Pres. Abbas calls on the UN to create a Palestinian state. PM Netanyahu outlines his positions before his US trip, especially criticism of Hamas, but expectations have fizzled. The Washington Post says Syria is responsible for Israeli forces killing Palestinian protesters, and the CSM says both sides were at fault. David Makovsky asks how far Netanyahu will go for peace. Palestinians say they are making progress in forming a new government, which Netanyahu already says will not be a peace partner. Italy is the latest country to upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission. The UN says 149 Palestinian children have been displaced by Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes so far this year. Unity agreements and protests are giving some Palestinians a sense of empowerment. Reuters says the Nakba Day protests were the Palestinian version of the “Arab Spring,” and analysts say they may have found a new tactic. Refugees in Syria and Lebanon bury those killed in the protests. Likud members demand annexation of West Bank settlements. Israeli officials exchange accusations about intelligence failures. Ha’aretz says the protests were not a threat to Israel. Amir Oren says Netanyahu’s failings as a leader have been exposed. Palestinians say peace is possible “within days” but Israel isn’t interested. Pres. Obama is expected to endorse Palestinian statehood along 1967 lines but not a UN statehood bid. Gershon Baskin says Palestinians are feeling a new wave of confidence. Aluf Benn says more conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is likely.

Palestinian official: Peace possible in days, but Israel isn't interested
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority on Monday rejected statements Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made at a parliament session, which he described as pre-conditions for peace. Netanyahu said that the Palestinians have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, solve the refugee problem outside Israel and accept a permanent Israeli army presence in a demilitarized Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank that does not include Jerusalem.

Netanyahu's Hollywood show is over
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Opinion) May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

"The problem is this," said Yitzhak Rabin. "The starting point is that we cannot be Nazi-like in terms of the drastic measures we take as an occupying power."

Netanyahu and Obama: is this the final showdown?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

This week the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will fly to Washington on a diplomatic mission. His goal is formidable: pre-empting the "diplomatic tsunami" threatening Israel in September, the Palestinians' target date for declaring their internationally sanctioned statehood within the pre-1967 borders. Netanyahu wants to keep the US at his side while preserving the territorial status quo in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Encountering Peace: The Palestinian Spring of May 2011
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) May 16, 2011 - 12:00am

I was quite surprised at the rallying of Israeli troops and the high-alert calls of the army and the police beginning Friday morning and lasting throughout May 15 – Nakba Day. I was interviewed repeatedly by local and international media regarding what was expected to happen here. Is this the beginning of the third intifada? Will the Palestinian territories now erupt in violent or non-violent marches to the Israeli borders and checkpoints until September?

Obama's draft speech to urge '67 borders, negate PA's state bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama is set to give his next political speech at 6pm Thursday, just hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for Washington and according to a draft of the speech, obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth, the American president's Middle East policy, though unwavering, may not be as discordant as some have feared. Obama is expected to urge Israel to return to the 1967 lines while negating the Palestinian Authority's planned unilateral bid for statehood in September.

Not all Palestinian demands are a threat to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The defense minister was right to say he refuses to get excited over the fact that "a few dozen" Palestinians succeeded in entering Israel from Syria and thereby "violated Israel's sovereignty." Ehud Barak was also right to say that the Israel Defense Forces cannot station thousands of soldiers along the border to prevent such a "violation of sovereignty."

Israeli army northern command, intelligence trade accusations over border breach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

In the wake of violent clashes on Israel's northern frontiers on Sunday, in which around 10 Palestinian demonstrators were killed at two locations, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Military Intelligence (MI) division said a warning it issued well ahead of the confrontations was ignored. All eyes were turned to the West Bank early on Sunday, as thousand of Palestinians took to the streets to commemorate Nakba, an annual ritual that marks the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation in 1948.

Israel's Likud demanding West Bank settlement annexation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's Likud party on Monday asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex areas of the West Bank containing Israeli settlements, ahead of a possible United Nations General Assembly resolution in September recognizing a Palestinian state. The call comes after Likud Knesset member Danny Danon announced findings of a party-sponsored poll that showed more than half of the respondents supporting annexation of West Bank settlement areas, the Ynet news site reported on Monday.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria bury dead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Albert Aji - May 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria carried coffins through the streets of their refugee camps Monday as they buried those killed when protesters marched on Israel's border. Israeli forces opened fire on thousands of Arab protesters who marched toward Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday in an unprecedented wave of demonstrations, killing at least 15 people, including 10 in Lebanon. The Palestinians were marking a Palestinian day of mourning for their displacement in the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948.

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