Israeli left needs to wake up before it's too late
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) January 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Looking at the way the right acts makes one go green with envy and want to learn from them. Four hundred criminal cases opened against opponents of the 2005 Gaza Strip disengagement, people who threw oil, acid, garbage and stones at soldiers and police, were closed last week and their criminal record expunged. Fifty-one MKs voted in favor of the closure, nine against. That is the true map of Israeli politics (and society). Only about seven percent of the lawmakers believed that this was a worthless and dangerous decision.

Palestinians get first private equity fund at $15m start up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Two Arab investment companies on Sunday announced the launch of the first private equity fund designed to boost the Palestinian economy. The semi-official Palestine Investment Fund and Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital will provide an initial $15 million, they said in a statement, hoping to raise the total to $50 million this year. The investments would target small- and medium-sized businesses in the Palestinian territories.

IDF denies disciplining top officers over white phosphorous use in Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday denied that two of its senior officers had been summoned for disciplinary action after headquarters staff found that the men exceeded their authority in approving the use of phosphorus shells during last year's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government wrote in a recent report.

Hebron governor warns of severe reaction to new settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Hebron – Ma'an – Governor of Hebron Hussein Al-Araj warned that renewed settlement building in the area "are pushing Palestinians to react seriously," he said on Sunday evening. Israel is not offering Palestinians motivation to return to negotiations by continuing settlement construction in the West Bank, Al-Araj said, which justifies President Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to return to negotiations while building of settlements and the separation wall is ongoing. "Let everyone know that Israeli settlement construction is still in place, contrary to Israeli allegations," he said.

Abbas: We don't want guarantees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Bethlehem – Ma'an – President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in London on Friday that his government was not interested in US guarantees and denied reports that Arab ministers exerted pressure on him in Washington to resume negotiations with Israel. "The US continued to contact us and the Israelis, and they intended to give what they call 'guarantees,' but we said frankly that we didn’t want guarantees," Abbas added.

Israel: Hamas commander killed in Dubai was key arms smuggler
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Jerusalem Israel declined official comment on Sunday following news of the assassination in Dubai of a key Hamas operative. But analysts and defense officials here say that Mahmoud Mabhouh, who was found dead in his room in a luxury hotel on Jan. 20, was the point man for transferring weapons from Iran to Gaza, and has long been wanted by Israel following his involvement in the kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers more than 20 years ago.

Israel and Pacific republics, united by an island mentality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

As Israeli diplomacy goes, it was a smooth affair, unblemished by any of the policy disputes or disagreements that often follow diplomats or officials here. The visiting heads of state were eager to tour the country and soak up information in briefings by Israeli officials without breaking stride for the typical trip to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah or, as some do, a request to go to the Gaza Strip.

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