Extremist settlers continued to defy the building moratorium, and the Israeli military fears they may attack Palestinians. A confidential EU report accuses Israel of de facto annexation of occupied East Jerusalem. Martin Indyk suggests that ensuring Palestinian control over West Bank territories is essential. Israelis are divided on the prospect of a prisoner swap with Hamas, and the two sides have both rejected mediator's proposals. A militant group claims to have attacked Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, which is suffering under a fuel and power crisis. The UAE is donating $2.5 million to UNRWA after the agency announced a zero balance. Ziad AbuZayyad says PM Netanyahu has to prove he is interested in peace. Ha'aretz says that while Hamas is imposing strict religious social order in Gaza, it is also cracking down on violent extremist groups. Pres. Obama, like all his predecessors, declines to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. A bitter argument has erupted over the appointment of Israel's UN ambassador. Patrick Seale agrees with other recent Arab commentaries that the Palestinians should call Netanyahu's bluff and return to negotiations with a strong stance. The Jordan Times denounces as strategically foolish Hamas' declaration that the 1947 UN partition resolution is null and void.

Gaza borders closed Friday; fuel situation remains critical
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli authorities informed Palestinian crossing officials that all transfer points would be closed Friday, continuing the five-day-a-week opening trend at the terminals. Raed Fattouh, Palestinian crossings liaison, said he was told that all crossings would be closed Friday, although they are scheduled to be open. Crossings have not been open Fridays since summer. The closure means food and fuel waiting to enter the Strip will continue to wait in storage containers. Fuel crisis

UAE donates 2.5 million to struggling UNRWA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the UAE ordered the donation of 2.5 million dollars to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, marking the donation for Palestine refugees in the Near East, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported Thursday. In his statement accompanying the donation, Al-Nahyan said it represented his government's unwavering and continuous support to the Palestinian people.

IDF fears settlers may attack Palestinians in response to freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson, Anshel Pfeffer, Barak Ravid - December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel Defense Forces officers in the West Bank have expressed concerned that settlers may escalate their acts of opposition to the freeze on settlement construction by targeting the Palestinian population. In recent days, inspectors delivering freeze orders to the settlements have been met with acts of violence, yet the troops from the Judea and Samaria Division and the Central Command - who are responsible for their safety - are nowhere to be found. Instead, the brunt of the security work has been carried out by police and Border Police troops.

The fruits of chronic mistakes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ziad Abu Zayyad - (Opinion) December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

When Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced his two-year plan for building the institutions of a Palestinian state, in August, it was received warmly and favorably in international forums. They viewed it as the first serious institution-building blueprint, one that could pave the way to a declaration of the political independence of a Palestinian state. It was assumed at the time that, while creation of the institutions proceeded, the negotiation process would be put to the test under the new American administration.

An-Nasser Brigades: Israeli force attacked near Al-Bureij
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees announced their launch of a projectile aimed at Israeli forces in central Gaza on Thursday night. An An-Nasser Brigades statement said a mortar shell was launched at a force of Israeli soldiers as they attempted to penetrate the Gaza Strip east of the Al-Bureij Refugee Camp.

Hamas may not be moderate, but it's cracking down on extremism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Many Israeli commentators have argued recently that Hamas is eager to complete the deal to free Gilad Shalit because of the lack of achievements it has to show its public in the Gaza Strip. However, quite a number of Palestinian commentators there claim that the status of the Islamic movement has stabilized of late, in particular because of its ability to help distressed residents of the Strip by means of its network of charitable organizations.

Obama delays moving US Embassy to Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

American President Barack Obama is delaying moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. A 1995 US law recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordered that the embassy be relocated there. But the law also permits the president to delay the move for six-month periods, based on national security grounds. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush invoked the clause during their presidencies. Obama notified Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of his decision on Thursday. He first delayed moving the embassy in June.

In Israel, sentiment mixed on negotiations for Gilad Shalit release
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Yossi Zur's son was on his way back from school on a March day in 2003. But Asaf, then 16, never made it home. The Haifa city bus he was on was blown up by a Hamas suicide bomber, in an attack that killed 17 people and wounded 53.

Report: Israel, Hamas reject mediator's proposals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

A senior Hamas source told the London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper in an interview published Friday morning that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian organization on a prisoner exchange deal are facing three major obstacles: Israel's refusal to release 50 prisoners out of 450 demanded by Hamas, its insistence on deporting 130 prisoners, and its refusal to include Israeli Arabs in the deal.

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