October 24th

Livni breaks ranks over prisoner exchange deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni yesterday broke sharply with the mainstream consensus of support for the prisoner exchange which secured abducted soldier Gilad Shalit’s release with an emphatic warning that it had strengthened Hamas and weakened Israel. Ms Livni yesterday called on the government to co-ordinate the second batch of 550 prisoner releases with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to offset a deal in which “an extreme right wing [Israeli] government has provided legitimacy for the Hamas.”

IDF recommends freeing Fatah prisoners as gesture to Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - (Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel should make a series of gestures to the Palestinian Authority to reduce the damage caused the PA by last week's deal for the return of Gilad Shalit, the Israel Defense Forces' General Staff believes. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's advisers vehemently oppose the idea, as do several members of his forum of eight senior ministers, arguing that PA President Mahmoud Abbas "should be punished" for his unilateral bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

Freed Palestinian prisoners hope to rebuild lives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Tara Todras-Whitehill - (Analysis) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian prisoners sent to the Gaza Strip in a swap for a captive Israeli soldier last week are contemplating the rest of their lives after years behind bars. Some say they want to put their violent pasts behind them and move on, now that the celebrations marking their release have faded.

Arab Spring may endanger Mideast peace - Blair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Tom Pfeiffer - (Analysis) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Arab pro-democracy uprisings spell more regional instability that could complicate peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians but also make it necessary to get the process back on track, envoy Tony Blair said on Sunday. Blair will sit down separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials this week in Jerusalem to try to revive a peace process that broke down more than a year ago because of a dispute over Jewish settlement expansion.

The real threat to Israel's Jewish character
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel is a Jewish state - this was the international legitimacy it received in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, this is the principle underlying its Declaration of Independence, Law of Return, Citizenship Law and a long list of laws, regulations and customs. All Israeli governments, left or right, followed this, and Israel's social reality is imbued with it. After a few hours in the country, a visitor from Mars would have no difficulty realizing that he had landed in a Jewish state.

Netanyahu is holding Israel hostage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

When you hugged Gilad Shalit's fragile body to your chest, perhaps you thought of your brother Yoni, who gave his life for the ethos that one doesn't negotiate with terrorists. When you heard the cries of joy in Gaza at the sight of the murderers you had set free, perhaps you recalled the countless speeches you gave, and the book you wrote, about the necessity of waging an uncompromising war on terror: They are what paved your way from a Jerusalem furniture factory to Israel's top job. And one can safely assume your elderly father wasn't enthusiastic over your "capitulation to terror."

United States needs to reevaluate its assistance to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Walter Pincus - (Opinion) October 17, 2011 - 12:00am

As the country reviews its spending on defense and foreign assistance, it is time to examine the funding the United States provides to Israel. Let me put it another way: Nine days ago, the Israeli cabinet reacted to months of demonstrations against the high cost of living there and agreed to raise taxes on corporations and people with high incomes ($130,000 a year). It also approved cutting more than $850 million, or about 5 percent, from its roughly $16 billion defense budget in each of the next two years.

Egypt envoy: Palestinian reconciliation a top priority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman said Sunday that reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is a top priority for the Egyptian leadership. President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Egypt on Friday to discuss implementation of the deal reached on May 4 and brokered by Egypt, but which has yet to be carried out. The Egyptian leadership is willing to focus its efforts on carrying out the reconciliation deal, Othman said, noting that the leadership places great importance on its implementation.

Hamas: Israel will not release top figures or criminals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel will not release top security prisoners or common criminals in the second phase of the prisoner swap deal with Hamas, senior movement official Mahmoud Zahhar said Sunday. Under the second phase of the deal reached last week, 550 Palestinians -- who remain unnamed -- will be freed from Israeli jails within two months, coming after the release of 477 prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Tuesday.

With Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange finished, attention turns to security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - (Analysis) October 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The unprecedented prisoner exchange today between Israel and Hamas will shift attention in the coming months to undermining the possibility of an upsurge in violence in the West Bank, where hundreds of Palestinian prisoners returned today after being released in return for Gilad Shalit.

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