Palestinians have reportedly opened proximity talks with a surprisingly generous offer on borders. Israel is blocking official mail between the West Bank and Gaza. PA boycott volunteers say the Israeli army is searching for them. Israel says it is determined to break the boycott. Settlers in occupied East Jerusalem denounce negotiations. Experts say water may not prove a difficult issue. Palestinians accuse Israel of going ahead with planned home demolitions. Palestinian officials deny they are secretly negotiating with NATO. Shaul Mishal and Doron Mazza say Israel should propose a Palestinian state with provisional borders. Israel bombs three Gaza tunnels. The Economist profiles Palestinian state building efforts and Israeli extremists protest against the project. The Jerusalem Post says negotiations are off to a rocky start. Jonathan Power says Israel's policies are self-defeating.

Israel is shooting itself in the foot - and the back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Jonathan Power - May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


Too many Jews in Israel don’t want a settlement with the Palestinians. At every turn, whatever the compromising rhetoric of those at the top of the pyramid of power, there are enough hardliners with enormous influence that are determined to undermine such a deal. This became abundantly clear when, in 1995, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, in the process of reaching out to the Palestinians, was murdered by an extremist Jewish militant. Although there was an outpouring of grief, there were a good 30 to 40 per cent who thought, and even said, “good riddance”.


Heat rises in boycott of Israeli settlers' goods
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


As thousands of volunteers took to the streets of the West Bank to distribute lists of companies whose products the Palestinian Authority wants to ban from shelves in shops and homes, Israeli groups representing settlers and manufacturers mulled their own response to what is quickly becoming a new front in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


Can Palestinians peacefully build a state?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
May 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


A PORTLY official from the office of the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, planted a kiss on Musa Abu Mariya’s right eye, enveloped him in a bear hug and sped off in his sport utility vehicle trailing a cloud of dust. Mr Abu Mariya organises protests in Beit Omar, a town on the West Bank, against Israel’s appropriation of land for settlements and security walls that can cut through Palestinian farms and hurt the villagers’ livelihood. As official visits go, it was better than most. But the kiss left Mr Abu Mariya squirming.


Proximity talks off to rocky start
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


US envoy George Mitchell left Israel on Thursday afternoon, ending the second round of proximity talks, with each side claiming their contacts with the American mediator focused on something completely different. Following a three-hour meeting with Mitchell, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying the second part of their meeting focused on water issues, while the first part of the talks dealt with a number of issues, including gestures Israel might make to the Palestinians.


Hundreds protest new PA city
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


Hundreds participated in a march on Friday to protest the ongoing construction of a new Palestinian city – Rawabi, by the Palestinian Authority, on land slated by the government for nearby settlements, north-east of Ramallah. The protesters, mostly settlers from the Binyamin region, stressed that their protest was directed at government policy. "This is not a local problem, this is about the tacit agreement and acquiescence of the Israeli government to the laying of foundations for a Palestinian state," the demonstration organizers from the Binyamin Citizens' Committee said.


IDF attacks 3 Gaza tunnels
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israel Air Force jets attacked three tunnels in the Gaza Strip in a joint Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet operation on Thursday night, several hours after a Qassam rocket hit the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. Two of the targets attacked were in the southern Strip and one was in the northern Strip. According to the IDF, terrorists were using the tunnels to try to infiltrate Israel.


A state within temporary borders plus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shaul Mishal - May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


The latest American and Palestinian steps to promote a diplomatic agreement between Israel and the Palestinians confronts Israel with two bad alternatives. The first is conducting negotiations à la U.S. President Barack Obama, which repeats the model for a final-status solution and an end to the conflict that failed in the past decade. The second is Palestinian sovereignty that would be promoted by both Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.


Israel seeks to halt Palestinian boycott of settlement products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ora Coren - May 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Manufacturers Association has asked the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry for compensation for its members who have been hurt by the Palestinian boycott against goods produced in the West Bank. Ministry officials have already approached their Palestinian counterparts and international bodies to ask them to act to cancel the boycott, which they say violates international trade rules and policies. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer raised the issue with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a recent meeting.


Palestinian official denies secret contacts to bring NATO forces
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


A senior Palestinian official on Thursday denied reports that the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) was holding secret talks to persuade the NATO to monitor the borders of the future Palestinian state. "There are in-depth contacts with Jordan and all other Arab countries to brief them on the situation in the region, but there are no secret contacts with international forces," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.



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