Jackson Diehl says the Obama administration may not have learned hard lessons about Middle East peace. The LA Times says conditions are not ripe for a new Palestinian uprising and that recent attacks are testing new Israeli security measures. Sec. Clinton urges the parties to resume negotiations. Special Envoy Mitchell says the US could reduce aid to Israel to induce cooperation on peace. Israel launches airstrikes that kill 3 in Gaza, issues threats to Palestinians, and is considering recognizing more unauthorized settlements. Gideon Levy says Israel's behavior can only be explained by psychiatrists. Israel is building a fence along its border with Egypt. The PA demands an apology from an extremist cleric who raised the possibility of stoning Pres. Abbas. PM Netanyahu criticizes Palestinian security forces. The Guardian profiles Palestinian refugees. The National says peace is still possible, the Jordan Times says Israel must agree to a settlement freeze and the Arab News says that Israel may use a two-year time-frame to increase settlements.

Editorial: Another US Initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Is it any wonder that the Palestinians are insisting on a full settlement freeze before renewing peace efforts?

What makes sense
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinians are right to refuse a return to negotiations with Israel unless there is a total halt to settlement construction in the occupied territories. To continue negotiations as Israel continues devouring Palestinian lands to build and expand settlements means having less and less land to negotiate over.

The American Way out and Arab Divisions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) January 10, 2010 - 1:00am

On the occasion of her talks with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Washington last Friday, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to palter about the real obstacle to resuming the Palestinian peace process. Prior to the visit of the US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell to the region, she relegated the problem of the ongoing Israeli settlements – on Palestinian territory designed to be part of the prospective Palestinian State– into a theoretical or even an academic issue.

A difficult path to peace can still be travelled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) January 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Judging from the intense activity on the Arab-Israeli peace front in recent weeks, there is reason for cautious hope that the current paralysis will end soon. The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was recently in Cairo meeting the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers met the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the peace envoy George Mitchell last week, while Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, visited Cairo, Riyadh and Damascus.

Netanyahu complains about PA security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

After months of praising the work of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a delegation of US senators on Sunday that while active against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the PA security forces "have trouble going against their own renegades." Netanyahu was referring to the recent murder near Shavei Shomron of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai by members of Fatah's Aksa Martyrs Brigade.

PA demands apology from Egyptian cleric
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday demanded a public apology from one of the most prominent Islamic scholars, who called for stoning President Mahmoud Abbas to death. Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said that if it is proven that Abbas had instigated Operation Cast Lead against the Gaza Strip, he must be stoned.

Hamas fears Gaza fence part of three-way siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - (Analysis) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip have admitted that they are concerned over the Egyptian underground barrier under construction along the Gaza-Egypt border. The fence is expected to reach a depth of 18 meters (59 feet), and span 10 km (about 6 miles), and threatens to strangle the Strip's only lifeline – the smuggling tunnels. Hamas fears that via this channel, Egypt is joining the Palestinian Authority and Israel in creating a three-way siege on the Strip that would severely hurt the movement.

Only psychiatrists can explain Israel's behavior
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) January 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Our wild world of crime has recently been sent for observation. From the bodyguard of the IDF Chief of Staff to the killers of their own children - all have been sent for observation. The time has come, as is the custom around here, to send the country for observation, too. Maybe with ongoing treatment from specialists, the diagnosis that will save us can be made.

'Watch your step,' Barak warns Hamas over renewed Gaza rocket fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - (Analysis) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Addressing an increase of rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday advised Gaza's Hamas rulers to "watch their step, and not to cry crocodile tears if they force [Israel] to take action." Army Radio on Monday quoted Israeli security experts as saying that Hamas has lessened its determination to prevent the rocket fire from Gaza, due to growing dissent in the coastal strip.

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