A new poll of Muslim countries shows little enthusiasm for Hamas and Hezbollah. Palestinians reportedly agree to US proximity talks but ask for clarifications. Israeli right-wingers condemn the New Israel Fund. A Wall Street Journal commentary says settlers should stay in a Palestinian state. The head of the Herziliya conference says more Palestinians should participate and former Sharon advisor Weissglas praises PM Fayyad's courage. International donors, Palestinian officials discuss municipal projects. Israeli forces arrest two foreign activists in the West Bank and dozens of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. Hamas denies regretting Israeli civilians' deaths from rocket attacks. Israel bans a Palestinian geographer from traveling abroad for six months. King Abdallah of Jordan says Pres. Obama's "undivided attention is desperately needed" on peace. A senior Saudi prince says his public handshake with Israel’s deputy foreign minister does not signal a change in policy.

Saudi prince’s handshake with Israeli minister ‘does not change policy’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Caryle Murphey - February 7, 2010 - 1:00am

A senior Saudi Arabian prince said yesterday that his public handshake with Israel’s deputy foreign minister after a testy exchange of words in Germany on Saturday does not signal a change in Saudi government policy. “This event should not be taken out of context or misunderstood,” Prince Turki al Faisal said in a statement. “My strong objections and condemnations of Israel’s policies and actions against the Palestinians remain unchanged.”

Israel satisfied with Ban’s report on Goldstone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
February 7, 2010 - 1:00am

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's report to the General Assembly "reflected accurately" Israel's response to the Goldstone report, the Foreign Ministry said. "This Israeli document expresses Israel's full commitment to carry out credible independent investigations that meet the standards of international law," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released shortly after the General Assembly's meeting last Friday on the status of the implementation of the Goldstone report's recommendations.

Jordan's king: US credibility under question
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - February 7, 2010 - 1:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah believes time is running out for negotiations. In a CNN interview CNN aired Sunday, Abdullah estimated that there was no more than a month to move the peace process forward. He warned of what may take place in the Arab League summit, criticized the American administration and noted that "the credibility of the US is under question."

Distribution of Beit Yehonatan evacuation orders called off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - February 8, 2010 - 1:00am

The handing out of evacuation and sealing orders to the Jewish residents of a building in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan has been called off. The Jerusalem Municipality said that it was operating according to police instructions. Inspectors were meant to arrive in the neighborhood on Monday to issue the orders to the residents of Beit Yehonatan, and the residents were meant to receive a seven-day warning before the actual evacuation.

The Visionary of the Palestinian State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Yedioth Ahronoth
by Dov Weissglas - (Opinion) February 7, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad addressed the 2010 Herzliya Conference. He addressed the conference, with characteristic courage, despite criticism from Hamas and Al-Jazeera, because he believed that it was important, specifically at this current juncture in time in which the two governments are unable to communicate, to speak directly to the Israelis. In his speech, Fayyad promised that a Palestinian state would be established by the end of 2012-a state that he has been toiling to organize and prepare for the past number of years.

Israel bars Palestinian expert on settlements from travel abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - February 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Interior Minister Eli Yishai has banned Palestinian geographer Khalil Tufakji, a resident of Jerusalem, from traveling abroad for six months, citing unspecified security concerns. The ban was issued on the recommendation of the Shin Bet security service and is based on 1948 Emergency regulations. "Having been convinced that there is real concern that the exit of Mr. Khalil Tufakji from Israel may harm the security of the state, I order that he be banned from exiting the country until 2 August, 2010," the order reads.

Abbas give in to U.S. pressure for indirect Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - February 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Following heavy international pressure, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to the U.S. proposal to hold talks with Israel - in the format of indirect negotiations conducted by U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. Senior Palestinian sources confirmed Sunday that Abbas has agreed in principle to the U.S. proposal for indirect talks. According to the same sources, Abbas intends to ask for a number of clarifications with the U.S. administration and will consult with Arab leaders prior to giving Washington his final response.

Hamas denies regretting Israeli civilians' death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 6, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas said Saturday that it did not regret the death of Israeli civilians by rockets militants fired from the Gaza Strip during Israel's military operation against the coastal strip. "There has been no regret or apology, on the contrary, we held the Israeli occupation responsible for the crimes committed during the war," said Mohammed al-Ghoul, minister of justice of the deposed Hamas government.

Israel arrests dozens of Palestinians in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli military forces stormed on Monday morning a refugee camp in East Jerusalem and arrested dozens of Palestinians. Local sources in the camp told Xinhua that a large force of Israeli soldiers reinforced by military bulldozers stormed the Shu 'fat refugee camp in the north of East Jerusalem, who raided houses and arrested dozens of young men. Israel deems Jerusalem as its indivisible capital, while the Palestinians want the east section of the holy city as capital of their future state. Hence, conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians in the region happen every now and then.

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