Haaretz exclusive: Olmert's plan for peace with the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert proposed giving the Palestinians land from communities bordering the Gaza Strip and from the Judean Desert nature reserve in exchange for settlement blocs in the West Bank. According to the map proposed by Olmert, which is being made public here for the first time, the future border between Israel and the Gaza Strip would be adjacent to kibbutzim and moshavim such as Be'eri, Kissufim and Nir Oz, whose fields would be given to the Palestinians.

Abbas now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

As could have been expected, the limited construction freeze in the settlements has not brought the Palestinian leaders back to the negotiating table. It is obvious that the decision to give incentives to residents of isolated settlements will not contribute to building trust between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu is continuing to walk a tightrope between his commitment to a two-state solution and his desire to placate the settlers and their representatives in Likud and the governing coalition.

Go back unto death: Life in postwar Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

In one corner of Salah Samouni’s modest living room hangs a “martyr poster” – a customary honor printed for those killed in all Israeli attacks, in the West Bank and Gaza over the years. On the Samouni poster, the 29 faces stare back from eternity, from Muhammad Helmi Samouni, age six months, to Rizqa Muhammad Samouni, age 55. It was this oversize poster that Salah Samouni brought with him to the public hearing held by the UN Fact Finding Mission led by Richard Goldstone in Gaza City in June.

Palestinian village caught amid Israel settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ben Hubbard - December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

The head of this Palestinian village can't scan the horizon without being reminded of everything his people have lost. From the roof of the village council building, Abdelnasser Bedawi can see six of the nine Israeli settlements and outposts that have sprung up on the surrounding hills in the last three decades, fencing in the village and keeping it from two-thirds of its land.

When Will It Be Our Time?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mustafa Barghouthi - (Opinion) December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

I have lived my entire adult life under occupation, with Israelis holding ultimate control over my movement and daily life. When young Israeli police officers force me to sit on the cold ground and soldiers beat me during a peaceful protest, I smolder. No human being should be compelled to sit on the ground while exercising rights taken for granted throughout the West.

Why the PLO extended Abbas's term
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), was given a green light Wednesday to stay in office beyond next January, when his term was due to expire for the second time. The Central Council of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) voted Tuesday to extend indefinitely the tenure of Mahmoud Abbas. The decision was seen as a stop-gap measure aimed at avoiding a potential collapse of the PA.

Babylon & Beyond
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Religion is the opiate of the masses, Karl Marx said. That might be true in some places, but in Israel, this drug induces dangerous hyperactivity. Always a scratch-of-the-surface away, religion is an emotional factor in conflict -- between Israel and the Palestinians, between Israelis and themselves. Recent days have provided one reminder after another.

International law is clear: Israeli settlements are illegal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Iain Scobbie - (Opinion) December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Eric Rozenman's Dec. 11 Op-Ed article, "Israeli settlements are more than legitimate," is legal nonsense that disregards history. He is correct in his observation that Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine permitted "close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes," but the conclusions he then draws are flatly wrong.

A Legacy of Regret for a Saudi Diplomat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - December 17, 2009 - 1:00am

The year that Prince Saud al-Faisal was appointed foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, Gerald R. Ford was president of the United States, the Vietnam War ended and Microsoft had just opened its doors.

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