January 29th

PM Fayyad says Palestinians are working with Special Envoy Mitchell to ensure conditions are right for negotiations. Israel cracks down on nonviolent protesters in the occupied West Bank. The film Avatar stirs controversy in Israel. Human Rights Watch disputes Hamas' claim that it did not target civilians. Hamas demands Palestinian unity before peace talks with Israel. Pres. Obama says the US supports Israel but is sympathetic to the Palestinians. A survey chooses the Palestinian best of 2009. Hamas claims one of its operatives was assassinated by Israel in Dubai. Palestinians object to a new Israeli light rail service in occupied East Jerusalem. A Ha'aretz commentary says a binational state is impossible, and another says Israel must investigate its conduct in the Gaza war. PM Netanyahu promises confidence-building measures with the PA. Historians say Israel destroyed tens of thousands of Palestinian books after its establishment. An Israeli court protects the right to protest. A former PA official says corruption will allow Hamas to seize power in the West Bank. Israel has stolen billions in Palestinian workers' insurance money. Eyad El-Sarraj describes the suffering in Gaza.

Gaza's Agony
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Eyad El-Sarraj - (Opinion) January 28, 2010 - 1:00am

On the night Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency, he announced: "To all those ... who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world ... a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you.... The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope." Obama's words made the world shiver with anticipation.

Israel’s silent war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - (Opinion) January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

If you ask Middle Easterners, and many others in the world, about Israel’s contribution to the region, the answer will automatically be: war, violence, dispossession and destruction.

Goldstone report keeps Israel on tenterhooks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Craig Nelson - (Analysis) January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

From Israel’s point of view, the UN report accusing its military of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity during its invasion last winter of the Gaza Strip might be subtitled “The Report That Won’t Go Away”.

‘State siphoned off Palestinian workers’ insurance money’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Benjamin L. Hartman - January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

The government of Israel has siphoned over a billion shekels in money taken from Palestinian laborers for national insurance between 1970-1994, a report released on Wednesday states.

‘Corruption will let Hamas take W. Bank'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has surrounded himself with many of the corrupt officials who used to work for his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, and that’s why Hamas will one day take control of the West Bank, Fahmi Shabaneh, who was appointed by Abbas four years ago to root out corruption in the Palestinian Authority, said on Thursday.

Court rules Sheikh Jarrah protests legal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - January 28, 2010 - 1:00am

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ruled Thursday that leftist demonstrations in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah are not illegal as claimed by the police. The ruling was issued during a court hearing to discuss the indictments filed against 18 protestors who were arrested in Sheikh Jarrah last Friday, after demonstrating against Jewish settlers who took over houses in the Arab neighborhood.

Researcher: Israel destroyed Palestinian books
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 28, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel plundered and destroyed tens of thousands of Palestinian books in the years after the State's establishment, according to a doctoral thesis to be submitted next month by a Ben-Gurion University researcher. In an interview with the researcher published on al-Jazeera's website Thursday, he claimed that Israel destroyed the Palestinian books in the framework of its plan to "Judaize the country" and cut off its Arab residents from their nation and culture.

Netanyahu to U.S.: I'll free Fatah prisoners to boost Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to the release of hundreds of Fatah prisoners as part of efforts backed by the United States and Egypt to jump-start the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu expressed a willingness to release prisoners as a goodwill gesture in talks with the special U.S. Mideast envoy, George Mitchell. Under the plan, Israel would also embark on low-level negotiations with U.S. mediation.

Menachem Mazuz: Israel must probe Gaza war to counter Goldstone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

The Goldstone report is a serious threat to Israel that will "continue to haunt us and take away our legitimacy," outgoing told Haaretz in an interview.

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