December 30th

Hamas: Shalit mediator to start new round of talks next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

The German mediator brokering a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will begin a new round of talks next week, a source in the Palestinian Islamist group said Wednesday. The comments came shortly after Hamas reportedly rejected the latest offer from Israel to free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return for its corporal, who has been held in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for more than three years.

28 kilometers of distilled apartheid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

This highway has told the whole story. They pave a road, expropriate Palestinian land and the High Court of Justice approves the expropriation, in its words, "provided that it is done for the sake of the local population." Afterwards they prevent the "local population" from using the road, and finally they build a wall with drawings of creeks and meadows so we don't see and don't know that we are driving on an apartheid road, that we are traveling on the axis of evil.

Israel approves new building plan for West Bank settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

In an unusual step, the state announced on Tuesday its plan to promote planning and construction in the northern West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim, Army Radio reported Wednesday. Left wing human rights group Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice recently against the construction of 14 structures that were illegally built, some of them on Palestinian land without any authorization, according to the petition. In response to the petition, the Defense Ministry approved the Kiryat Netafim construction plans, to legalize the construction of the 14 structures in question.

Israel and Egypt eye movement on peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher, Liam Stack - December 29, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Cairo Tuesday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in talks aimed at bringing Egyptian pressure on the Palestinians ahead of a flurry of diplomatic activity expected next week, including a visit from US Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

'Footnotes in Gaza' by Joe Sacco
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by David L. Ulin - (Book Review) December 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Joe Sacco's "Footnotes in Gaza" is not a sequel to his 1996 book " Palestine," although it's tempting to read it as such. Both are works of comic-book journalism that take place in the occupied territories, and both offer a ground's-eye-view of situations that seem too big, too incomprehensible for us to wrap our minds around. But while "Palestine" is a portrait of its moment, an account of Sacco's visit to the West Bank and Gaza during the early 1990s, "Footnotes in Gaza" is a more expansive effort.

White House decries Israel's plan to build homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - December 29, 2009 - 1:00am

An Israeli government plan to build nearly 700 homes for Jewish families in Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem drew fire Monday from the Obama administration, which called the plan a hindrance to relaunching peace talks. "The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to return to U.S.-brokered talks. "Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally preempt, or appear to preempt, negotiations."

Protesters Gather in Cairo for March to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mona El-Naggar - December 29, 2009 - 1:00am

More than 1,000 people from around the world were gathered here on Tuesday for a solidarity march into Gaza despite Egypt’s insistence that the Gaza border crossing that it controls would remain closed to the vast majority of them.

Israeli Segregated Road Ruled Down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 29, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a major access highway to Jerusalem running through the occupied West Bank could no longer be closed to most Palestinian traffic. In a 2-to-1 decision, the court said the military overstepped its authority when it closed the road to non-Israeli cars in 2002, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising. The justices gave the military five months to come up with another means of ensuring the security of Israelis that permitted broad Palestinian use of the road.

December 26th

Tough Military Stance Stirs Little Debate in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 24, 2009 - 1:00am

In the year since Israel launched its devastating military offensive against Hamas in Gaza, the country’s political and military leaders have faced intense international condemnation and accusations of possible war crimes. But Israel seems to have few qualms. Officials and experts familiar with the country’s military doctrine say that given the growing threats from Iranian-backed militant organizations both in Gaza and in Lebanon, Israel will probably find itself fighting another, similar kind of war. Only next time, some here suggest, Israel will apply more force.

Israel Kills Six Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - December 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians on Saturday in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the bloodiest violent outbreak in months. Three of those killed belonged to a militant group within the Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement Israel accused of perpetrating a roadside shooting that killed a Jewish settler two days earlier. An official in Abbas's government accused Israel of a "grave escalation." A militant leader threatened revenge, charging Israel would now "open the gates of hell."

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