Of course Gaza is still occupied
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

It never ceases to amaze how much leaders of Hamas and the Israeli far-right agree about. But the latest iteration of this bizarre de facto alliance is a real doozy: alone in the world, they both say the Gaza Strip is not occupied by Israel. Part of the Israeli right has been trying to claim that the occupation of Gaza has been over since Ariel Sharon pulled Israeli forces out of the interior of Gaza in 2005. The then-prime minister accurately described this as a “unilateral redeployment,” not a “withdrawal.”

Not even the word of Israeli soldiers is enough to confirm Palestinian testimony
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - January 9, 2012 - 1:00am

On my way home from Tel Aviv last Wednesday, at midnight, I turned right on Route 443, just where a yellow sign warns: "Israeli, beware, if you've arrived here you made a mistake."

"The future is ours," says Hamas Gaza leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

(Reuters) - The coming rise of Islamism in the Arab world will strengthen support for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which will not give up its armed confrontation with Israel, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar said Monday. If Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas bets on peace talks with Israel rather than reconciling his Fatah movement with Hamas, he will lose out, Zahar said in an interview with Reuters in his Gaza office.

Peace Now: Israel began building 1,850 new houses in West Bank in 2011
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel started construction work on 1,850 new housing units in the West Bank in 2011, a 19 percent rise from a year earlier, an Israeli settlement watchdog said Tuesday. Peace Now attributed the rise to a partial, 10-month moratorium on new constructions in the West Bank that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu imposed in 2010 to spur peace talks with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu mulls gestures toward Palestinians to keep peace talks going
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

At the request of American and Jordanian authorities, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering several confidence-building measures vis-a-vis the Palestinians. In return, the prime minister expects Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to continue the talks that began in Jordan a week ago, and to refrain from pursuing statehood at the United Nations.

Report: Quartet asks Israel for incentives to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Quartet envoys asked the Israeli Prime Minister to provide "confidence-building measures" to keep Palestinian officials in talks after the end of the month, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. PLO official Saeb Erekat met Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman on Monday, in the second round of unofficial, closed-door talks hosted by Jordan.

Israel prepares for fall of Assad, Syria refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis, Ari Rabinovitch - January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Israel is making preparations for the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a flood of refugees from his minority Alawite sect into the Golan Heights, Israel's military chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday. "Assad cannot continue to hold onto power," a committee spokesman quoted Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz as saying. "On the day that the regime falls, it is expected to result in a blow to the Alawite sect. We are preparing to take in Alawite refugees on the Golan Heights."

Israel: Parliament suspends water-tossing lawmaker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — The ethics committee of Israel's parliament has suspended a lawmaker for dumping water on a colleague during a heated debate. During the outburst, Anastassia Michaeli threw water on colleague Raleb Majadale after he told her to shut up. Dripping wet, he chuckled and called her "crazy" as she stormed out of the room. The incident occurred during a debate over whether an Arab-Israeli school had the right to take its students to a Tel Aviv human rights march.

Israeli bill would outlaw comparisons to Nazis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — A proposed bill would make it a crime in Israel to criticize people by comparing them to Nazis. The draft legislation would impose penalties of up to six months in jail and a $25,000 fine for using the word "Nazi" or Holocaust symbols for purposes other than teaching, documentation or research. The draft legislation passed its first hurdle Monday when Cabinet ministers approved it. It now goes to the full parliament for a vote.

Peace Talks Are Discussed in a Session in Jordan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 9, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian officials met in the Jordanian capital on Monday, their second session in less than a week, after peace talks had been stalled for more than a year. The encounter was kept at such a low profile, however, that it was almost as if it had not happened at all — attesting to the fragility of the contacts and the apparently minimal expectations each side has for progress. A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity from Ramallah in the West Bank, said that the Israeli side did not produce anything on Monday that could move the process forward.

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