Obama says Mideast peace bid needed more than ever
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Matt Spetalnick - May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the political upheaval sweeping the Arab world made it "more vital than ever" to revive long-stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Speaking after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah at the start of a week of intense Middle East diplomacy, Obama pledged to keep pressing for a two-state solution to the conflict, despite his failed efforts so far and dim prospects for a renewed peace drive.

Rights group accuses PA and Hamas of torture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

A human rights body on Tuesday accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of torture and arbitrary detention and warned it not to repeat the mistakes of Arab states by allowing security forces to become too powerful. The Independent Commission for Human Rights, releasing an annual report on human rights in the PA-ruled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, said Hamas was also guilty of torture and arbitrary arrest.

Israel gives go-ahead for access road to new Palestinian city
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli government's department responsible for conducting civilian affairs in Palestinian National Authority (PNA) areas, has given its assent for paving a major road to a new Palestinian city, Rawabi, under construction north of Ramallah. The Civil Administration signed off on what is being viewed as a goodwill gesture by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government, prior to his visit to the United States this weekend, according to the Ha'aretz daily.

Palestinians launch diplomatic campaign at U.S. Congress before Israeli PM's visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership started a diplomatic campaign to promote stances at the U.S. Congress before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Washington this week, official Palestinian news agency reported Tuesday. The campaign aims to respond to calls by members of the U.S. Congress to boycott the Palestinian National Authority after President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party signed a reconciliation agreement with Islamic Hamas movement.

Israeli policy will end up isolating it to the point of sanctions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

In an op-ed piece in yesterday's New York Times, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote that the Palestinian initiative to obtain international recognition for an independent state along the 1967 borders is not a stunt. Approaching the United Nations, he wrote, was aimed at assuring the basic right of the Palestinian people to live freely in an independent state along the June 4, 1967 borders, i.e., in 22% of Mandatory Palestine.

Netanyahu is preparing for battle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign-policy address to the Knesset on Monday made one thing clear: He is preparing for a confrontation with the Palestinians. On the eve of his trip to the United States, Netanyahu sought to muster public opinion and create internal unity. The purpose of his trip to Washington is to maintain U.S. support for Israel ahead of the third intifada.

Avoid Palestinian mistakes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Gadi Taub - (Opinion) May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

It’s amazing how the tables have turned. During the political struggle for the State of Israel’s establishment, the Jewish community was practical, sophisticated and flexible. The Palestinian side, on the other hand, boycotted the process and turned its back to the international institutions engaged in the partition question. The Palestinians could have received about half of Eretz Yisrael’s territory, yet through their stubbornness and absolute refusal to recognize the other side’s rights they chose war and lost the opportunity.

Palestinians demand return of lost residency rights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Yolande Knell - May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority is calling on Israel to reinstate the rights of up to 140,000 people who lived in the occupied West Bank and lost their residency after travelling abroad. According to official documents obtained by an Israeli human rights group, the practice affected Palestinians travelling abroad after the 1967 Six Day War. It remained in place until 1994 when the Oslo Accords came into effect. A spokesman for the Palestinian government, Ghassan Khatib, said "an illegal and inhuman Israeli action" had been highlighted.

Historian writes of 'pleasure' at murder of pro-Palestinian activist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - (Blog) May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

I was sent a link this week to a piece published in the Jewish Chronicle by historian Geoffrey Alderman, the opening sentence of which I found pretty shocking. Under the headline This Was No Peace Activist, Alderman wrote: "Few events - not even the execution of Osama bin Laden - have caused me greater pleasure in recent weeks than news of the death of the Italian so-called 'peace activist' Vittorio Arrigoni."

Hamas and Fatah can work together
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Tareq Baconi - (Opinion) May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The recent reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah could hold more merit than past deals between the two parties. Since both parties need unity in the face of the present changes in the Middle East, its survival prospects are stronger than before.

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