January 5th

Blair: Serious trouble if no talks soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

The Quartet Special Envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair said Tuesday on CNN that Israel and the Palestinians will be in serious trouble if they don't begin talks in the near future. The former British prime minister added that behind the scenes a lot of work was being done to restart direct negotiations, which were halted in September after settlement construction in the West Bank was renewed following a nine-month moratorium. Blair acknowledged that the level of confidence between the two sides was low but said the talks can nonetheless be put back on track.

WikiLeaks: Israel vowed to limit Gaza economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel told US officials in 2008 it would keep Gaza's economy "on the brink of collapse" while avoiding a humanitarian crisis, according to US diplomatic cables published by a Norwegian daily on Wednesday. Three cables cited by the Aftenposten newspaper, which has said it has all 250,000 US cables leaked to WikiLeaks, showed that Israel kept the US embassy in Tel Aviv briefed on its internationally criticized blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Today an orchestra, tomorrow a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Noam Ben Ze'ev - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

On the night of May 7, 2004, silence reigned in the small, old auditorium of the Friends School in El Bireh. Daniel Barenboim, one of the greatest conductors of his generation, was about to raise his baton before the newly minted Palestine Youth Orchestra. Before the first chord was struck there was a sense of historic import - and the memory of a similar defining moment came to mind.

PA Minister: Palestinians Who Work on Settlements to Be Punished
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Ben Caspit - (Interview) January 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Dr. Hasan Abu-Libdeh, the Palestinian Minister of National Economy urges world boycott of settlement goods TML: Dr. Abu-Libdeh, a short time ago, legislation was passed that makes it a criminal act for a Palestinian to work in an Israeli community located on land Israel acquired control over in the 1967 war -- settlements. At that time, Palestinian workers protested that the law took away their livelihood, but failed to provide an alternative. What’s the status of the law?

Rejectionist Front
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Ben Caspit - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced yesterday that he was willing to discuss all the core issues with Abu Mazen in closed meetings, and said that if he were to go into the room with the Palestinian leader he would sit down and discuss all the issues with him “until white smoke rises.” Ma’ariv has found that in reality, the situation is the complete opposite: In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the co

Israeli airplanes attack two targets in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli warplanes on Tuesday attacked two targets in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants fired a missile into Israel, witnesses and security sources said. The airstrikes targeted a training site for the military wing of the Islamic Hamas movement which controls Gaza. There were no casualties in this raid that caused severe damage to the site, the witnesses said. Minutes later, the F-16 jets dropped a bomb on a smuggling tunnel beneath Gaza's southern border with Egypt and slightly injured a Palestinian man, the sources said.

US Homeland Security chief in Israel for working visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano met with the Israeli president and other senior officials on Tuesday during a two-day working visit discussing Israel's homeland security threats and strategies. Napolitano's first stop was with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, where the two held what Peres' office described as a "working diplomatic meeting", that included improving strategic cooperation between the two countries, and the peace process.

Fall of Palestinian leader shows president's power
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Not long ago, Mohammed Dahlan was a rising political star, a Gaza security chief and darling of the West. He advised the Palestinian president and was even considered a possible successor. But after a falling out with President Mahmoud Abbas, Dahlan has been essentially banished from the political scene. The campaign against him casts an unflattering light on the Palestinian president's low tolerance for dissent as peace talks with Israel falter.

Lieberman: No Mideast peace for 'at least a decade'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Philippe Agret, Charly Wegman - January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's hard-right wing settler Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told AFP on Tuesday "at least a decade" would be needed to reach a peace accord with Palestinians. "I think that we have good cooperation (with the Palestinians) on the economy and security and we must continue cooperation on these two levels and postpone the political solution for at least a decade," he said in an exclusive interview.

Activists: Military claims over tear gas death 'ridiculous'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

Substantial evidence contradicts the army's version of the events surrounding the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, activists said Tuesday, after Israeli military officials told international media that they believed some evidence in the case to be false. A statement from the Popular Organizing Committee said the facts contradicting the military spokesman's version of events made the situation "ridiculous," and published what it said was eyewitness testimony in direct contradiction to claims of the military.

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