Abbas Cool To Aide's Call For Kosovo-like Declaration Of Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 20, 2008 - 6:55pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responding to an aide's call on Wednesday for a unilateral declaration of statehood if peace talks with Israel continued to falter, ruled out taking any such step soon. "We will pursue negotiations in order to reach a peace agreement during 2008 that includes the settlement of all final status issues including Jerusalem," Abbas said in a statement.

Netanyahu: Olmert Government Taking Measures To Cede Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
February 20, 2008 - 6:54pm

Likud leader and chairman of the opposition MK Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the Olmert government is taking measures to divide Jerusalem, and urged the key Shas party to bolt the coalition and topple the government in order "to save Jerusalem." Netanyahu was reacting to ongoing wrangling between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over Olmert's assertion that the sides had agreed to defer discussions over the status of Jerusalem to a future final phase of negotiations.

Construction Continuing In West Bank Settlements Despite Pm's Pledge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel - February 20, 2008 - 6:53pm

A new neighborhood comprising 27 trailers is currently under construction at the settlement of Eli, north of Ramallah, even though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed publicly after the Annapolis conference that any such building would cease. Even though some of the trailers are being set up on land privately owned by Palestinians, the authorities are taking no action. Similar unauthorized construction has taken place in the settlement of Maskiot in the northern Jordan Valley.

Op-ed: Hezbollah Will Strike Back, Question Is Where And When
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Yehudit Barsky - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:52pm

For many of his victims around the world, the recent car-bomb assassination of Imad Fayez Mughniyeh -- one of the world’s most wanted terrorists for two decades -- has the ring of true justice. At least in the short term, the killing of Mughniyeh will have a deterrent effect and hamper Hezbollah’s capability to carry out a revenge attack.

Jordan Warns Israeli Practices Yeild To Extremism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
February 20, 2008 - 6:51pm

Jordan on Tuesday warned of Israeli measures that lead to exacerbating the living conditions in the Palestinian territories, describing these practices as a recipe for extremism. Israeli sieges and closures of roads contribute only to worsening the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nasser Judeh told the opening session of a two-day seminar by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Humbling Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:49pm

The most acute problem facing Israeli officials today is how to end the daily Qassam rocket attacks intended to demoralize Israelis and to undermine the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel insists – rightfully – that Hamas, as the self-proclaimed authority in Gaza, is to blame and must suffer the consequences. The question is what to do so that Hamas is weakened rather than strengthened by the Israeli punitive countermeasures while progress continues in the peace negotiations.

Inside Track: Nato’s West Bank Nightmare
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National Interest
by Ted Galen Carpenter - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:49pm

Washington is sending up a trial balloon about stationing NATO troops as peacekeepers on the West Bank. The Jerusalem Post reports that former NATO supreme commander General James Jones, now the Bush administration’s special envoy to the Middle East, is floating the idea to various European countries.

Fayad To 'post': 2008 Peace Deal In Peril
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - February 20, 2008 - 6:48pm

If Israel and the Palestinians don't change their behavior faster in the West Bank, they will fail to finalize a peace agreement in 2008, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. He spoke with the Post briefly in the aftermath of a rare address to the annual Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is meeting in Jerusalem this week. "There must be a greater focus. What we need to do is to pay close attention to the road map," said Fayad.

Jihadi Regime
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Walid Phares - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:46pm

As Americans debate whhich presidential candidate is best to confront the jihadists or at least preempt their offensives worldwide, the latter almost seized a key African country for the forthcoming Darfur peace missions.

For Palestinians, The Power Of Mass Non-violence Would Be Undeniable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:45pm

Now that Fidel Castro has taken the carriage clock, international affairs has all too few fixed points of continuity. Her Majesty the Queen is still in place. The King of Thailand has been on the throne since 1946. Otherwise one has to turn to the Middle East for reassurance that some things never change. Fly-by-nights like Castro may come and go, but the Israel-Palestine conflict will, it seems, always be with us.

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