U.S.: Only Israel, Palestinians should decide Jerusalem's future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

Shortly after European Union Ministers announced their support for the division of Jerusalem between Israel and a future Palestinian state on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that the fate of Jerusalem should only be determined by Israel and the Palestinians in talks.

Netanyahu: PA has made strategic choice to delay peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday of having chosen to postpone peace negotiations with Israel indefinitely as a "strategy." "It appears that the Palestinians have adopted a strategy of delaying negotiations with Israel, and this is in order to refrain from meeting the demands of Israel and the international community, which require comprises on the Palestinian side," Netanyahu told the cabinet.

Khreisha: PLO can extend Abbas' term
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

The PLO’s Central Council is authorized to extend president Abbas’ term as he is president of both the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, the second deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Hassan Khreisha said on Wednesday. But, Khreisha told Ma'an that the Central Council is not authorized to extend the PLC’s term because the body is supposed to remain in charge until new lawmakers are elected. Khreisha pointed out that late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat extended his term, and thus it is legal for Abbas to do the same.

PA officer sentenced to death for collaboration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

A Palestinian military court in Ramallah sentenced a security officer to death by firing squad on Wednesday after he was found guilty of collaboration with Israel, Palestinian judicial sources said. Identified only by the initials AD, the condemned was sentenced to death in accordance with article 131 of the Palestinian Military Law of Punishment of 1979. The defendant confessed to having been recruited by the Israeli intelligence service in 1992 to spy on Palestinian activists and fellow security officers concerning armament and movement.

Popular Fatah Leader Complicates Prisoner Swap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Charles Levinson - December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

Marwan Barghouti, the popular imprisoned Palestinian leader, embodies the promise and the peril Israel faces as it negotiates with Hamas to trade hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for a long-held Israeli soldier. Islamist Hamas says Mr. Barghouti tops the list of approximately 1,000 prisoners it is demanding Israel free in exchange for Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who Hamas has held captive in Gaza for more than three years.

Israel's Settlement Freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Michael B. Oren - (Opinion) December 7, 2009 - 1:00am

Distracted by the crucial debate over Afghanistan, many Americans may have missed a pivotal event in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On Nov. 25, Israel's government announced a 10-month construction freeze in Judea and Samaria—the areas generally known as the West Bank. Though some projects already begun will be completed and essential public buildings like medical clinics and schools will be approved, no new housing permits will be issued.

Palestinians struggle to build in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Tom Perry - December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

In the occupied West Bank, a bedouin community whose school is made out of car tires and mud faces the same problem as a developer planning a whole new Palestinian town: building controls imposed by Israel. As Israel enforces a partial, temporary freeze on building in its West Bank settlements, Palestinians and their government are struggling to develop their communities in large areas of the territory that fall under full Israeli jurisdiction.

E.U. moderates stance on Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

The European Union's foreign ministers on Tuesday softened their call for a division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that the city should be shared but that the two sides should negotiate the details. The statement, issued in Brussels, marks a diplomatic victory for Israel in a contest with the Palestinians for international support.

Captive Helps Close the Distance Between Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 8, 2009 - 1:00am

When Prof. Gadi Wolfsfeld asks his political science students at Hebrew University if Israel really should free 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including organizers of terrorist attacks, for one seized soldier, as the Israeli government is currently contemplating, he faces a stony silence. “People feel extremely uncomfortable raising it,” he said. “It’s so politically incorrect that you run the risk of being labeled a monster. We all feel like we know this boy and we know his family.”

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