August 26th

Abbas vows to reform PLO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to reform the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and expressed solidarity with Lebanon and Syria on Wednesday at an emergency session of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Ramallah. Abbas called for the PNC meeting in order to appoint new members to fill vacant positions on the PLO’s high-ranking Executive Committee.

Why Israel will thwart Obama on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Walter Rodgers - August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The idea that the Obama administration can advance the Middle East peace process by having Israel freeze its construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank stretches credulity. Does any serious observer of the region believe that Israel's appetite for land – owned and occupied for generations by Palestinians – is going to abate? The Israeli land grab has continued for four decades, in defiance of international law and most US presidents. US Middle East envoy George Mitchell has been trying to secure a halt, but his efforts follow a well-worn path that typically ends in charade.

Palestinian Leader Maps Plan for Separate State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, unveiled a government program on Tuesday to build the apparatus of a Palestinian state within two years, regardless of progress in the stalled peace negotiations with Israel. The plan, the first of its kind from the Palestinian Authority, sets out national goals and priorities and operational instructions for ministries and official bodies. Mr. Fayyad said it was meant to hasten the end of the Israeli occupation and pave the way to independent statehood, which he said “can and must happen within the next two years.”

August 25th

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announces that the Palestinian Authority intends to create a de facto state by 2011. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues his diplomatic meetings in Europe, meeting earlier today with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. An Israeli airstrike on a tunnel between Gaza and Egypt kills three Palestinians. The US State Department announces that it is approaching an agreement on the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the PLO. Fatah proposes a three-month truce with rival Hamas. The Independent looks at how the West Bank town of Nablus is flourishing under eased Israeli restrictions.

An unusual sighting in Ramallah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Daoud Kuttab - August 24, 2009 - 12:00am

I had to rub my eyes a few times to be sure that what I was seeing was real. The setting: downtown Ramallah. The event: International Youth Day. The participants were wearing white T-shirts with logos on the front and back and dark red hats. Palestinians from all over the West Bank were participating in the event organized by a network of youth NGOs called "We are Palestine." The theme this year was "We will be as much as we can dream."

Israel speaks with one voice; Arabs must do the same
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Mustapha Karkouti - (Opinion) August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

There is a peacemaker in the White House and now we know what Israel is doing about it. Since his first and only meeting with the US president in May, the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to derail Mr Obama’s efforts even before he announces his long-awaited peace plan for the Middle East. Mr Netanyahu has failed so far but there is no guarantee that he will not succeed in the future.

Meridor: We won't return to the line of 1967
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

"Surely, nobody expects [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu to offer more than what [former prime minister Ehud] Olmert offered [to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas]," Intelligence Affairs Minister Dan Meridor [Likud] told German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Tuesday.

Nablus: a template for peace, or Netanyahu at his most cynical?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The shopkeepers in Nablus, the West Bank's toughest town, are smiling for a change. But no one knows for how long. Dubbed "the mountain of fire" by Palestinians for its part in the revolt against the British mandate during the 1930s, Nablus is usually known for its violent uprisings, choking Israeli clampdowns and prowling Palestinian gunmen extorting protection money.

Hamas-Fatah talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Egypt continues its efforts to mediate between Fatah and Hamas; Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has publicly upbraided them for their destructive divisions; yet Fatah and Hamas refuse to put their dispute aside and work together for the Palestinians’ common good.

Fatah proposes 3-month truce with Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are renewing a wave of mutual arrests following the deadlock reached in talks meant to bring the Fatah and Hamas delegations together in Cairo. Fatah and PA sources said Hamas security forces arrested three Fatah operatives in the Gaza Strip, and that PA security forces have arrested 12 Hamas men in Hebron. The current round of arrests indicates the many difficulties faced by the Egyptians in their attempt to get the rival Palestinian factions to convene around the negotiations table.

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