January 18th

Israel concerned Russia will recognize Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli officials fear that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will announce on Tuesday during a visit to Jericho that Russia recognizes a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. Medvedev is to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Russian president's planned visit to Israel was canceled due to the Foreign Ministry strike.

Egyptian website removes gunman shooting news
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Egypt's Ahramonline website removed a news item about a gunman's shooting from its website half an hour after it was published. A security source told Xinhua the shooting might not have happened. The website said in its deleted news that a masked gunman opened fire at a police station in Giza's Haram district on Tuesday, and killed a policeman.

Hamas militant dies in tunnel collapse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian militant from Islamic Hamas movement was killed Tuesday when a tunnel under Gaza's southern border with Egypt collapsed. Hamas said that the 23-year-old member was inside the smuggling tunnel, but refused to give details what kind of work he was doing. The tunnels are often used to bring in materials that Israel prevents from entering Gaza through commercial crossings, including construction materials and fuel. Before Israel eased its Gaza blockade in June 2010, the tunnels had been the key lifeline of the 1.5 million inhabitants of the coastal enclave.

Palestinians to turn to Security Council this week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karin Laub - January 17, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians expect to submit their request for a U.N. Security Council condemnation of Israeli settlements this week and will not be deterred by a U.S. appeal to abandon the idea, senior officials said Monday. In recent weeks, the Palestinians have prepared a draft that would have the Security Council declare settlements illegal and demand a halt of their construction. During this time, Palestinian diplomats have tried to win support for the proposed resolution.

Israel approves more East Jerusalem settler homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

The city council on Monday approved the building of another 122 Israeli settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, a councilor said, a move likely to bring fresh censure from the international community. Elisha Peleg, head of the conservative Likud group on the city council, told AFP its planning and construction committee had given the green light for construction of 90 housing units in Talpiot East and another 32 in Pisgat Zeev.

Russia affirms recognition of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday reaffirmed Moscow's commitment to an independent Palestinian state. "We have supported the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital since the last century, and we still support it," Medvedev said, during his first official visit to Palestine. The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat first issued a declaration of independence at a meeting in Algiers in November 1988, with the former Soviet Union quick to express support for it.

Israel's Barak breaks from Labor Party, fortifying bond with Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - January 17, 2011 - 1:00am

Facing growing calls from within his party to withdraw from Israel's government over the peace process deadlock, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak instead bolted from the Labor Party to form a breakaway parliamentary faction that would preserve his alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

WEST BANK: Political upheaval in Tunisia spurs Palestinian leaders to issue reassurances on own economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - January 16, 2011 - 1:00am

The factors that led to the popular upheaval in Tunisia set off alarm bells throughout the Arab world, and the Palestinian Authority was no different. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spent more than two hours on Sunday talking to 40 Palestinian journalists at his Ramallah office about the economic situation and living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Barak’s Break With Party Shakes Up Israeli Politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - January 17, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, broke away Monday from the left-leaning Labor Party he had led and formed a smaller centrist faction that will stay in the governing coalition under a new name. The surprise move shook up Israeli politics but was expected to have little impact on its policies.

January 14th

Hamas tries to stop other militant groups from attacking Israel from Gaza. Jackson Diehl says the Middle East is poised on the brink of war. Guyana becomes the seventh South American state to recognize Palestine in recent weeks, and speculation grows about other regions following suit. Special Envoy Mitchell meets with Israeli and Palestinian officials. Hamas leaders deny that their policies are misogynistic. The Karni Crossing to Gaza is again closed. PM Erdogan says Israel must replace FM Lieberman. Fatah warns Hamas against increasing tensions in the West Bank. PM Netanyahu promises unauthorized settlement outpost homes of slain Israeli soldiers will not be demolished. The Israeli military is confiscating settlers' weapons. Pres. Obama is reportedly forming a Middle East task force. Conspiracy theories about Mossad proliferate in the Arab world. Israel demolishes homes and classrooms in the West Bank. Israeli firms involved in the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank pledge not to use settlement products. Elliot Jager says Hamas-Fatah reconciliation is unlikely. Ziad Asali and Hussein Ibish say Arabs need to end hypocrisy in confronting terrorism. Michael Felsen says time is running out for a two-state solution.

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