ATFP President Ziad Asali explains the Palestinian state and institution building program. At a major conference in Israel, PM Fayyad demands an end to the occupation, and DM Barak says without peace, Israel will be an apartheid state. Hamas says it may broaden the conflict with Israel. Israel is still considering options on a prisoner exchange. Hamas submits its response to the Goldstone report. A senior Fatah leader makes a goodwill visit to Gaza. A third "barrel bomb" washes up on an Israeli beach, and Israel bombs a Gaza smuggling tunnel in response. Dubai warns Israel, Hamas. A Ha'aretz commentary says fear of peace will be the death of Israel. Israeli officers and international experts say the Israeli military violated the rules of war by placing soldiers lives ahead of civilians. Special Envoy Mitchell reportedly urges Europeans to push for renewed negotiations.

Mitchell Urges Europe to Pressure Abbas Back to Negotiations- French Sources
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Michel Abu Najm - February 2, 2010 - 12:00am


Well-informed official French sources have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that US Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has called for French and European officials to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table with the Israelis.


Israel hits Gaza tunnels in response to barrel bombs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


Israel destroyed two Gaza smuggling tunnels in response to Hamas' attempt to attack Israeli targets in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel's Air Force on Tuesday night struck the tunnels used by Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Defense Forces. On Wednesday, a third explosives-laden barrel released by Palestinian terrorists washed up on the beach at Palmachim, in central Israel.


Michael Sfard: Laws of conflict do not allow for killing civilians in this way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Michael Sfard - (Opinion) February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


If this commander's quote represents the rules of engagement as they were applied during Operation Cast Lead, then it is a smoking gun because it proves the case that Israel was charged with. It proves the main revelations in the Breaking the Silence report. When I read the testimonies in that report – some of which were difficult to read – what was common to them was a change to rules of engagement so that either there were no rules, or they allowed soldiers to shoot anything that moved in the vicinity.


Israeli commander: 'We rewrote the rules of war for Gaza'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


A high-ranking officer has acknowledged for the first time that the Israeli army went beyond its previous rules of engagement on the protection of civilian lives in order to minimise military casualties during last year's Gaza war, The Independent can reveal.


Barak: make peace with Palestinians or face apartheid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, last night delivered an unusually blunt ­warning to his country that a failure to make peace with the Palestinians would leave either a state with no Jewish ­majority or an "apartheid" regime. His stark language and the South African analogy might have been unthinkable for a senior Israeli figure only a few years ago and is a rare admission of the gravity of the deadlocked peace process.


Finally, some Palestinian responsibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Einat Wilf - (Opinion) February 2, 2010 - 12:00am


The Israeli leadership has recently turned its attention – even if contemptuously – to the possible threat of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Regardless of whether such a move will take place or not, the real issue is not in the declaration itself but in the possibility that it points to a deeper cultural change among the Palestinians – a change which was also noted with the participation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Tuesday night in the 2010 Herzliya Conference and his subsequent speech.


Salam Fayyad: Occupation must end
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


In a rare speech to an Israeli audience, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday that Israel must show the Palestinians that it is beginning to roll back the occupation, and that the way to do that is primarily by stopping both settlement construction and IDF incursions into Palestinian areas.


IDF risked civilians to save soldiers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


The IDF risked the lives of Palestinian civilians in order to minimize the risk posed to its soldiers during Operation Cast Lead, the Independent quoted "a high-ranking" IDF officer as saying in a report published Wednesday. The officer, who reportedly served as a commander during the war in Gaza, acknowledged that following the heavy casualties in the Second Lebanon War, the IDF went beyond its previous rules of engagement on the protection of civilian lives in order to minimize military casualties.


Fear of peace will be the death of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) February 3, 2010 - 12:00am


As the grandson of anarchists, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for fanatics. Expressions of extremism, and passionately reasoned, exquisitely twisted world views make me feel, how shall I put this, at home. So it was with a certain relish that I approached the cover story of a recent issue of Commentary, "The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace," written as it was by a talented colleague and friend, Evelyn Gordon.



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