Fatah postpones elections for its decision making body, but extends the party conference for at least two more days. President Obama's decision to bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Irish president Mary Robinson draws criticism from some Jewish American groups. Following international criticism, the Israeli military is considering new measures to warn Palestinian civilians of impending aerial attacks. Palestinian officials report that the U.S. will push for the borders of an independent Palestinian state to be the first issue focused on in any renewed permanent status peace negotiations. A recently released poll shows that more Israelis would prefer Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni over Benjamin Netanyahu for Prime Minister. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will meet with President Obama in Washington next month.

Damaging divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia summed up the sentiments of the entire Arab and Muslim worlds well when he said that Palestinian divisions constitute a greater danger to the Palestinians and their cause than all the threats and acts of aggression committed by Israel. In a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas marking Fateh’s first congress in 20 years, the Saudi king stressed that all Palestinian factions need to come together to make an independent Palestinian state possible.

Israel’s broken pledges are not redemption
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli right-wing has a curious word to describe what happened this week in the Sheikh Jarra neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, where 52 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes: redemption. If this is what redemption looks like than it is difficult to imagine what peace would mean. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs or politics it is difficult to find a redeeming value to theft. The Hanun and Gawi families now live on the street; Israeli settlers now live in their homes. And this is not the story of just these two Palestinan families but of thousands of others.

Mubarak’s Visit to the US… and the Cards of the Palestinian Cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Mohammad Salah - (Opinion) August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

For about six years, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has not visited the United States for well-known reasons, most prominently of course the deteriorating relations between the two countries during former President George Bush’s second term. And here is the Egyptian President now preparing for his first visit to the US capital next month, in the first year of President Barack Obama’s first term in office.

Feed Them Against Hunger…And May God Protect Them!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) August 6, 2009 - 12:00am

In Gaza, men cannot walk along the beach bare-chested, shop owners are requested to hide mannequins, summer camps for children are being discouraged based on the pretext of free mixing between the sexes, and cafes and Christian symbols are being targeted. In fact it has reached such a level that an explosion went off at a wedding party based on the claim that music is haram [prohibited in Islam].

'No talks unless Israel frees prisoners'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah delegates meeting here Thursday resolved not to renew peace negotiations with Israel until all Palestinian prisoners are released from Israeli jails, all settlement-building is frozen and the Gaza blockade is lifted. Nabil Sha'ath, a Fatah Central Committee said these were some of 14 preconditions for a resumption of peace talks. Analysts noted that the conditions are not binding on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but also that they broadly accorded with the positions had Abbas had himself set out in an address to the gathering on Tuesday.

Fatah vote contractors making promises to everyone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

The Fatah movement entered the last straight Thursday night ahead of the conclusion of its historic congress. Thousands of phone calls were made, with the most common phrase uttered by the conference's delegates being "what you want is what will be." During a break in Thursday's discussions, a group of vote contractors sat in the al-Khayma ("the tent") restaurant in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, and made phone calls to candidates wishing to be included in Fatah's future leadership.

Israeli envoy: Obama row causes strategic damage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attitude toward the Obama administration is causing Israel strategic damage, in the view of a senior Israeli diplomat in Boston, Channel 10 television reported yesterday. Consul General Nadav Tamir's reported comment is a rare internal rebuke, highlighting the growing tension between Washington and Jerusalem. Tamir is a highly regarded veteran diplomat whose opinions on foreign policy matters carry considerable weight. Such blunt, pointed criticism of a prime minister's policies by a professional diplomat is considered unusual.

Poll: More Israelis would prefer Livni as prime minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

For the first time since taking office, the public considers Benjamin Netanyahu less suitable to serve as prime minister than opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni, a new Channel 10 poll said Thursday. According to the poll, when asked, "Who would you rather see as the next prime minister?" Tzipi Livni was named most qualified, with 36 percent of respondents. Only 23 percent of those polled said Netanyahu was fit to serve as prime minister.

PA officials: U.S. wants borders to top peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - August 7, 2009 - 12:00am

The U.S. administration will demand that Israel and the Palestinians address the issue of borders as the first step in the Middle East peace plan, senior Palestinian officials said Thursday. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that Washington will present its new plan for a comprehensive Middle East peace soon. The Americans will also outline proposals for an Israeli peace with Syria and Lebanon, the Palestinian officials said Thursday.

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