PM Netanyahu finds himself on the defensive, and is facing challenges from FM Lieberman. FM Al-Maliki says Lieberman is playing catch-up with Palestinian diplomacy. Israel arrests staff from the British consulate. Pres. Abbas says he is 'always ready' for talks after a settlement freeze resumes. US peace efforts revive after the holiday break. Labor MKs says they may leave the cabinet if there is no progress on peace. Israel arrests three Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza. Abbas' brother passes away in Syria. Ha'aretz says Israel must let Palestinians peacefully protest. Mohammed Dahlan denies a plot to overthrow Abbas. DM Barak says Israel should focus on the Palestinian track. An Asian aid convoy reaches Gaza. Palestinians are pursuing their own Plan B for peace. Hassan Barari says the US must change its approach. Joschka Fischer says its time for final status talks. Ziad Asali and Hussein Ibish say Arabs and Arab Americans must take responsibility for combating extremism.

Honesty and Hypocrisy in Facing Terrorism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Ziad Asali, Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

The murderous 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.

Barack Obama must move ahead to final-status talks over Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Joschka Fischer - (Opinion) January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Two years have passed since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Much to his credit – and in contrast to his predecessor – Obama tried, from his first day in office, to work toward a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Barak deceives Barack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

The American administration seems to have got cold feet about the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Since the advent of the Obama administration, there has been a lot of talk and much hope, but the American administration has yet to deliver on its promises. If anything, its failure to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze settlement building has exposed the impotence of American diplomacy vis-à-vis Israel.

Palestinians pursue 'Plan B' after failed talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
December 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis have reached an impasse over the thorny issue of Jewish settlements. As Washington searches for a way forward, the Palestinians are taking things into their own hands by pursuing a "Plan B", asking countries to recognise an independent Palestinian state. The BBC's Yolande Knell reports from Jerusalem. As the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas laid the symbolic cornerstone for a new embassy in Brazil on Friday, he hoped the greater significance of the act would be noted.

Gaza blockade: Asia 1 aid convoy reaches Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Some 100 pro-Palestinian activists, part of an Asian aid convoy, have crossed into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. The convoy's $1m (760,000 euros) worth of cargo was due to arrive separately by boat later, organisers said. Egypt refused visas to some Iranians and Jordanians travelling with the convoy, which left India on 2 December. Activists had planned to reach the Hamas-run Gaza Strip by 27 December, the second anniversary of Israel's 22-day Cast Lead offensive on Gaza. More than 1,400 Gazans and 13 Israelis died during the 2008-2009 Gaza war.

Barak: No progress on Syrian track, focus on Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hanan Greenberg - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel must do everything in its power to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday. During a visit to the Tze'elim army base in south Israel, Barak said there was no progress on the Syrian track and that Israel should focus its efforts on jumpstarting the negotiations with the Palestinians. The defense minister said that in Israel's "complex" reality, the government has a responsibility to seek every possible way to reignite the peace process with the Palestinians and pursue peace on a regional level.

Fatah strongman Dahlan denies plot to overthrow Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan has denied accusation that he had been plotting a military coup to unseat Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Al-Hayat daily reported on Tuesday. Palestinian Authority security forces questioned the Fatah Central Committee member on Sunday over a recent spat with Abbas and requested that he leave for Amman. Dahlan denied allegations that he attempted to overthrow Abbas or that he had been harboring weapons and told Al-Hayat that the investigation was essentially a "non-story".

Israel must allow Palestinians to protest in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a 36-year-old kindergarten teacher, was killed over the weekend after she choked on tear gas while watching the weekly demonstration at her village. Residents and human rights activists from at home and abroad demonstrate against the separation fence that was built on village land. Abu Rahmah died less than two years after her brother Bassem was killed by a tear-gas canister fired directly at his chest at a similar protest. A third brother, Ashraf, was caught on camera as he was shot by Israeli soldiers while he was handcuffed.

Palestinian President's brother dies in Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' elder brother Atta Rida Shehada Abbas passed away in Syria, the local Al-Thawra daily reported on Tuesday. Atta Abbas, among the first generation of Fatah movement, died of a heart attack here on Monday and was buried in Martyrs Graveyard in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees near Damascus, Mahmoud al-Khalidi, the Palestinian ambassador to Damascus was quoted as saying. President Abbas, 76, will receive mourners in his Ramallah office on Wednesday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

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