Abbas falls short of Colombian support for UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas left Colombia empty-handed Tuesday after failing to secure support from President Juan Manuel Santos for his bid to gain state recognition at the United Nations. "We want the Palestinian state to exist. But this can only come as the result of a (UN) vote or resolution. It must be the product of negotiations (between Israelis and Palestinians) because this is the only way to achieve peace," Santos said after meeting Abbas in Bogota.

Who Gains, Who Loses in Israel-Hamas Prisoner Swap to Free Gilad Shalit?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Win-win outcomes are all too rare in the Middle East, but the agreement that will see Hamas free captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for a reported 1,000 Palestinian prisoners will allow each of its stakeholders to claim victory.

Israel’s West Bank General Warns Against Radicals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli general in charge of most of the West Bank has a message for members of Congress who want to end American aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its bid to join the United Nations: Don’t do it. Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, said that such a step would lead to instability and insecurity for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Whatever else happens, this represents a massive shake-up in the conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Opinion) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The prisoner swap foreshadowed in the deal approved by Israel's Cabinet last night is a huge shake of the kaleidoscope through which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been viewed. For the majority of Israelis, including the parents of Gilad Shalit, the return of the young soldier after his five-year ordeal will be a cause of unalloyed celebration. So too – assuming the deal is realised as proposed – will it be for hundreds of families of Palestinian prisoners. But in terms of raw politics, its effect will be no less dramatic.

Gilad Shalit release: Why Israel and Hamas agreed to a prisoner swap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - (Analysis) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced tonight that Israel and Hamas have agreed to an historic prisoner swap deal that will release Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who has been held for five years in the Gaza Strip, in return for some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. After thanking the Egyptian government for mediating the deal, Mr. Netanyahu said that if everything goes according to plan, Mr. Shalit would return home in the coming days. "Today I am bringing the cabinet a proposal that will bring Gilad home healthy and in one piece," he said.

Israel and Hamas are both winners and losers in Shalit swap deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Opinion) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

This Sunday will mark 25 years since Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad was taken captive, never to return. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's effort to conclude a deal for the return of Gilad Shalit, was meant to ensure that the kidnapped soldier would not share Arad's fate. Barring any last-minute hitches, it seems Shalit will be home in a few days, after more than five years in captivity.

Hamas steals Abbas thunder with prisoner deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - (Analysis) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas has jumped back into the Middle East spotlight with a prisoner swap deal with Israel that will score points over President Mahmoud Abbas and steal some of the thunder he generated by pushing for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. But the deal hailed by the Islamist group which governs Gaza as a national victory was dimmed by Israel's refusal to free some prominent prisoners from rival factions, chief among them Marwan Barghouti -- a leading figure in Abbas' Fatah movement.

Details emerge of prisoner swap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Ori Lewis - October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Prospects of a long-elusive deal with Hamas to secure the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began to take off in July, Israel's negotiator said on Tuesday. David Meidan, who did the talking for Israel, said Israeli intelligence identified three months ago that the Islamist movement which rules the Gaza Strip and holds Shalit had become more pragmatic and was ready to do a deal with Egypt as mediator.

Israel and Hamas Agree to Swap Prisoners for Soldier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel and Hamas announced an agreement on Tuesday to exchange more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza for five years, a deal brokered by Egypt that seemed likely to shake up Middle East politics at a time when the region is immersed in turmoil. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told his nation in a live address on television that the soldier, Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who was captured in June 2006 at the age of 19, could be home “within days,” ending what has been widely seen in Israel as a national trauma.

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