Ahmadinejad tells Mashaal to not rush Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad advised Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal to wait on concluding the prisoner exchange deal with Israel, until it includes the maximum number of Palestinian prisoners to be released, according to Gaza-based news agency Qudsnet. Qudsnet quoted Iranian media sources close to the government as saying that Mashaal updated Ahmadinejad with the latest developments during their Sunday meeting in Tehran.

The slope of Masada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

For decades the settlers have been stealing the helpless peasants' land and Israeli governments have been paving the settlers' roads. Every year during the olive harvest, Jewish malefactors raid olive groves in the West Bank, and the long arms of the security forces are too short to assist the Palestinians. In the rare cases when they do catch the culprits, a charitable judge "takes the circumstances into consideration."

Jewish town won't let Arab build home on his own land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Jack Khoury - December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. "Don't waste your time," he reportedly told Suad. "We'll keep you waiting for 30 years."

Far-right yeshiva head: My duty is to tell troops to refuse orders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson, Anshel Pfeffer - December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

The head rabbi of a far-right West Bank yeshiva declared Monday after his school was ousted from the Israel Defense Forces hesder program that he encouraged his students to refuse settlement evacuation orders because he had an obligation to "speak his inner truth." Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, whose Har Bracha Yeshiva's status was revoked late Sunday, wrote in an article published on Arutz 7 that he had skipped a critical hearing on the matter with Defense Minister Ehud Barak because he would not give in to "governmental pressure."

U.K. reportedly issues arrest warrant for Livni
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Monday canceled her participation in a Jewish function in London, after a warrant for her arrest was issued over part in last winter's Israel's Gaza offensive, Arab-language media have reported. Al-Quds Al-Arabi claimed that Scotland Yard advised the organizers of the Jewish National Fund conference in northwest London that the former foreign minister had canceled her scheduled address to the assembly over threats of a possible lawsuit by pro-Palestinian groups.

Abbas urges Netanyahu to wrap up Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas recently sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to finalize a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the captors of soldier Gilad Shalit, the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv reported Sunday. The report says Abbas sent the message through a third party. The president reportedly asked Netanyahu to release Hamas' prisoners in addition to Fatah's Marwan Barghouthi and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Ahmad Sa'adat.

Palestinian reconciliation efforts at an impasse, Fatah says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Hopes to restart Palestinian reconciliation efforts through signing Egypt’s proposal shrank again, as member of Fatah’s Central Committee Nabil Sha’ath on Monday alleged that Hamas had refused to sign the reconciliation document. “I contacted the Egyptian officials and reached the conclusion that efforts reached an impasse in light of Hamas' refusal to sign the Egyptian plan. Hamas’ top priority is the prisoner swap negotiations, and they will not take any other step before the deal is finalized,” Sha’ath told Ma’an during a telephone interview from Cairo.

Israel settlement freeze shields dismantling of illegal outposts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel’s settlement freeze is supposed to clamp down on new housing starts in the West Bank, but it’s also shielding illegally built outposts and settler houses from demolition. The enforcement of an order to evacuate outposts – a step demanded by the US to help restart peace talks with the Palestinians – has been put off for years. Palestinians and Israeli peace groups have been challenging the delay in Israel’s Supreme Court, which requested from Israel a timetable for the demolitions.

West Bank Is Tense After Arson at Mosque
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Passions ran high on Sunday in this Palestinian village in the northern West Bank two days after arsonists, presumed by Palestinians and many Israelis to be Jewish extremists, set fire to the central mosque. A delegation of Jewish religious leaders and activists, including some from West Bank settlements, tried to reach the village to express their abhorrence of the attack. But the Israeli Army prevented the group from entering Yasuf for security reasons as enraged villagers proclaimed that the visitors would not be welcome.

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