Palestine coverage through 18 August 08

This selection of 18 articles from the week between August 11 and August 18th reflects some of the main issues being covered, not including the death of Mahmoud Darwish and Raja Shehadeh’s hiking through the hilltops of the West Bank. Another thing not covered (other than in the two concluding commentaries below, #s 17 and 18) is the so-called “shelf agreement” for Israel’s final borders proposed by Olmert to Abbas. While such an offer would normally dominate the news in any given week, the utter emptiness of the offer (no viable Palestinian territory, no equitable exchange for lands annexed) is not worth comment beyond the two pieces at the end of this selection laying out precisely why the “shelf agreement” is a non-starter.

Despite this, there is news of diplomatic activity from Rice’s apparent plan for another trip to the region, to Olmert’s “gesture to Abbas” of releasing 200 arbitrarily detained (i.e., abducted) Palestinian prisoners, to efforts to resolve controversy over one recent example of attempted Israeli colonization of further Palestinian land in the West Bank (through new outposts) by simply moving the outpost adjacent to another parcel of land illegally occupied by Israelis (turning the outpost debate to one about settlement expansion). And so the deck furniture is rearranged by yet another Israeli government clinging to the sinking ship of settlements while purportedly supporting a two-state solution.

Several articles below speak to the receding hopes for any two-state solution, precisely as a result of such strategies on the part of the Israeli government. An additional theme of the selection below is the continuing harassment, torture and murder to which Palestinians are daily subjected by Israel — ranging from the story about the exoneration of those who killed Palestinian journalist Fadel Shana, to stories about settler attacks on Palestinians, to the priceless piece on the apartheid system of 1948-Israel, where Palestinian citizens are not permitted in municipal swimming pools.

Finally, as Ramadan approaches it is fitting to include coverage of the ongoing shortages in Gaza, forcing a run on banks and restrictions on the desperate measures taken by Palestinians — e.g., trying to run cars on cooking oil — in order to avoid an even more extreme food shortage, i.e. the lack of cooking oil for Gazans to prepare their Ramadan iftar meals. As ever, a review of the week’s news from Palestine leaves one with little to do but hope that the next week proves somewhat less dire.

_______________________________________________

1. RICE SET FOR ANOTHER MIDEAST VISIT
By Jeffrey Heller
Reuters
August 18, 2008

2. ISRAEL TO FREE PRISONERS IN GESTURE TO ABBAS
The Jordan Times (Jordan)
August 18, 2008

3. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ‘VISION’ OF A TWO-STATE SOLUTION
By Yisrael Harel
Bitterlemons
August 18, 2008

4. OLMERT: BARAK BLOCKING CABINET DEBATE ON DEFENSE ISSUES
Haaretz (Israel)
August 18, 2008

5. ‘WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME FOR A TWO-STATE SOLUTION’
By Akiva Eldar
Haaretz (Israel)
August 18, 2008

6. ISRAEL ‘WORRY’ AT SETTLER ATTACKS
BBC News (United Kingdom)
August 15, 2008

7. TIMELY AMERICAN WISDOM
By Rami G. Khouri
In The Jordan Times (Jordan)
August 15, 2008

8. THE MURDER OF FADEL SHANA
Arab News (Saudi Arabia)
August 15, 2008

9. JAFFA POOL RESTRICTS ENTRY OF ARAB RESIDENTS
By Omer Ori
Ynetnews (Israel)
August 15, 2008

10. PALESTINIAN: SETTLERS TIED MY SON TO ATV, DRAGGED HIM THRU OLIVE GROVES
By Ali Waked
Ynetnews (Israel)
August 13, 2008

11. GAZANS LINE UP OUTSIDE BANKS AS CASH RUNS OUT
The Jordan Times (Jordan)
August 12, 2008

12. ISRAEL TO MOVE WEST BANK OUTPOST TO EXISTING SETTLEMENT
By Allyn Fisher-Ilan
Reuters
August 12, 2008

13. ISRAEL MULLS NEW SETTLER ENCLAVE IN WEST BANK
Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
August 12, 2008

14. PALESTINIANS DOUBT TWO-STATE DEAL
BBC News (United Kingdom)
August 11, 2008

15. GUIDE: GAZA UNDER BLOCKADE
By Heather Sharp
BBC News (United Kingdom)
August 11, 2008

16. HAMAS BANS USE OF COOKING GAS-RUN CARS CITING SHORTAGE
Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
August 11, 2008

17. COUNTERPRODUCTIVE
By Yossi Alpher
Bitterlemons
August 11, 2008

18. ON BORROWED TIME
By Yossi Beilin
Bitterlemons
August 11, 2008

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