Hot off the Arab press

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

Mecca pilgrimage 521 (photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Mecca pilgrimage 521
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Increase in Palestinian attacks against the IDF Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, October 13
The killing of an Israeli soldier outside his house in the northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank still haunts Israeli political and security leaders. According to Israeli media outlets, the investigators haven’t been successful yet in unveiling the details of the incident.
President Shimon Peres expressed his shock after the killing of Col. (res.) Sraya Ofer. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said the incident comes in an unconnected series of killing of Israelis in the West Bank, but draws an irritating picture. Yediot Aharonot quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying that the increase in killings in the West Bank stems from the flawed security coordination between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israeli analysts said Palestinian activists felt the weakness of the Israeli and Palestinian security forces.
Officials also said it wasn’t a coincidence that the number of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails increased by 25 percent in comparison with last year. However, the prospects of a third intifada are low.
The first phase of attrition war: Egyptian progress Al-Masry Al-Youm, Cairo, October 14
Writer Sa’eed al-Shahat explores the first chapters of a book on the Six Day War, and “the seventh day, the impossible war, the attrition war.” The writer quotes deceased author Mahmoud Awad – who al-Shahat called “great” – as saying that the notable Egyptian weakness in the first phase of the war was the vulnerability of the Egyptian skies. The 1967 war left the military airports and their alarm systems destroyed, exposing the Egyptians to Israeli aircraft. Despite the requests of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Soviet Union remained skeptical about the international danger that might follow its participation in defending the Egyptian skies. The decision came only after two-and-a-half years. At the time, Israel felt a unique and rapid development in the Egyptian military process. In his book, Awad said that in March 1969, Egyptian tanks attacked military targets in Israel for five hours, in what was described as a notable development in the Egyptian army’s capabilities.
The purpose of negotiations Al-Ayyam, Ramallah, October 14
Those who follow the news don’t really have enough information to form a conclusion, or at least an indicator of where the peace process is heading, says political analyst and columnist Samih Shabib. He adds that the speeches by Palestinian, Israeli and American officials can’t be taken as a source for analysis, as they are “test balloons” at most. The negotiations are serious, deep and crucial, but they are very secretive. What is being discussed is real and mostly focuses on the general issues regarding the conflict. The Israeli media leaks are part of their internal political tactics. Despite the secrecy on the one hand, and the clear Palestinian position on the other hand, we see people who still believe the Israeli stories. For example, some say that Israeli settlements won’t be evacuated, and then would blame the Palestinian negotiators for engaging in this peace process. Others see the process as failure, while some don’t care. We are a part of the process. It is a very complicated one, but we should have a role and be active in the field.
Israelis expect failure in peace talks Al-Hayat, London, October 15
Israeli political sources expect a collapse of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The crisis is deepening between the two sides, because Israel requested to deploy its army along the Jordanian borders.
The Palestinians reject this request, considering it a stab at their sovereignty and an attempt to force Palestinians to accept facts on the ground. Ma’ariv quoted a government official as saying that the negotiations were stalled before they started. The Israeli demands, rejected by Palestinians, also included the disarmed Palestinian state, according to the paper. Israelis refused to discuss future borders before agreeing on all security issues. An Israeli official accused the PA of running a campaign designed to incite against Israel, while Meretz party head Zehava Gal-On warned against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s policy, saying the Israeli premier is afraid of signing a final deal.
Newlyweds go on Hajj instead of honeymoon Al-Sabq, Jeddah, October 13
This year’s Hajj season was described as an emotional- spiritual camp, as more couples replaced the traditional honeymoon with a visit to one of the holiest places in Islam. Around this time of the year, Muslims all over the globe head to Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the main duties of Islam preceding the annual festival of Id al-Adha. Asma Tamimi and her husband thought a faith journey to keep them closer to God would be better than a trip elsewhere.
Her husband suggested the idea and Tamimi thought it was the most precious gift a husband could offer.
Other couples Al-Sabq met in the holy site said that a new kind of love is born between the married couple when they ask for forgiveness and purity in al-Masjid al-Haram (the city of Mecca). Family counselor Nizar Ramadan said that this new trend helps lower divorce rates and brings couples closer, as it has a long-lasting influence on their lives.