Israel considers giving legal status to two illegal West Bank outposts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - (Analysis) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

After four and a half years of government promises to destroy the two West Bank settlements of Hayovel and Harsha, the High Court of Justice said yesterday that it intends to examine conditions on the ground there, potentially paving the way for their formal recognition.

Medics: Israeli strike kills 3 in central Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Editorial) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Gaza - Ma'an - At least three Palestinians were killed by Israeli aircraft fire in central Gaza early Sunday evening, medics reported. They were identified as Hasan Al-Qatarawi,22, and Awad Nasir, 29, both from from Deir Al-Balah, as well as Hudayfa Hams, 23, from Nusseirat refugee camp. All three were transferred to Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza City, according to Muawiya Hassanein, the Gaza Health Ministry's director of ambulance and emergency services.

Israel shrugs off Mitchell's loan threat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - (Analysis) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Jerusalem — Israeli officials on Sunday tried to downplay tensions looming with the United States after George Mitchell, the Obama administration's Middle East envoy, suggested in a PBS interview that the US could consider withholding support for loan guarantees for Israel.

Clinton urges Israel, Palestinians to plunge into talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter - (Analysis) January 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday urged Palestinians and Israelis to plunge into negotiations over the most difficult issues dividing them as a way of breaking an impasse in peace talks. Clinton said negotiations on major issues, such as the borders of a future Palestinian state or the status of Jerusalem, would help defuse the dispute over the growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that has obstructed progress toward peace. "Resolving borders resolves settlements," Clinton said at the State Department. "Resolving Jerusalem resolves settlements."

Palestinian attacks test Israel's quick-retaliation policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Analysis) January 9, 2010 - 1:00am

A recent spate of cross- border and mortar attacks by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip -- the worst in a year -- is testing Israel's resolve to strike back hard against such provocation. But it remains to be seen whether the get-tough approach will hinder or escalate violence, analysts and officials said Friday. Israeli military planes struck several Gaza targets early Friday, including what Israeli officials described as the first air attack on Gaza City in nearly a year.

In West Bank, conditions 'not ripe' for Palestinian uprising
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Opinion) January 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Born in a refugee camp in this restive West Bank city, Ammar Arafat threw his first stone at 13. At 15, he was jailed for scaling the fence at an Israeli military camp with explosives under his shirt. Upon release, he took up arms again and landed back in prison. Freshly out of jail for the second time, Arafat, 20, is mulling his next move. But nowadays, he has traded in his explosives vest for a designer military jacket with shiny Armani buttons. A more mature Arafat said he wants to enroll in college, find work as a Palestinian police officer and build a stable life.

U.S. ambition alone won't forge Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - (Opinion) January 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Give George Mitchell points for perseverance, at least. Last year the attempt by President Obama's Middle East envoy to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with an ambitious two-year deadline, was an embarrassing flop. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians showed much interest in new negotiations. As the world watched, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu forced the administration to retreat from its demand for a complete freeze on settlement building, while Saudi King Abdullah directly rebuffed Obama after he traveled to Riyadh to ask for a gesture to Israel.

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