UPDATE 1-Israel to blame for "collapse" of talks-Abbas aide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

The United States should openly blame Israel for the "collapse" of the peace process, a senior Palestinian official said on Thursday, in one of the bleakest assessments yet on Middle East peace efforts. New Israeli plans to build near East Jerusalem show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want to resume peace talks, Palestinian officials said.

Former Fatah star Mohammed Dahlan falls from favour
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - (Analysis) December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM // Where is Mohammed Dahlan? For days rumours have swirled of a falling out between the one-time heir apparent to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian Authority officials will not confirm the reports, but what is certain is that Mr Dahlan, 49, Fatah's former security chief in the Gaza Strip, has dropped out of sight. The Palestinian daily Al Quds Al Arabi recently reported that Mr Dahlan had openly criticised the Palestinian president and his family's business dealings.

Was PA cabinet reshuffle postponed?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Fatah Revolutionary Council Secretary-General Amin Maqboul denied Thursday that a reported PA cabinet reshuffle was postponed until the new year, saying discussions were ongoing between President Mahmoud Abbas and his appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. "Abbas gave a clear decision about the cabinet reshuffle," Maqboul told Ma’an, adding that the president is the only person in power who can make the call.

Israel restricts Al-Aqsa access
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli forces closed most gates leading into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Thursday morning, leaving only two open. All worshipers under 40 years old were barred by Israeli police from entering the compound, and prayed together in the streets adjacent to the Haram Ash-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) which houses the mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The action came following the entry of an estimated 55 religious Jews into the mosque compound shortly after 8 a.m., witnesses said. The group was accompanied by more than a dozen Israeli guards.

2 Islamic Jihad men killed on Gaza border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as they reportedly tried to infiltrate an Israeli kibbutz east of the Gaza Strip, military radio reported on Thursday. The Israeli military said the bodies of two members of Islamic Jihad were found in the area. Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, also announced that the two were members of the organization.

A ‘tragic and dangerous development’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Opinion) December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Reliable sources report that George Mitchell, a hero of the Good Friday agreement which ended Catholic-Protestant warfare in Northern Ireland, is set to step down from his post as US peace broker. Having tried and failed to relaunch negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis since being appointed by President Barack Obama early in 2009, Mitchell is apparently “to bow out” or “throw in the towel” in despair - as they say. If this report is correct, Mitchell’s departure would be a tragic and dangerous development.

WEST BANK: Abbas still waiting for U.S. answers on Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday took the opportunity of laying the cornerstone for the new presidential headquarters just north of the West Bank city of Ramallah to tell the world that he was still waiting for U.S. answers regarding an Israeli settlement freeze that would pave the way for resuming direct negotiations. However, he said, the answer may come as early as Thursday. “We did not yet receive the official U.S. answers on stopping settlements,” Abbas said. “Maybe we will hear something official tomorrow."

Syria's Assad seems to suggest backing for Hamas negotiable, leaked cables say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Syrian President Bashar Assad described Hamas as an "uninvited guest" in his country in confidential conversations with American lawmakers, and appeared to suggest he would be willing to give up the alliance in exchange for incentives, according to several documents contained in the trove of leaked diplomatic cables posted online by the website WikiLeaks.

Editorial: US responsibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) December 1, 2010 - 1:00am

We hear Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week warning that the unresolved Jewish settlements issue is a time bomb waiting to blow apart any chance of a peace deal between Palestinians and Israelis. We hear, too, from international aid and human rights organizations that Israel’s claims to have eased the blockade on Gaza is a lie; it has had almost no effect and done nothing to improve the lives of ordinary Palestinians there. We hear, as well, that a poll of Israeli Jews finds that they are intolerant and suspicious of Israeli Arab citizens.

Hamas Leader in Gaza Softens on Vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - December 2, 2010 - 1:00am

The leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said Wednesday for the first time that any resolution of the Palestinian dispute with Israel should be put to a referendum of all Palestinians around the world, and that if one were held, Hamas would accept the results no matter what they were. In the past, when President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority discussed holding such a referendum, Hamas had been critical, saying that principles like the return of refugees and the borders of the state could not be subject to a vote.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017