In the business of peace - U.S. billionaire pursues his dream of Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Between meeting in the Knesset with Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon and visiting his friend, President Shimon Peres, S. Daniel Abraham felt like pouring his heart out. The 84-year-old billionaire, who visited Israel earlier this month, says that for the last seven years, since meeting Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Saud - who has since been crowned king - he has not known peace. Abraham's eyes become dewy as he talks about the meeting in Riyadh.

Mofaz: As PM I'll work to return Shalit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Amnon Meranda - August 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz slammed on Thursday the cabinet's recent decision to release 199 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to President Mahmoud Abbas while IDF soldier Gilad Shalit remains in captivity. "Noam and Aviva Shalit (Gilad's parents) are still awaiting their son's release," said Mofaz, a leading candidate for the Kadima party chairmanship along with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. "As prime minister I'll work tirelessly to bring him back to his family."

No more separate bathing in Jaffa pool
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Omer Ori - August 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

The Jewish residents' committees in the city of Jaffa has decided to stop renting out the local Neveh Golan swimming poll to Jews only for one day every fortnight, following a Yedioth Tel Aviv report last week. "It was supposed to take place once again next week, but since the report, the organization of the event has been halted," said a neighborhood activist. "The exposure of this issue has simply caused everyone to back down from the idea."

Israel re-opens Gaza''s commercial crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
August 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israel announced Friday the re-opening of its three commercial crossings with the Gaza Strip, which it closed down two days ago. A spokesman for the Israeli Army, speaking to local radio, said the decision came after deliberations between Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barrak and top ministry officials at a meeting yesterday to evaluate the situation in the Gaza Strip. The army had closed the crossings after Palestinians launched a missile on Wednesday from northern Gaza at southern Israel, causing no casualties or damages.

Israel declares navy drills to deny activists passage to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - August 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

The Free Gaza movement announced yesterday that the admiral of the Israeli navy has warned the 47 passengers and crew aboard the SS Free Gaza and Liberty that they should not sail to the Gaza Strip because Israel is conducting naval exercises off Gaza and in nearby international waters. Speaking to the media at quayside on behalf of the campaign, Paul Larudee, said that the boat people had been told that "all traffic has to stop" in the sea. But Larudee declared that this would not deter the activists' mission of breaking the siege and blockade of Gaza and its 1.5 million citizens.

Palestinians relaunch soccer league in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi, Ori Lewis - August 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Palestinian soccer saw the start of a revival in the West Bank on Thursday with the relaunch of a league suspended after an uprising against Israeli occupation erupted in 2000. Twenty-two teams across the territory will compete in a seven-month-long tournament, but teams from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip will not take part. Israel sharply restricts travel and trade to and from the coastal enclave. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's authority has been restricted to the Israeli-occupied West Bank since Hamas Islamists took over the Gaza Strip by force a year ago.

Jordan protests against Israel's Jerusalem dig plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
August 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Jordan said on Thursday it summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest against plans for excavation and construction work near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Jerusalem's most volatile holy site. "Foreign Minister Salah Bashir summoned the Israeli ambassador this week to officially inform him that Jordan rejects such illegal measures," said MP Mohammed Abu Hdeib, head of the lower house of parliament's committee on international affairs, after meeting Bashir on Thursday.

There Are Better Options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Daniel Levy - (Opinion) August 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israel's response to the Iranian challenge has been out of synch with developing realities for some time. Recently though, it has become dangerously counter-productive, anchored as it is in denial. As Israel intensifies its role as threatener-in-chief, and clings to a "more sticks, bigger sticks" line, events all around are moving on.

From Israel, a Call for Patience Rushing Peace Process Invites Violence, Foreign Minister Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Linda Gradstein - August 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned Thursday against outside efforts to pressure Israel and the Palestinians to come up with a peace agreement this year, saying violence could erupt if they fail to meet international expectations. The statement, coming on the eve of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Israel, effectively dooms the already slim chances that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will be reached before President Bush leaves office in January.

Palestine Central Bank's Tricky Path
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Bob Davis - August 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Ben Bernanke worries about being held hostage to the global economy. The central banker for the Palestinian territories frets about hostage-taking of a different kind. "Sometimes people take a gun to the head of a branch manager," says Jihad al-Wazir, governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority. "Then I get a phone call." The PMA is a most unusual central bank. It lacks a currency and a country. It can't control interest rates or fight inflation, like other central banks.

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