Hamas tries to stop other militant groups from attacking Israel from Gaza. Jackson Diehl says the Middle East is poised on the brink of war. Guyana becomes the seventh South American state to recognize Palestine in recent weeks, and speculation grows about other regions following suit. Special Envoy Mitchell meets with Israeli and Palestinian officials. Hamas leaders deny that their policies are misogynistic. The Karni Crossing to Gaza is again closed. PM Erdogan says Israel must replace FM Lieberman. Fatah warns Hamas against increasing tensions in the West Bank. PM Netanyahu promises unauthorized settlement outpost homes of slain Israeli soldiers will not be demolished. The Israeli military is confiscating settlers' weapons. Pres. Obama is reportedly forming a Middle East task force. Conspiracy theories about Mossad proliferate in the Arab world. Israel demolishes homes and classrooms in the West Bank. Israeli firms involved in the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank pledge not to use settlement products. Elliot Jager says Hamas-Fatah reconciliation is unlikely. Ziad Asali and Hussein Ibish say Arabs need to end hypocrisy in confronting terrorism. Michael Felsen says time is running out for a two-state solution.

The Hamas-Fatah Two-Step
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Elliot Jager - (Opinion) January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

Disturbed by the diplomatic deadlock over negotiations with the Palestinians, many Westerners, and some Israelis themselves, have focused on the need to accommodate the demands of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA). For, they suggest, the alternative would be much worse: namely, being forced to deal with the chronic and openly violent rejectionism of Hamas, the terrorist movement that controls the Gaza Strip.

Israeli firms on Palestinian building project sign anti-settlement clause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

A dozen Israeli companies working on a Palestinian construction project have signed contracts stipulating they must not use Israeli products originating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. The move has sparked calls from Jewish settler groups and their supporters for a counter-boycott. The lucrative contracts are conditional on the firms agreeing to eschew "products of the territories" in line with the Palestinian Authority's boycott of goods and services from settlements.

Arabs must end the ambiguity and hypocrisy when facing terrorism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

The recent bomb attacks against Christian communities in Egypt and Iraq have been roundly condemned by most political and religious leaders, commentators and public opinion in the Arab world. They have also been met with an outpouring of passionate condemnation by ordinary people who have taken to the streets to express anger and demand justice. People have sensed the danger to their whole society inherent in such atrocities.

Clock ticking for Israel and Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Michael Felsen - (Opinion) January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Since then, US efforts to restart the talks, including a generous package of sweeteners to induce a further Israeli settlement-building moratorium, have failed. The Palestinian leadership has consistently argued that it cannot negotiate while settlement construction continues in areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem that will likely be part of a future Palestinian state. Meanwhile, settlement construction proceeds apace. Hence, despite last summer's hopeful beginnings, movement in the direction of peace has come to a screeching halt.

Will Asia, Africa Follow Latin America on Palestine?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Thalif Deen - January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

"It is a decision to be made by individual countries in their respective capitals," says one U.N. diplomat, who also ruled out any chances of a collective decision by regional or other power blocs such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) or African Union (AU). But still, the Latin American initiative is expected to pick up steam within the region as other countries join the growing list. The move was led by outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva when he made the announcement to formally recognise Palestine back on Dec. 3.

Israel demolishes homes and classroom in West Bank village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

In a bleak but beautiful landscape of undulating stony hills I watched a group of Palestinian schoolchildren take their lessons yesterday in the open air next to a heap of rubble that, until this week, was their classroom. This is the village of Dkaika, about as far south in the West Bank as you can get. It's a community of around 300 people, without electricity or running water, whose days are spent tending their herds of goats and sheep and trying not to attract the attention of nearby Jewish settlers.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Shark, It’s a Mossad Spy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Michael Grubb - (Opinion) January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

The “spy” vulture – a raptor Saudis captured and accused of collecting intelligence for Israel – was finally freed on Monday after six days in captivity. Prince Bandar bin Saud Al Saud, the head of Saudi Arabia’s wildlife agency, confirmed the global positioning technology found on the bird was being used by scientists to track its movements.

Obama forming Mideast 'task force'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

As chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's emissary Yitzhak Molcho continue their separate talks in Washington with US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, the Obama administration is looking for new ideas to jumpstart the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The POLITICO website reported Thursday that the Obama administration is seeking new ideas from diplomats and former administration officials familiar with the Mideast conflict and on how to advance the peace process.

IDF collecting settlers' weapons
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Akiva Novick - January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

The Judea and Samaria Division has decided to collect hundreds of weapons handed to West Bank settlers by the army in light of the relative calm in the territories in recent years, infuriating settlement leaders. At the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada, more than a decade ago, the settlers received weapons from the army to help defend their communities. The recent improvement in the security-related situation in the West Bank, alongside a significant increase in weapon thefts in the settlements, has led to a decision to reduce the amount of military weapons available to settlers.

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