October 21st

Palestinians plan "other options" if UN bid fails
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinians want the Security Council to decide on their bid for full U.N. membership soon so they can pursue "other options," the Palestinian U.N. envoy said, repeating charges that Washington is procrastinating to avoid a vote. Riyad Mansour, in comments to a Palestinian newspaper, did not say what the Palestinians would do once their bid for U.N. membership reached its conclusion. It is widely expected that the bid will fail because of U.S. opposition.

Abbas: We ended chaos but independence eludes us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas measured out his achievements but lamented the "failure" to grasp the ultimate prize of a Palestinian state, in a TV interview that aired on Wednesday. "I managed to end the security chaos but I still can't achieve independence," Mahmoud Abbas told Ma'an TV in Jordan on Monday. Abbas reflected on his five-year presidency, describing the last half-decade as "tough." "I had to start from zero and work hard on security and safety in the Palestinian territories," the president said.

Abbas to visit Egypt, discuss reconciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Egypt on Saturday, officials said, after a meeting of his Fatah party said movement on a stalled reconciliation agreement with Hamas was "necessary". Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman told official news agency WAFA that the president would travel to Egypt to discuss implementation of the deal reached on May 4 and brokered by Egypt but which has yet to be carried out.

For Palestinians released in Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, freedom is relative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Rebecca Collard - October 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Of the roughly 100 former Palestinian prisoners released in the West Bank and East Jerusalem yesterday, half will remain under Israeli security restrictions that include limits to their movements and regular check-ins with Israeli authorities. The restrictions were part of the deal reached by Israel and Hamas that freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinians from Israeli prisons. Mr. Shalit and 477 of the prisoners were released Tuesday.

Hard Feelings Test Hope in Israel-Hamas Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Just off the bus in Gaza after six years in an Israeli prison, one of hundreds traded to Hamas for an Israeli soldier, Wafa al-Bass declared her next goal: abduct more Israeli soldiers. Others who returned said they could not feel satisfaction until the thousands of remaining Palestinian prisoners were freed. Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit, a captive of Hamas since 2006, saluted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an Israeli air base Tuesday after his exchange for Palestinian prisoners. More Photos »

Fayyad: time not ripe for Israeli-Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

The time is not right for meaningful Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday, saying they are only likely to produce a blame game rather than a settlement. The so-called Quartet of Middle East peace mediators has failed to meet its own goal of bringing the two sides into direct talks, instead scheduling separate meetings with them on Oct. 26 in the hope of eventually bringing about negotiations.

Make Israel comply
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) October 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The international media focused Tuesday on the prisoner swap between Israel and the Palestinians, highlighting the theme of an end to a five-year saga. The release of more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees and prisoners is certainly a welcome sight, but one must remember that around 10,000 more such cases remain.

Palestinian PM dismisses peace talk chances
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestine's Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has dimmed Western hopes that a flurry of diplomacy next week could restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations by saying that "conditions are not right" to get back into talks. The declaration by one of the most prominent Palestinian moderates is a blow to the international Middle East Quartet of the US, EU, Russia and the UN, and its envoy Tony Blair, who arrives in Jerusalem next week in an attempt to breathe new life into a badly faltering peace process.

Palestinian PM: Conditions ‘not ripe’ for peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Ben Birnbaum - October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says that circumstances are “not ripe” for peace talks with Israel, arguing that the international community’s focus on getting Israelis and Palestinians back to the table is misguided. “Let me be frank with you: My own assessment is that conditions are not ripe at this juncture for the resumption — a meaningful resumption — of talks,” Mr. Fayyad told attendees of the American Task Force on Palestine’s annual gala late Wednesday.

Et tu, Bibi?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

As Israeli staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was held captive for more than five years by Palestinian fighters in Gaza, was heading back to Israel via Egypt, he expressed hope that his safe return home would pave the way for peace in the Middle East. In a jarring interview on Egyptian television, he declared: “I really hope that this deal advances peace and not more military conflicts and wars between Israel and the Palestinians.”

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017