Hamas' military wing threatens to capture more Israeli soldiers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, threatened Thursday to abduct more Israeli soldiers in order to force a prisoner exchange with Israel. At a press conference in Gaza City, the Brigades' spokesperson, Abu Obeideh, said, "An Israeli incursion in Gaza announces good news to Gilad Shalit, that he may have new friends." Abu Obeideh announced a plan to defend Gaza saying, "It will stun the Israelis and confuse them." He gave no further details.

News: The Israel-Hamas prisoner swap may have profound regional implications. Jubilation over the agreement dampens. Hamas' military wing threatens to capture more Israeli soldiers for additional prisoner exchange. Hezbollah says the deal is proof that “resistance” is effective. Fatah officials say meetings with Hamas leaders were “positive.” Tensions continue to grow between Israeli authorities and Bedouin citizens. Israeli settlers attack a Palestinian school. The US calls Israel's move to recognize “unauthorized outpost” settlements “unhelpful to peace efforts.” Palestinians say they're going to try to join as many UN and international agencies as possible. Commentary: Tom Perry says neither Israel nor Fatah would give Hamas credit for the release of Marwan Barghouti. John Quigley and Gabi Fahel say Abbas was right to go to the UN and try to internationalize the peace process. Avraham Burg says the PA should organize Palestinians to vote en masse in Jerusalem elections as a pilot program in democratizing the entire area. The Guardian says the prisoner swap was a “rare outbreak of common sense.” Taufiq Rahim says the agreement gives Hamas a new lease on political life. The National says Hamas should build on this momentum by forging a reasonable unity deal with the PA. The Arab News says the world must not forget Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Ilan Baruch says Palestinian success at the UN also serves US and Israeli interests.

Palestinian success at UN serves Israeli and US interests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ilan Baruch - (Opinion) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestine knows, Israel knows, the US knows, and the entire world knows what the end result of any attempt to end the conflict in the Middle East must be. Like so many others in Israel and Palestine, I, too, sat transfixed in front of the television screen as I listened to the speeches at the UN by US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. All three of them addressed the representatives of the countries around the world but spoke to their peoples at home. And I was amazed.

Sweet freedom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Freedom is in the air. And no words can sum up the sentiments and emotions of thousands of Palestinian families as they anxiously await the release of their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, fathers and mothers who have spent years and decades in Israeli prisons. Especially when so many times in the past they had come tantalizingly close to reuniting with their loved ones only to see their hopes crashed. This is a déjà vu moment they have experienced rather too often in the past, forever hanging between hope and despair.

Reconciliation after prisoner exchange
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

The prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel - announced but not yet concluded - could not have come at a more urgent moment. The fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has caused friction between Hamas and Fatah since he was kidnapped on Israeli soil in 2006. Removing such a stumbling block to unity can only be a good thing.

Hamas trades Shalit for a new lease on its political standing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Taufiq Rahim - (Opinion) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York last month, he demanded the release of about 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. At the time he was riding a wave of momentum due to the bid for recognition of a Palestinian state at the world body.

Palestinian prisoner swap: Rare outbreak of common sense
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Editorial) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

It is hard to read the prisoner swap agreement to free Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held in Gaza for five years, as anything less than a victory for his captors, Hamas. But it is a qualified one. Of the 1,027 prisoners Israel has agreed to release, 479 of the names have been nominated by Hamas (the rest will be chosen by Israel). Of the 479, 315 were serving life sentences for involvement in some of the bloodiest attacks on Israel, and most served over 20 years.

Palestinians should vote in Jerusalem elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avraham Burg - (Opinion) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

It was depressing to see American President Barack Obama's weak appearance at the United Nations. It was depressing to see this talented man, who brought such great hope to the world, presenting the pitiable position of a feeble empire. It was embarrassing to see him defending positions and people whom only a few months earlier he had attacked with fury. His obsequiousness is shameful, and this weakness is a real danger to the world. Therefore anyone who wants peace cannot make do merely with accusing Obama. One cannot allow his desperation to have veto power over our hope.

Why the president was right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Gabi Fahel, John Quigley - (Analysis) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to request UN membership for Palestine at the Security Council is the right decision. It is the right decision if you believe in two states. It is the right decision if you believe in one state. It is the wrong decision if you believe in the status quo. The status quo is the continuing occupation of Palestine and its people, daily human rights violations, denial of access to Jerusalem and Palestinian holy sites, as well as settlement construction without end. The status quo also means no tangible remedy for Palestinian refugees.

Barghouti's fate now firmly in Israel's hands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
(Opinion) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Left out of a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, the Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti must now wait for a different type of deal to get him out of the Israeli jail where he is serving multiple life sentences. It may never happen. Hamas's indirect negotiations with Israel to exchange the soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails were seen over the last few years as Barghouti's best hope of release.

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