Hamas leader in Gaza vows group will never recognize Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Douglas Alexander - December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of the militant group's founding. "We say it with confidence as we said it five years ago when we formed our government, and we say it today: We will never recognize Israel," Haniyeh told a crowd in Gaza City numbering tens of thousands. A poster at the rally featured photographs of Hamas leaders assassinated by Israel in the last 10 years. "Hamas will be the faithful guard of the Palestinian people's rights and the basic Palestinian principles," Haniyeh continued.

Israeli PM expresses willingness to discuss core issues of Mideast conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Gur Salomon - December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

As U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell renewed his peace brokering efforts in the Middle East, Israel on Tuesday expressed its willingness to discuss core issues with the Palestinians while stopped short of settlement building freeze. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Mitchell Monday evening, said Tuesday at a domestic conference that the two persons "spoke about ways to advance the peace process" and added that the meeting was "very good."

Envoy says US committed to Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

The U.S. will not be deterred by setbacks and will persevere until a Palestinian state is established alongside Israel, President Obama's Mideast envoy said Tuesday after meeting the Palestinian president. Envoy George Mitchell presented ideas on how to move forward, said Saeb Erekat, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He would not elaborate.

Palestinian kids play risky game with Israel police
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Jihan Abdalla - December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

At the volatile heart of a volatile region, Palestinian children play a dangerous game. In the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, small groups of boys hang around by the roadside, suddenly darting into the street to hurl rocks at passing Israeli cars, especially vehicles belonging to local Jewish settlers. Seemingly heedless of the risk they pose their targets and themselves, the youngsters also goad local Israeli security forces determined to keep order.

UN concerned after Gaza charity closed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Almost one week after Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip closed the doors to a charity assisting children and teenagers, UN officials and international NGO Human Rights Watch released statements calling for the re-opening of the institution, and condemning the closure.

Report: Dennis Ross in Israel for secret talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Veteran US diplomat Dennis Ross arrived in Israel Tuesday evening and is scheduled to hold talks with Israeli security officials, Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday. Ross, a prominent US policy maker, was allegedly sent by US president Barak Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to check out what security coordination would be necessary if a final peace agreement was reached in the region.

Abbas to Cairo following Mitchell request
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak Wednesday to discuss a US request to return to indirect talks given Israel’s refusal to stop settlement construction in the West Bank. Abbas and Mubarak will also tackle the Palestinian national dialogue brokered by Egypt.

Team Obama enters a new phase in Israel, Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
(Editorial) December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

George Mitchell, special US envoy to the Middle East, is back in the region this week just days after the United States had to abandon its attempt at direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. If nothing else, the US is dogged in its pursuit of peace.

Jerusalem Marathon runs into politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - December 15, 2010 - 1:00am

When Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat invited people to participate in the Jerusalem Marathon, he called it a "challenging sporting event." Still 100 days away, the city's first full marathon is already giving the mayor -- a five-time marathoner himself -- a run for his money. After someone pointed out to three city council members that the course ran through parts of East Jerusalem, they sent a letter of protest to Adidas, one of the international event's main sponsors.

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