A Hamas leader says it will accept the results of a Palestinian referendum on peace. Leaked cables suggest Syrian support for Hamas may be negotiable. Pres. Abbas is still waiting for an American response on settlements and appears frustrated. Two Palestinians are killed at the Gaza border. Palestinians under 40 are blocked from the al-Aqsa mosque. A PA cabinet reshuffle may have been postponed. Palestinians blame Israel for the failure of talks. Israel announces yet another settlement expansion project, angering Palestinians. Israel unveils new anti-rocket technology. Palestinians ask Israel to drop opposition to WTO membership. The Palestinian ambassador in Washington says Congress shouldn't interfere in the peace process. Libyan leader Qaddafi proposes a binational state at the UN. An Israeli rabbi says houses should not be rented to Palestinians. Leonard Fein says the ZOA is deliberately distorting Palestinian poll results. There may have been a falling out between Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan. Michael Jansen says George Mitchell may be preparing to step down as Middle East envoy. The Arab News says Washington needs to take more responsibility for Israeli policies.

Palestinian minister asks Israel to back WTO membership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has officially asked Israel to lift its opposition to Palestinian attempt to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Palestinian minister of economy, Hassan Abu Lebda, told Xinhua that he met Israeli trade and labor minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, in Jerusalem Wednesday and "told him of the Palestinian request as a Palestinian right." Media reports on Thursday quoted Ben-Eliezer as saying that Israel will back the Palestinian request to get observer status at the WTO.

Frustration Behind Abbas' call for unilateralism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has once again raised the possibility of unilaterally declaring a independent Palestinian state without signing a peace agreement with Israel. After a meeting with German President Christian Wulff in Bethlehem on Tuesday, Abbas told reporters that if talks with Israel fail then the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will look for other options to achieve independence.

Palestinian delegate to U.S.: Congress shouldn't interfere in Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

While the Jewish community of Washington, D.C. was busy lighting the first Hanukkah candle, the Palestinian mission to the United States held an event at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City marking at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Several weeks before the Republicans are to take command of the U.S. House of Representatives on Capitol Hill, the head of the Palestinian mission to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat, sounded quite frustrated with the peace process - and wary of the prospects of the conduct of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Israel discloses technology to deal with rockets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Daniel Estrin - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

An Israeli military unit on Wednesday showed off a new system to counter chemical attacks. It quickly measures temperature and wind direction to determine areas to evacuate and then feeds hospitals casualty assessments.

Gaddafi proposes bi-national state at UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - December 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Every year on November 29 the United Nations General Assembly holds a discussion on the situation in the Middle East. Usually, the "conclusions" from the event are formulized into a series of condemnations against Israel, but this year Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi managed to confuse everyone and steal the show yet again. Humanitarian Award Erdogan wins Libyan human rights prize / AFP Turkish prime minister to receive Muammar Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights next week Full story

Palestinians angry over new Israeli building plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Matti Friedman - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinians criticized an Israeli decision to push forward plans for 625 new homes in east Jerusalem, saying Thursday the project shows Israel has chosen "settlements and not peace." Israel's Interior Ministry confirmed Thursday that the new housing project in Pisgat Zeev, a sprawling area of 50,000 residents, was permitted to proceed by a district planning committee late last month. Further approval is required at the district and national levels, and actual construction would not begin for at least two years.

Israeli orthodox rabbi stirs up racism debate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes - November 30, 2010 - 1:00am

From a pine-covered mountaintop in the far north of Israel, the Sea of Galilee is just visible through the mist below. This is the idyllic setting for Tzfat, as it is known in Hebrew, or Safed, as Arabic-speakers call it, a holy place for Jews. It is said to have been founded by a son of Noah after the great flood. In the past few weeks it has also become famous for a decree made by its chief rabbi who instructed residents not to rent rooms or houses to Israeli Arabs.

Israel unveils new residential plan near E.Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel on Wednesday revealed plans to build new homes on West Bank land it has annexed as part of its Jerusalem boundaries, a move likely to further hamper any resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians. The plan to build 625 homes in the urban area of Pisgat Zeev adjacent to Arab East Jerusalem was approved by an Israeli Interior Ministry committee last week, some two years after it was originally proposed, Israel Radio said.

Parsing a Palestinian Poll on Peace, With Prejudice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) December 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Well, if you’re the Zionist Organization of America, what’s in your headline is whatever distortion of the data you’re discussing that you think you can get away with. Related Articles Pro-Israel Group Polls Palestinians on Peace Process From the Right: ZOA Faithful Challenge Israelis on Freeze

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