'No commitment to settlement freeze'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon, Hilary Leila Krieger - July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel is considering what it can do to enable a full-fledged Mideast peace process and Palestinian-Israeli negotiations to take off, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday after talks with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell in New York. But after the four-hour meeting, Barak would not commit to a temporary settlement freeze. Asked whether Israel would agree to a freeze of perhaps three to six months, Barak replied: "I think it's a little bit too early to predict."

PA: Israel planning to expropriate another 2% of West Bank land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority this week accused Israel of planning to declare another 2 percent of the West Bank state land, thus effectively expropriating it. But the defense establishment rejected this claim, saying the land in question had been under the Dead Sea until the shrinkage of that body of water uncovered it and the goal of the declaration is to prevent the land from being taken over by private or commercial entities. It is not clear which claim is correct.

Barak: US, Israel close on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Before heading back to Israel from New York following his meeting with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday morning that Israel was close to an understanding with the US on settlements, which he stressed were part of a regional comprehensive peace effort. "We focused mainly on the need for a comprehensive regional agreement," he told Israel Radio. "That includes other Arab states which have something to give to Israel, not just to take"

Barak, Mitchell remain disputed on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell failed to reach an agreement regarding the Israeli construction in the settlements during their meeting in Washington Monday. Mitchell is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu in about two weeks. A joint statement published following the meeting said that Barak and Mitchell "discussed the full range of issues related to Middle East peace and security and the contributions Israelis, Palestinians, their neighbors and the international community should make to this effort.

Israel, U.S. inch toward deal on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell will meet in two weeks to reach a final agreement on settlement construction in the West Bank. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and George Mitchell agreed during their talks in New York this week that Israel must take action toward easing access for Palestinians in the territory and halting settlement activity. Their four-hour discussion brought Israel and the United States closer to ending its dispute over settlement construction, a source close to Barak said.

Court: Revise charges against soldier who shot at Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Aviad Glickman - July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The trial of Lieutenant-Colonel Omri Borberg, and his subordinate L., charged of disorderly conduct over their involvement in shooting at a bound Palestinian, Ashraf Abu-Rahma, was called off by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, after the judges accepted a petition by human rights organizations that argued that the charges were extremely insufficient. The ruling was unanimous, and the judges ordered the Military Advocate General reexamine the case and reconsider the charges to be brought against the two.

Israel downplays settlement rift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has denied any impasse with the US over Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank as talks ended without agreement. Mr Barak met US envoy George Mitchell as the two allies are struggling to end a rare public rift over the issue. The US wants Israel to stop all settlement activity in the occupied territory, but Israel wants to continue what it calls "natural growth". The Palestinians refuse to restart talks without a settlement freeze. "I don't think we are stuck," Mr Barak said after the meeting with Mr Mitchell on Tuesday.

Editorial: Odious personality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) July 1, 2009 - 12:00am

A couple of months ago, Israel’s controversial, very right-wing foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was in London for talks with the British government as part of a four-nation European trip. It was his first visit abroad as foreign minister and it would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall when he met British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, if only to have seen the body language. All the reports point to a cold get-together.

Big screen returns to West Bank town
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Mustafa Odeh, 75, remembers well when there last was a cinema in Nablus. “Those were different days,” he said in front of his tiny plumbing repair shop in the centre of the city. “There were no satellite dishes, not many TVs, no 300 different channels. The cinema was good then.” And it would still be today, or so believe two local businessmen who last week opened a brand new commercial screen in the centre of the city just around the corner from Mr Odeh’s shop.

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