Daniel Shapiro is appointed new US ambassador to Israel. The Palestinian national soccer team loses its first home game, which is still a political victory. Denmark upgrades the status of the PLO mission. An Israeli court allows settlers to seize part of a Palestinian home in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Election Commission opens voter registration for July local elections. A Hamas national unity plan is rejected by all rivals. PM Netanyahu condemns settler violence and appoints a hawkish new security adviser, who Israeli leftists call a “fascist.” Hamas reshuffles its cabinet in Gaza. Israel says Gaza smuggling has increased. Pres. Abbas urges the Quartet to endorse a new European statement. Ha'aretz says Israel's future depends on the removal of unauthorized outposts. Alon Idan condemns Israeli military policies in Hebron. Bradley Burston wonders if Pres. Obama might gamble on a new Netanyahu peace proposal. The UK ambassador Israel says the next six months are crucial for the resumption of negotiations. D. Bloomfield asks if Israeli negotiations with Syria are an opportunity or a diversion. The BBC looks at how Arab unrest might affect the peace process. Daoud Kuttab says the Palestinian leadership is recalibrating its national strategy.

PA recalibrating its strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - March 10, 2011 - 1:00am

For the first time in many months, Palestinian spokesmen appear to indicate a revisit of their political strategy towards liberation and independence. It is not clear what the new ideas are, but it is obvious that Palestinian plans focusing on a September landmark seem to be in question.

Arab uprisings hit Israeli-Palestinian peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Bethany Bell - March 9, 2011 - 1:00am

Israelis and Palestinians are so often the focus of events in this region, but now many people are wondering about their place in a changing Middle East. In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Lina, a student, looked around at the crowds shopping in Manara Square and shrugged her shoulders. "Other nations are seeking their own freedoms," she said. "But they are forgetting the Palestinian issue. "We suffer from many things here but until now nobody has made any kind of a revolution in Palestine. Although we are the people that most need a revolution."

Peace with Syria: Opportunity or diversion?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Editorial) March 9, 2011 - 1:00am

Will the impasse with the Palestinians open opportunities to seek a deal with Syria? The military and intelligence establishment has been urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to pursue that track because the issues are more straightforward and the potential strategic benefits much greater. Also, the Syrian dictator keeps telling visitors he is ready for negotiations.

Next 6 months crucial for resumption of negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Shefler - March 10, 2011 - 1:00am

Free elections set to take place in Egypt may turn ugly for Israel unless the peace process is resumed, UK ambassador Matthew Gould warned on Thursday morning. Speaking to Israeli press at the British ambassador’s residence in Ramat Gan, he said Egyptian politicians might try to outdo each other with rhetoric critical of the Jewish state to gain voters.

Leftists: Amidror a fascist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - March 9, 2011 - 1:00am

The appointment of Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror as Israel's next national security advisor is a dangerous move, given his "fascistic" views, leading leftist figures argue in a letter issued Wednesday. The letter compares Amidror to Rabbi Dov Lior, who endorsed the killing of non-Jews in a book he wrote. "Amidror's declaration that in a normal army, a soldier who's scared to charge forward should be shot in the head is blatantly illegal," the letter reads. "This statement disqualifies him for any public post, and certainly a sensitive security-political position."

Might Obama gamble on a new Netanyahu peace plan?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Blog) March 8, 2011 - 1:00am

You needn't be an optometrist to see that Israel has a vision problem. We have become a nation whose only vision is peripheral.

The IDF's masquerade in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Alon Idan - (Editorial) March 10, 2011 - 1:00am

A walk through Hebron sends you into deep despair. Near the Cave of the Patriarchs, at the end of the plaza surrounded by a low fence, you see destruction and ruin, and especially the inconceivable segregation of the populations. Four children, maybe eight or nine years old, curse you in Arabic as if by conditioned reflex. You smile at them, try to remove the wall between you, and all of a sudden they change their stance. Now they come closer to the fence and ask you for money. A shekel, sir, a shekel.

Israel's future depends on removal of outposts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Opinion) March 10, 2011 - 1:00am

The state's pledge to the High Court of Justice to remove all outposts on private Palestinian land should raise at least two questions: Why did the state have to wait for a High Court order to acknowledge the illegality of the outposts, and why must it wait until the end of 2011 to remove them?

Palestinian presidency urges Quartet to support European statement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 10, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian presidency on Thursday called on the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators to support a European declaration of principles to settle Israeli- Palestinian conflict. The declaration, presented by Britain, Germany and France, was announced by the British envoy to the United Nations at a UN Security Council meeting on Feb. 18 when Washington vetoed an Arab bill against the Jewish settlement building.

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