Arab League to reject direct Palestinian-Israeli talks: analyst
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

When foreign ministers of Arab League (AL) member states meet on Thursday, they will consider whether to approve a Palestinian move towards direct talks with Israel. Ahead of that session, Israel, the United States and France have been trying to persuade regional players that face-to-face negotiations are the only sensible way to make progress. However, regional experts told Xinhua on Wednesday they think the representative body of the Arab world will reject direct negotiations at this stage.

Will someone please pay attention to the suffering?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Once again the summer heat is upon us. And once again, people's anguish, and appeals at the overcrowded King Hussein Bridge are melting as quickly as an ice cream cone in the Jordan Valley's high temperatures.

Gaza, W. Bank must be reunified before any deal with Israel: Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said here on Wednesday that reunification of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip must be carried on simultaneously with the Palestinian- Israeli peace process, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported. In a meeting with editors-in-chief of Egyptian newspapers in Cairo, Abbas reviewed the latest developments in the Palestinian arena, especially those concerning the peace process and efforts aiming to resume direct negotiations and achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

Easing of siege - 'largely cosmetic and self-serving'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Opinion) July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's easing of the siege and blockade of Gaza is largely cosmetic and self-serving. Israel has opened the gates to all food and clothing items but only 150 lorry loads enter Gaza when the crossings are open. Consequently, the volume of goods entering Gaza has only increased from 17 per cent of the amount before Israel began to impose its blockade in 2006 to 25 per cent at the present.

Arab League backs Palestinians on restarting talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by SALAH NASRAWI - July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian president is refusing to move to direct peace negotiations with Israel, as the Arab League meets Thursday to decide whether to add its weight to U.S. and Israeli pressure for face-to-face talks. Mahmoud Abbas is under strong U.S. and European pressure to restart direct talks that were frozen in 2008. But the Palestinian leader said he would only do so if Israel agrees to a complete halt in settlement construction and accepts a Palestinian state in territories seized in the 1967 Middle East war — the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

Editorial: ‘A prison camp’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The new British Premier David Cameron appears unafraid to speak his mind. Visiting his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday, he described Gaza as “a prison camp” and urged the illegal Israeli blockade be lifted.

Egypt: Abbas received American assurances
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas has received American assurances over the future of the peace process with Israel, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Thursday. Speaking to Egyptian TV Thursday morning, Abul Gheit said a series of letters from the American administration were "conveyed to the Palestinian side within the past few days." He said Arab officials were waiting for a Thursday afternoon meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas "to see what Abu Mazen [Abbas] will present."

The Palestinian conundrum on direct negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The PLO is now facing one of the most difficult problems it's had to deal with in quite a while, as it comes under very heavy pressure from the Obama administration and, as Pres. Abbas said at the African Union summit in Kampala two days ago, the “entire world” as well, to return to direct negotiations with Israel. For most people, although on two different sides of the equation, this is a no-brainer.

Mr. President, Don’t Pray for Anything You Really Don’t Want
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Barack Obama's administration has been lobbying Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Arab governments hard to return to direct talks with Israel for the first time in several years. That decision could be made as early as Thursday, when the Arab League meets to discuss the matter. But Obama should very careful what he wishes for. One of the most enduring myths in the lore surrounding Arab-Israeli diplomacy is that direct negotiations provide the key to successful peacemaking. They don't.

Why a young Israeli woman spies on Israeli settlements in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ben Lynfield - July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

If Palestinians ever achieve the viable state to which they aspire, they will have a determined young Israeli activist to thank for its territory not being entirely swallowed by Israeli settlements.

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