Palestinian U.S. mission raises flag in Washington for first time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

In a symbolic gesture, the Palestinians raised their flag over their diplomatic mission in Washington for the first time on Tuesday, as they continue in their quest for recognition by the international community. At a brief ceremony, the Palestinians' chief envoy to the United States, Maen Rashid Areikat, hoisted the red, green, white and black banner outside the PLO General Delegation office. "This is a historic day," Areikat said, adding that it brought him "much pride" to raise his flag. "I will remember this moment for the rest of my life."

Hariri Tribunal will be Hezbollah's Goldstone Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Despite the understandable anxiety about the collapse of the Lebanese government—and the reaction of Hezbollah to the increasing likelihood that some of its operatives may be indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri—the most probable scenario is that, for now, things in Lebanon will stay much as they have been.

Who will be the next to recognize an independent Palestinian state?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Shamir - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Who will be the next country to recognize an independent Palestinian state? The guessing game continued on Tuesday, after Russia's president said Moscow recognizes an independent Palestine. Diplomatic sources in New York speculate that the first country in Western Europe to recognize Palestinian independence will be Spain. The significance of this potential recognition cannot be understated, as it could potentially influence other countries in Europe to make the same decision.

Israel can't stop Palestinian independence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

They will go out into Jerusalem's summer heat and march down Saladin Street toward the Old City walls. Fifty Palestinians, then 100, then 200 and 1,000 and 10,000. Marching and shouting "Istiqlal," independence. Not because they support Ehud Barak's new party, Atzmaut (the Hebrew word for independence ), but to get Israel out of the territories beyond the Green Line and establish a Palestinian state there. Just like the demonstrators in Tunisia got rid of Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali.

Israeli army digging in to protect wartime assets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday it plans to implement comprehensive measures in order to better protect missiles, munitions and other crucial military hardware from rocket attacks in any future conflict, according to The Jerusalem Post. In addition, the Home Front Command has shortened the estimated time civilians would have to take cover from incoming missiles. The army will not have the medium-range "Iron Dome" anti- missile system, which is said to protect areas in a 70-km radius, up and running until 2013.

Palestinian, Russian leaders urge settlement freeze to resume negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Fares Akram - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called on Israel to stop building settlements in order to resume stalled peace talks. "There are two options: negotiations and peace, or violence and terrorism," Abbas told a news conference after his talks with Medvedev in the West Bank city of Jericho, "The Palestinian side will never choose the second option."

Mideast quartet to hold Munich talks in Feb-Germany
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

The quartet of Middle East mediators will meet at the annual Munich Security conference next month to mull how to resuscitate peace talks between Israel and Palestinians, a German government official said on Friday. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany hoped an "urgently needed boost" could be given to the talks when representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and the United States come together in Munich.

Fayyad: Taxes must rise to reduce aid dependency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Sunday that taxes must rise to reduce dependence on donors. Fayyad, a former World Bank economist, faced a barrage of questions on the state of the economy during a meeting with journalists in Ramallah. Reporters asked Fayyad what support his government would offer to assist struggling families and the unemployed, and whether taxes would rise. The PA premier said in order to provide support for citizens, Palestinians faced a choice between aid dependency and increased taxes.

1 killed as Israeli troops raid Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and injured two others on Tuesday in the northern Gaza Strip. Medics and witnesses said the three men were civilians, and that soldiers in an Israeli military post launched five shells towards the mainly agricultural area. Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya identified the slain as Amjad Sami Az-Za’aneen, 20, and said two others were moderately injured and transported to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for treatment. An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces opened fire at a group of men who were handling a detonation device.

Arab League praises PA's diplomatic efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Arab League chief Amr Mussa on Tuesday praised the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic efforts to secure international recognition of a Palestinian state. PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Malki updated Arab foreign ministers on diplomatic developments in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh, where leaders gathered ahead of an Arab League summit on Wednesday. Foreign ministers praised Palestinian diplomatic achievements, and promised to support President Mahmoud Abbas' political strategy.

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