January 4th

Palestinians pursue 'Plan B' after failed talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
December 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis have reached an impasse over the thorny issue of Jewish settlements. As Washington searches for a way forward, the Palestinians are taking things into their own hands by pursuing a "Plan B", asking countries to recognise an independent Palestinian state. The BBC's Yolande Knell reports from Jerusalem. As the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas laid the symbolic cornerstone for a new embassy in Brazil on Friday, he hoped the greater significance of the act would be noted.

Gaza blockade: Asia 1 aid convoy reaches Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Some 100 pro-Palestinian activists, part of an Asian aid convoy, have crossed into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. The convoy's $1m (760,000 euros) worth of cargo was due to arrive separately by boat later, organisers said. Egypt refused visas to some Iranians and Jordanians travelling with the convoy, which left India on 2 December. Activists had planned to reach the Hamas-run Gaza Strip by 27 December, the second anniversary of Israel's 22-day Cast Lead offensive on Gaza. More than 1,400 Gazans and 13 Israelis died during the 2008-2009 Gaza war.

Barak: No progress on Syrian track, focus on Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hanan Greenberg - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel must do everything in its power to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday. During a visit to the Tze'elim army base in south Israel, Barak said there was no progress on the Syrian track and that Israel should focus its efforts on jumpstarting the negotiations with the Palestinians. The defense minister said that in Israel's "complex" reality, the government has a responsibility to seek every possible way to reignite the peace process with the Palestinians and pursue peace on a regional level.

Fatah strongman Dahlan denies plot to overthrow Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan has denied accusation that he had been plotting a military coup to unseat Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Al-Hayat daily reported on Tuesday. Palestinian Authority security forces questioned the Fatah Central Committee member on Sunday over a recent spat with Abbas and requested that he leave for Amman. Dahlan denied allegations that he attempted to overthrow Abbas or that he had been harboring weapons and told Al-Hayat that the investigation was essentially a "non-story".

Israel must allow Palestinians to protest in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a 36-year-old kindergarten teacher, was killed over the weekend after she choked on tear gas while watching the weekly demonstration at her village. Residents and human rights activists from at home and abroad demonstrate against the separation fence that was built on village land. Abu Rahmah died less than two years after her brother Bassem was killed by a tear-gas canister fired directly at his chest at a similar protest. A third brother, Ashraf, was caught on camera as he was shot by Israeli soldiers while he was handcuffed.

Palestinian President's brother dies in Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' elder brother Atta Rida Shehada Abbas passed away in Syria, the local Al-Thawra daily reported on Tuesday. Atta Abbas, among the first generation of Fatah movement, died of a heart attack here on Monday and was buried in Martyrs Graveyard in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees near Damascus, Mahmoud al-Khalidi, the Palestinian ambassador to Damascus was quoted as saying. President Abbas, 76, will receive mourners in his Ramallah office on Wednesday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Israeli navy arrests three fishermen off Gaza coast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israeli navy arrested three Palestinian fishermen off Gaza's shore on Tuesday, Palestinians sources said. An Israeli navy ship intercepted and sank a small fishing boat, forcing the three people onboard to climb to the gunboat, a source from the Hamas' interior ministry told Xinhua. Nizar Ayesh, head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union, said the Palestinians were working within the area that Israel allows fishermen to work in.

Israel's Labor: We'll quit if no progress to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

A top leader of Israel's Labor Party threatened Monday to pull out of the government if there is no progress in peace talks, reflecting growing impatience with the stalemate in negotiations with the Palestinians. An exit by Labor, a moderate party sitting uncomfortably alongside hawks in the ruling coalition, could undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's parliamentary majority and force an election. That would sideline Mideast peace efforts for months. The pullout threat came from Labor Party stalwart Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.

U.S. renews Mideast peace bid after holiday break
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Maayan Lubell - January 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday senior U.S. officials will return to the Middle East this week to renew peacemaking efforts with Israel and the Palestinians. Direct peace talks collapsed late last year in a dispute over Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank, part of the land Palestinians seek for a state. Netanyahu said White House Middle East aide Dennis Ross and other U.S. officials would arrive later in the week. On Thursday, Netanyahu plans to hold talks in Egypt with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Israeli forces demolish East Jerusalem home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli authorities on Monday demolished part of a Palestinian home in occupied East Jerusalem. Forces bulldozed nearly 90 square meters of Nasser Yousif Seyam's home in Lafta village north of Sheikh Jarrah, leaving around 35 square meters standing, witnesses said. The family of nine must now live in one bedroom, one lounge and a corridor.

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