Direct negotiations may be announced imminently. Palestinians reiterate the demand for settlement freeze. Pres. Abbas says consultations are ongoing. Hamas and other extremist groups denounce negotiations. Norway's FM says the PA needs financial support. DM Barack approves the purchase of F-35 fighter jets. Five years after Israel's unilateral redeployment, Gaza's future remains uncertain. Amira Hass says Hamas relies on brute force to rule in Gaza. Akiva Eldar says the plight of Palestinian citizens of Israel shows what would be the ugly face of a binational state. Israeli occupation troops begin to experiment with politeness. The PA issues a one-year progress report on state and institution building. Sherwin Pomerantz says Israelis must support the new planned Palestinian city in the West Bank. The PA intends to stop referring patients to Israel. The BBC looks at the commando unit that stormed the Gaza flotilla, and Gwynne Dyer says both flotilla activists and Israel are lying about the incident. A bereaved Gaza doctor publishes a new book promoting peace. Tensions continue to fester between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hussein Ibish examines where the parties find themselves on the eve of direct negotiations. Ziad Asali says the PA is preparing to use its education system to combat extremism.

Ceasefire turns up the heat on Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Mitchell Prothero - August 13, 2010 - 11:00pm


A campaign by Hamas security forces against violations of an unofficial but strictly enforced ceasefire with Israel has drawn the ire of their former allies in Islamic Jihad, who now accuse the Hamas leadership of pursuing peace with Israel rather than military operations. The issue came to a head on July 31 after two homemade rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip by disgruntled militants linked to Islamic Jihad’s Al Quds Brigade, who acted out of frustration and on their own accord, according to top officials in both groups.


Israel and Palestine: Between Alternatives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Political and Economic Institute
by Hussein Ibish - August 15, 2010 - 11:00pm


Although, a very strong international consensus has emerged, over the past two decades, that the only practicable means of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a negotiated agreement allowing for two states to live side-by-side, in peace and security, little progress has been made towards that goal. Even the new designation by the United States of resolving the conflict as a national security priority and strategic imperative has yet to provide any grounds for greater optimism.


Building Rawabi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sherwin Pomerantz - August 14, 2010 - 11:00pm


In mid-January, I was in Tel Aviv for a presentation by Bashar Masri, President of Massar, a Ramallah-based holding company with investment interests in a number of projects in what may one day become a Palestinian state. Masri, having lived in America most of his life, moved to Ramallah some years ago to share his business acumen, know-how, and connections with the locals in order to assist in building the economic trappings of a new Palestinian society.


Building Rawabi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sherwin Pomerantz - August 14, 2010 - 11:00pm


In mid-January, I was in Tel Aviv for a presentation by Bashar Masri, President of Massar, a Ramallah-based holding company with investment interests in a number of projects in what may one day become a Palestinian state. Masri, having lived in America most of his life, moved to Ramallah some years ago to share his business acumen, know-how, and connections with the locals in order to assist in building the economic trappings of a new Palestinian society.


Citizens, but not equal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - August 15, 2010 - 11:00pm


It sure was considerate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wish a "Ramadan karim" to our Muslim brothers for their holy month. As they do every year, the radio broadcasts will include reports of how the president hosted "respected Arabs" for an iftar feast at the end of one of Ramadan's daily fasts. It's a lot easier to extend holiday greetings than it is to put a stop to the whims of a group of American Jews who decided to build a Museum of Tolerance on the site of what was once a Muslim cemetery in central Jerusalem.


IDF trying something new in West Bank: politeness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - August 15, 2010 - 11:00pm


Generations of Israel Defense Forces soldiers have learned a limited lexicon of Arabic expressions while working West Bank checkpoints, patrols, arrests and searches of Palestinian homes. The expressions are designed to order civilians to stop, open the door, identify themselves and present identification papers. For most troops, these are the only words of spoken Arabic that they knew. For Palestinians, this was the soundtrack to the occupation.


Gaza future vague five years after unilateral Israeli disengagement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Osama Radi - August 15, 2010 - 11:00pm


Although five years have passed since the Israeli unilateral disengagement plan was implemented and Israel completely pulled out from the Gaza Strip, Palestinian analysts believe that Israel is still keeping its grip on the densely populated costal enclave. SITUATION IN GAZA DETERIORATED Palestinian observers said that the Gaza Strip has witnesses several eras of changes over the past five years following the Israeli withdrawal. These changes, mainly the Hamas movement's takeover of the enclave, have served Israel's interests in blocking the establishment of the independent state.


Hamas, Palestinian groups say no to direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 14, 2010 - 11:00pm


Hamas and 10 Damascus-based Palestinian organizations declared they oppose the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Sunday. The Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front – General Command and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine were among the groups represented in the statement.


Palestinians reiterate demand for settlement freeze before direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 15, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Palestinian leadership Sunday stressed anew that Israel must stop all forms of settlement activities before launching direct negotiations with the Palestinians. The demand, long held by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), was a focal point when President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad held separate meetings with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store in Ramallah late last night.



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