Pres. Abbas reaches out directly to the Israeli public. Martin Indyk says Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu are developing better working relations. Rights groups critique Israel's Gaza policies. A report from The Lancet confirms long-term health costs from the Gaza blockade. Israel proposes releasing 1000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit. Abbas says direct talks depend on progress in indirect talks. Into the Gaza flotilla attack is likely to be more critical than expected. Obama is preparing to press Netanyahu on peace and settlements, and Israeli officials say the conversation will shape the future of the Middle East. PM Fayyad says direct negotiations are not imminent. Israel considers transferring authority over Gaza crossings to the PA. The Jerusalem Post says adroit Palestinian diplomacy has created a conundrum for Netanyahu. UK Methodists vote to boycott settlement products. Jeremy Ben-Ami and Debra DeLee say it's time for more honesty in pro-Israel advocacy. IPS profiles the new film “Budrus"about nonviolent Palestinian resistance.

Palestinian President Reaches Out to Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Dina Kraft - July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV — The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, made a rare effort to reach out directly to the Israeli public, calling on Israel’s leadership to step up peace efforts while suggesting that his people were growing weary waiting for a state. “We want to live in peace. Don’t kill the hope,” Mr. Abbas said in comments published Thursday after a group interview with six correspondents from Israel’s leading newspapers.

Palestinian PM: Direct Mideast peace talks are a long way off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by RIZEK ABDEL JAWAD - July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have not yet made enough progress to justify the start of face-to-face negotiations, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Thursday during a visit to France. The U.S.-mediated discussions kicked off in May and are due to last four months, with American diplomats seeking to find common ground to bring the two sides to the same table. "We have yet to see the kind of progress that would be able to justify the consideration of ... direct talks," Fayyad said following a meeting with senior European officials over aid.

Official: PM-Obama talks to determine region's future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's senior advisor's, Yitzhak Molcho and Uzi Arad, are expected to leave for Cairo on Sunday for meetings with senior Egyptian officials ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington next week. "This time, the talks with President Obama on the Palestinian issue are more important than ever," a senior state official in Jerusalem said Friday morning. "They will determine the future of the process in the region."

IDF probe into Gaza flotilla likely to be more critical than expected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The internal military probe into the Israel Defense Forces raid on the Turkish aid flotilla to Gaza headed by Gen. (res. ) Giora Eiland is expected to request more time than it was originally allotted to reach its conclusions. It appears that members of Eiland's staff are of the belief that the scope of the army's mishaps is more extensive than originally thought. The committee's findings are certainly expected to be more critical than the statements made by senior IDF officers immediately after the May 31 incident on the Mavi Marmara.

PM prepares for US visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

National Security Advisers Uzi Arad and Yitzhak Molko, will leave for Egypt on Sunday to meet with head of Egyptian Intelligence Omar Suleiman, Israel Radio reported on Friday. The meeting is meant to help Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepare for his trip to Washington on Monday. Netanyahu plans to meet US President Barack Obama next week to discuss the peace process.

Abbas: direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations subject to indirect talks' progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday told the U.S. mediator that the direct Palestinian- Israeli negotiation is subject to the progress that could be made by the ongoing indirect talks. "We hope that this position is clear to the international community and the U.S. administration" which sponsors the proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians, said Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, following a meeting here between Abbas and the U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

Israel willing to release 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for Shalit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli government agrees to free some 1,000 Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons for the release of Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday evening. "That's the price I am willing to face to bring Shalit home," local news service Ynet quoted Netanyahu as saying in a speech, by which the premier presented domestic public the government's stance on the prisoners exchange negotiation with the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Gov't: PA may control Gaza crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz, Tovah Lazaroff - July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Defense Ministry has begun preparing for the possible transfer to the PA of responsibility for the crossings into the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post has learned. On Wednesday night, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, met with Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian Authority’s minister for civilian affairs. The two men decided to establish a number of joint Israeli-PA teams to coordinate work on two issues – the renovation of the Kerem Shalom crossing and international construction projects in the Gaza Strip.

Decision time for the PM
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s three-hour-long meeting with reporters from the Hebrew press this week in Ramallah can be seen as an attempt – quite possibly with heavy US encouragement – to reach out to the Israeli public. There was nothing particularly new in what Abbas had to say.

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