U.S. lawmakers to Obama: Press Israel to ease Gaza siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Fifty-four members of the U.S. Congress have signed a letter asking President Barack Obama to put pressure on Israel to ease the siege of the Gaza Strip. The letter was the initiative of Representatives Jim McDermott from Washington and Keith Ellison from Minnesota, both of whom are Democrats. Ellison is the first American Muslim to ever win election to Congress.

PA cabinet expresses 'regret' for not holding elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

Ramallah - Ma'an - During its weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad held on Monday, members said that elections could be held in June, if the Egyptian document is signed immediately.

Settlers attack Palestinians in retaliation for outpost demolition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Several dozen Israeli settler youths attacked the village of Beit Ilu on Tuesday, north of Ramallah, in response to Israeli forces razing the Gush Talmonim outpost, Israeli media reported. The attack was coordinated by text message, the Israeli daily Haaretz said, and the settlers began chanting "The police destroy nothing that belongs to Arabs." "The rule of evil is persecuting the settlements." "In 24 hours, we will set this place up anew." "We will not be broken."

Fayyad to Paris: EU has opportunity to strengthen chance for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told his French counterpart he was concerned about the impending failure of peace talks, during an official visit on Tuesday. Speaking with French Prime Minister France François Fillon, Fayyad stressed his efforts to build the institutions of a Palestinian state, and asked that Fillon help by urging the international community to demand Israel stick to its international obligations.

Lots of peace plans, a little progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Winnipeg Free Press
by Samuel Segev - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel and the Arab world on Wednesday will be watching with great interest United States President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to Congress. In a recent interview with Time magazine, Obama admitted that he "overestimated" his ability to persuade both Israel and the Palestinians to resume their peace negotiations. Nevertheless, Obama made it clear that the U.S. will continue to work with the parties to achieve that goal.

U.S. Pressures Abbas on Peace Talks, Official Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Gwen Ackerman - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

The U.S. is putting pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace talks with Israel while avoiding confrontation with the Jewish state, a senior Palestinian official said. “Washington, along with the international community, is pressuring the Palestinians without obliging Israel to stop settlement construction,” Nabil Shaath, a member of the decision-making Central Committee of Abbas’s Fatah party, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Palestinian parliament expires four years after Hamas electoral upset
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Four years after Hamas won an upset victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, prompting swift international sanctions and a Western-led diplomatic boycott, the mandate for the parliament it dominated officially expired on Monday. According to the Palestinian Constitution, new parliamentary elections should have been held Sunday, Jan. 24, in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But continued political division between the West Bank, governed by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, has delayed the elections indefinitely.

These Palestinians aren't happy about Israel settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Theoretically, the 10-month freeze on building Israeli settlements in the West Bank was supposed to benefit the Palestinian cause. But at the run-down cafes that make up a town square of sorts here in the Jalazon Refugee Camp, there’s a different story. It’s just before noon, and the area is full of young men with nowhere to go.

PA issues 2010 state-building budget
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority has issued a 2010 budget document laying out a state-building plan. Palestine: Moving Forward: Priority Interventions for 2010, issued this week by the Palestinian Authority finance and planning ministries, is a Palestinian state and institution building program that complements the diplomatic process the Obama administration is trying to revive, the American Task Force for Palestine's Hussein Ibish told POLITICO.

Analysis: Another goal pared back: Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Steven R. Hurst - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON -- The bleak domestic realities washing over President Barack Obama's White House cloak equally dismal prospects for quickly shepherding Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks. As the politically beleaguered president prepared to deliver his first State of the Union address Wednesday night - the symbolic start of his second year in office - Obama was forced to acknowledge he got ahead of himself when he raised hopes of early success by making Mideast peacemaking a top priority of his new administration.

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