Israel is accused of restricting access to Palestinian detainees. A Ha'aretz commentary says Israel is alienating its Arab citizens. Fatah leaders are concerned about Israel's commitment to security cooperation. Israel's comptroller says it has failed on Arab public diplomacy. A Jerusalem Post analysis says Saudi Arabia will not succeed in crafting an independent Arab alliance in the Middle East. A Guardian commentary decries the situation facing Palestinians in Hebron. Elliott Abrams says the focus should be on developing the West Bank rather than peace talks. The Forward looks at rising mistrust between the US and Israel in recent weeks. The Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem is slammed for selling land in the occupied territories to Israel. Ali Ibrahim says Egypt has a right to defend its borders. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzuq. A commentary in the Gulf News says the US must get tough on Israel, and the Jordan Times says Pres. Abbas is right to be wary of negotiating with PM Netanyahu. Daoud Kuttab reflects on the Palestinian need for dignity. Saudi Arabia and China say Israel is scuttling peace efforts. Internecine Palestinian violence spreads from the occupied territories to Lebanon. An ATFP original translation of a Hassan Al-Battal commentary argues that Islamists are degrading the centrality of the Palestinian question.

Inter-Palestinian Fighting Spreads to Lebanon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Report
by Rachelle Kliger - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

A row between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a clan affiliated with Fatah has turned violent as both sides claim control over a mosque in a Beirut suburb. The Furqan Mosque, located in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital, has become a new battleground for the intra-Palestinian struggle. Two people were lightly wounded in a brawl between the parties on Tuesday, according to Lebanese news reports.

‘Israel scuttling peace efforts’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Ghazanfar Ali Khan - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and China called on Israel on Wednesday to comply with UN resolutions and create a conducive atmosphere to restart peace talks. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, addressing a joint news conference with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, said Israel was trying to prevent a settlement of the Middle East conflict and warned Tel Aviv against “swallowing Palestinian lands.”

‘Karameh’ for Palestinians at a time of indignity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Although the Arabic word karameh simply means dignity, it has become an expression that has many more usages and meanings.

To get nearer to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a slippery sort. One day he goes to Cairo and impresses officials there with his willingness to talk about all issues, issues he would apparently never have talked about before. This causes the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Abul Gheit, to go out and say that Israel is ready for serious negotiations, which obviously include the future of Jerusalem, the eastern part of which is illegally occupied territory.

Obama must put pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Barack Obama does not want to resort to using the stick, although this approach has been effective in the past, especially in settling Arab-Israeli disputes. This was pointed out by his special Middle East envoy, George J. Mitchell, when he recalled that recent US presidents have done so with notable success. Obama may yet be forced to change his mind. One reason for this is the arrogance of the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared on Tuesday that Israel would never cede control of Occupied Jerusalem nor retreat to the 1967 armistice lines.

Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to Hamas's Musa Abu Marzuq
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali El-saleh - (Interview) January 13, 2010 - 1:00am

London, Asharq Al-Awsat- In a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat from his headquarters in Damascus, Abu Marzuq Deputy Chairman of the Hamas politburo talks about Khaled Mishal’s recent visit to Riyadh, the issue of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and Egyptian mediation, the Arab role in the reconciliation process, the deal to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. [Asharq Al-Awsat] Was Khaled Mishal’s visit to Saudi Arabia not the first of its kind by a Hamas official since the Mecca Agreement was concluded in March 2006?

More Like “Tunnel Supervisor”
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali Ibrahim - (Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

No level-headed politician, who wants to gain regional and international legitimacy, can justify illegitimate or illegal activity without risking his credibility. Therefore, it was very odd that the head of the Hamas politburo Khaled Mishal said that smuggling goods via the tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Rafah in Egypt is a legitimate trade that benefits both sides.

West Bank land sales by Church spur uproar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - January 13, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH // The Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem is once again being rocked by controversy over alleged land sales to Israeli investors in the West Bank. So incensed is the local Palestinian orthodox community that Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, had to be accompanied by security guards in full riot gear when he arrived in Bethlehem last week to celebrate Christmas.

Why the Mistrust Between U.S. and Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) January 13, 2010 - 1:00am

Washington — Like a couple that just can’t get along, even when they agree, Washington and Jerusalem have spent early January locked in squabbles. Beneath the media radar, the America-Israel strategic relationship is flourishing after running into problems at the end of President George W. Bush’s tenure, according to Israel’s Washington ambassador, Michael Oren. Yet, relations between Jerusalem and Washington are still marred with problems of miscommunication fed by mutual suspicion.

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