The Washington Post says the PA government state building plan could provide the key to peace, the Arab News points out that no one has any better ideas, and the World Bank is donating $64 million toward the effort. Israel closes the only oil and gas terminal on the Gaza border. AFP profiles the plight of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Egypt says Israel is stalling on a prisoner exchange with Hamas, and may offer a new plan for Palestinian reconciliation. Jordan's Foreign Minister confirms his country's interest in the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel is ignoring 400 Palestinian home demolition appeals. A commentary in Ha'aretz says the settlement moratorium is part of a "masquerade," and the paper also interviews an extremist Jewish settler. Israeli diplomats are preparing to combat a Swedish EU initiative to recognize occupied East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. The Media Line profiles the new Palestinian "planned" city in the West Bank, and some Zionists around the world express outrage at the Jewish National Fund decision to donate 3,000 trees to the project. Ir Amim explains the dangers of new settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem. The Daily Star reviews Joe Sacco's new graphic novel "Footnotes in Gaza."

Altogether more than a footnote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Olivia Snaije - December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

The first thing that comes to mind when holding graphic novelist and journalist Joe Sacco’s new book, “Footnotes in Gaza,” is the colossal amount of work that went into it. Not only is this pen-and-ink graphic novel almost 400 pages long, the subject too is heavy: The Israeli military’s massacre of Palestinian civilians in Khan Younis and Rafah (Gaza), during the 1956 Suez Crisis. The Malta-born American researched and reported on the subject for seven years, making two extended trips to Gaza – where he was often under fire from weapons paid for with his tax dollars.

Editorial: Fayyad’s plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

Both the Palestinian and Israeli public have taken great interest in the plan by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad proposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state within two years, and taking the case to the UN Security Council for recognition of the prospective state. The expected response, by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been to warn against any unilateral steps by the Palestinians.

Israeli resentment grows on trees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - (Opinion) December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is no stranger to controversy, its sectarian approach to charity work having fomented tension for decades in Israel and abroad. The JNF is once again embroiled in a row, though this time the tables have turned, with the fund's administrators finding themselves cast as pantomime villains by diehard supporters of the Jewish state.

New Construction in East Jerusalem: What it Really Means
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Orly Noy - December 3, 2009 - 1:00am

The recent diplomatic and journalistic storm over plans to expand the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem exposed a fundamental difference of view between Israel and many of its strongest supporters. Reacting to news that plans for 900 new dwellings in Gilo were to be approved by the Jerusalem Planning Committee, the White House was said to be "dismayed" by the move, and the UN General Secretary Ban-Ki Moon "deplored" it.

Planned City “Rawabi” Draws on Palestinian Enterprise and Israeli Experience
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - November 29, 2009 - 1:00am

Just six miles north of Ramallah, Palestinians have begun planting thousands of evergreen tree saplings as part of a major greening project to grow a forest to hug the edges of what will be the first planned Palestinian city. The city is already named Rawabi, Arabic for “hills”. For Palestinians it presents a new kind of urbanism, which aims to draw middle-class professionals away from smoggy towns and villages towards a better way of life.

World Bank gives Palestinian Authority $64 million
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

The World Bank has given $64 million to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to help it prepare for statehood. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signed the agreement on Sunday. World Bank official Shamshad Akhtar says the goal is to boost Fayyad's plan to set up institutions for a state within two years, though talks with Israel are stalemated. A World Bank delegation visiting the West Bank and Gaza Strip will also look for ways to ease entry of construction materials into Gaza.

Israel gears to fight Swedish initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

A senior political source defined Monday Sweden's attempt to declare Jerusalem the capital of Palestine as an "underhanded move by Stockholm, a mere moment before its term as head of the European Union is over. We are making efforts to thwart this move at the highest diplomatic levels." The European Union's foreign ministers are scheduled to convene in Brussels later Monday, ahead of the EU meet scheduled to take place in the city on December 10. The agenda for the second day of the conference is said to include the Balkans, the Middle East peace process and Iran.

Meet Daniel Pinner - an extremist West Bank settler
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - (Interview) December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

Daniel Pinner, whose monologue follows, lives in the settlement of Kfar Tapuah, which was founded in 1978 by a core group of members of Moshav Bareket belonging to the Hapoel Hamizrachi movement and is defined as a "religious communal" settlement. In 1990 Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane (the son of Meir Kahane, founder of the extreme right-wing Kach party, which was banned in 1994) moved there; he was murdered, together with his wife Talia in 2001, in a shooting on a highway south of the settlement of Ofra. Following the younger Kahane, others identified with the Kach movement moved to Tapuah.

'The Freeze' is just another scene in Israel's masquerade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

Like every production, be it a flop or a hit, the future of this show will also be decided by the audience. In the meantime, as the first act shifts into high gear, the viewers are yawning. The government and the settlers are proud to introduce "The Freeze," a show in which both sides play - in quite unconvincing fashion - already scripted parts. During the first act, no real, historic edict has been issued. Rather, these decrees are just props. Thus, nobody will evacuate one balcony in the final scene.

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