in Aleppo, U.S. inaction green-lights war crimes. (Washington Post)

Nicholas Kristof looks at the blot on Obama’s legacy. (New York Times)

Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson say with the cease-fire collapsed and horrific violence in Aleppo, American intervention might seem tempting. It’s still a bad idea. (New York Times)

Mikah Zenko says neither of the presidential campaigns knows what their Syria policies actually mean. (Foreign Policy)

ATFP News Roundup October 5, 2016


Israeli warplanes struck Hamas sites in the northern and southern Gaza Strip on Wednesdayafternoon, in the second such attack of the day after a rocket fired from the coastal enclave struck Sderot, according to Palestinian media. (Times of Israel)

The United Nations expressed its support for the PA’s decision to postpone municipal elections for four months with the intent of holding elections in the entirety of the occupied Palestinian territory, after a Supreme Court decision to exclude the Gaza Strip from elections was met with political backlash. (Ma'an/Times of Israel)

Hamas has rejected a decision announced by the PA to postpone municipal elections for four months with the intent of holding them in the entire occupied Palestinian territory, following backlash over a Supreme Court ruling to exclude the Gaza Strip from the elections altogether. (Ma'an)

A delegation from the world’s only permanent war crimes court is visiting Israel and the West Bank this week to “promote better understanding” about its work, the chief prosecutor saidWednesday. (Times of Israle)

The Gaza Strip’s electricity company announced that the Egyptian power lines feeding the southern part of the besieged enclave were back in operation after being disconnected due to damage. (Ma'an)

The Palestinian Ministry of Education warned hundreds of public school teachers that they could be fired if they go forward with plans to strike in protest over unmet demands over salary issues. (Ma'an)

group of Israeli settlers’ children escorted by Israeli forces harrassed a Palestinian family harvesting olives in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Monday. (Ma'an)

Maj. Hanan Shwartz of the Menashe Brigade discusses Palestinian security cooperation, olive harvests and the round-the-clock effort to keep two West Bank cities calm. (Times of Israel)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday efforts to end Syria's war must continue despite Washington's decision to break off talks with Moscow over what he called its "irresponsible" support for President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters/New York Times)

Syrian rebels said on Tuesday they had repelled an army offensive in southern Aleppo as Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded residential areas, while nations spoke of rebuilding a peace process the United States broke off this week. (Reuters/AP)

The United Nations human rights chief told Russia on Tuesday that air strikes on civilian targets in the Syrian city of Aleppo may amount to crimes against humanity which could be brought before the International Criminal Court. (Reuters)

Egypt's interior ministry said on Tuesday its forces had killed a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, whom it described as responsible for the group's "armed wing", as well as his aide in a shootout overnight. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthis toughened demands for the resumption of talks to end the 19-month-old civil war, saying President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi must go and an agreement must be reached on the presidency. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia began naval war games including live fire exercises on Tuesday in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil route, official media reported, a move that coincides with heightened tensions with regional rival Iran. (Reuters)

The Washington Post reporter who was detained for more than 18 months in Iran after being accused of espionage has filed a federal lawsuit against the Iranian government. (AP)


David Ignatius says the Russians have made Syrian civilian suffering “a weapon of war.” (Washington Post)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says it’s historically proven that the Syrian regime responds to serious threats and not to verbal threats of the kind we have become used to hearing from the US secretary of state. (Al Arabiya)

Joyce Karam says Washington has continuously underestimated Russia’s determination to help Assad win even if it means turning Aleppo or Idlib or Douma to another Grozny. (Al Arabiya)


PM Netanyahu’s office said it never approved plans to build thousands of new houses in Jewish settlements in a particularly controversial part of the West Bank.  (JTA)

The US National Security Agency's foreign eavesdropping included phone conversations between top Israeli officials and US lawmakers and American-Jewish groups, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Reuters\Times of Israel\Ha'aretz)

An Israeli man has died of wounds sustained in an early December stabbing in the West Bank city of Hebron. (AP\Times of Israel)

PM Netanyahu opened a cabinet meeting by vowing that Jews would “remain forever” in Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs. (Times of Israel)

Clashes break out in Abu Dis following a funeral held for a Palestinian killed earlier this month, whose body was held by Israeli authorities for 26 days. (Ma'an)

Israeli forces tore down a building under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir. (Ma'an)

Artists in the Gaza Strip used graffiti and sand sculpture to bring color to the besieged enclave in the lead up to the new year. (Ma'an)

Days after ISIS issues statement warning Israel, Shin Bet voices concerns at growing influence of group's propaganda on Negev Bedouin, Israeli Arabs. (Ha'aretz)

U.S.-led forces have killed 10 ISIS leaders in air strikes, including individuals linked to the Paris attacks, a U.S. spokesman said, dealing a double blow to the militant group after Iraqi forces ousted it from the city of Ramadi. (Reuters\AP)

France has asked the EU to improve the detection of fake Syrian passports used by people trying to get into Europe after two of the suicide bombers in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks were found carrying such passports. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia denounced the killing of a prominent Syrian rebel leader, saying his death in a Russian air strike last week did not serve the cause of peace in Syria. (Reuters)

An annual tally by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows that at least 69 were killed in the line of duty, and that Islamic militants were responsible for 40 percent of the deaths. (New York Times)

Iranian Revolutionary Guards launch rockets near the U.S. aircraft-carrier Harry S. Truman and other warships as they were entering the Gulf, giving only brief notice in a "highly provocative" act. (Reuters)

A Bahraini F-16 jet taking part in a mostly Gulf Arab military campaign in Yemen crashed in southern Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)


David Kenner profiles two young, charismatic leaders in Israel and Turkey who are taking on right-wing governments and trying to transform their countries' politics. (Foreign Policy)

Peter Beinart says the new 'war on terror' has made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a sideshow. (Ha'aretz)

Amira Hass says Israel is giving the Palestinians a chance to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the lone-wolf stabbers and transition to a popular uprising - but it won't work. (Ha'aretz)

Naomi Paiss says the bill requiring Israeli NGOs that receive foreign government funding to identify themselves is purely a political maneuver. (JTA)

Robert Swift asks if Israel’s NGO bill safeguards transparency or is an attack on freedom of speech. (The Media Line)

Raphael Ahren says Israel’s standing in the world is both fantastic and awful. (Times of Israel)

Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu has managed to appoint loyal officials to Israel's most sensitive legal positions, leaving him free to endanger Israel with his policies. (Al-Monitor)

David Ignatius says even after the nuclear deal, hard-liners sabotage economic “infiltration” from outsiders. (Washington Post)

The Washington Post says the Post’s Jason Rezaian is one of many members of the media who has been persecuted by governments. (Washington Post)

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