Tom Friedman says neither Israelis nor Palestinians are serious about peace. Sec. Clinton indicates the failure of direct negotiations, and analysts predict more difficulties. Palestinians continue to hope for national reconciliation. The Palestinian nonviolent protest movement may be waning, as Israel releases one of its leaders. PM Netanyahu welcomes the US focus on core issues. Rights groups protest Israel's treatment of Palestinian minors. Some Palestinians doubt the possibility of a two-state solution. Pres. Abbas asks the US to intervene with Israel over the expulsion of a Hamas politician from Jerusalem. The Israeli military intensifies activities on the Gaza border. Palestinians may be able to use indirect negotiations to pressure Israel. Akiva Eldar says negotiations provide a cover for deepening the occupation. Former Israeli soldiers recount abuses. Former EU leaders demand the creation of a Palestinian state. Tony Karon says Palestinians must increase the cost of occupation. Raghida Dergham looks at Palestinian strategy. Ian Buruma praises nonviolent protests in occupied East Jerusalem.

Keeping alive a sense of decency in Arab East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ian Buruma - (Opinion) December 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Every Friday afternoon for more than a year, hundreds of Israeli Jews have gathered on a dusty little square in the middle of Arab East Jerusalem. There are some Palestinians there, too, including a couple of boys selling fresh orange juice. The people gather there, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, to protest the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes to make way for Israeli settlers.

The Palestinians’ Options after Obama’s Failure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) December 10, 2010 - 1:00am

The US Administration admitting this week its failure to convince Israel to agree to freeze what is under international law illegal settlement-building for a mere three months, until Palestinian-Israeli negotiations enter the phase of discussing the borders of the Palestinian state and the permanent situation, is tantamount to admitting President Barack Obama’s personal failure and his being forced to submit to Israel’s dictates.

Obama's dose of reality may be a cure for the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
December 13, 2010 - 1:00am

The Obama administration's announcement that it had capitulated before Israeli recalcitrance on a settlement freeze should be read as a cry for help. Mr Obama has, in fact, taken a bold step in acknowledging frankly that he has a problem. He has been repeating the rituals and catechisms of the failed Oslo peace process in the hope of producing a different outcome. Now, he's been forced to acknowledge that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a communication problem that can be solved by simply getting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas to talk.

Israel faces tougher line from EU after former heads call for Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Chris McGreal, Harriet Sherwood - December 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Twenty-six European grandees have urged the EU to adopt a tougher stance towards Israel including taking "concrete measures" and exacting "consequences" over continued settlement building on occupied land, which they say is illegal under international law.

'Our lives became something we'd never dreamt': The former Israeli soldiers who have testified against army abuses
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Book Review) December 12, 2010 - 1:00am

For anyone who has covered Israel, the West Bank and Gaza over the past few years, reading "Occupation of the Territories," the new book from the Israeli ex-soldiers organisation Breaking the Silence, can be an eerily evocative experience.

An end to the occupation first
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) December 13, 2010 - 1:00am

Like every year-end, once again they're promising that the next 12 months will be "a decisive year." Fact: Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that in August 2011, when Prime Minister Salam Fayyad finishes building institutions in the West Bank, the United Nations will recognize the Palestinian state.

Palestinians are planning to make Netanyahu sweat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) December 13, 2010 - 1:00am

Statements made on Sunday by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an interview with Christiane Amanpour on American network ABC could open a window into the expected tactics of the Palestinians in the coming months. Following the U.S. announcement that efforts to resume direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority had come to an end, the Palestinians are planning to make Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sweat.

Israeli army steps up operations along Gaza border as violence escalates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 12, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is deploying more troops along the Gaza border in response to recent cross-border clashes, and a spike in missile and mortar attacks against Israeli civilians over the last week. On Saturday evening, two Palestinian militants were killed and an IDF paratrooper was moderately wounded in an exchange of fire along the Gaza border after the former were spotted attempting to infiltrate into Israel. The army said the Israeli trooper was wounded by a Palestinian sniper.

Abbas asks U.S. to press Israel to cancel Jerusalem evictions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 13, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday asked the United States to press Israel to cancel the eviction of a Hamas lawmaker from Jerusalem. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is in Washington, carried a letter from Abbas to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which asked the U.S. administration to intervene, said Azzam Al-Ahmad, an aide to Abbas. On Wednesday, an Israeli court ruled to expel Mohammed Abu Tair from Jerusalem, who was later sent to the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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