NEWS: Palestinian leaders express outrage at reports of sky rocketing Israeli settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem. Peace Now says there was a 20% increase in settlement construction in 2011. Palestinian drivers protest Israeli-only roads in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians accuse Israeli settlers of vandalizing another West Bank mosque. Egyptian activists say they will try to prevent Israeli pilgrims from visiting the tomb of a venerated Rabbi. Hamas leader Haniyyeh arrives back in Gaza. Some of Israel's new settlement plans break commitments made to the United States. Yisrael Beiteinu proposes new Israeli legislation restricting Knesset membership to military veterans, a move that would effectively eliminate Arab representation. Israel adopts a harsh new law aimed mainly at African migrants. Occupation forces arrest 10 Palestinians in the West Bank. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says the Israeli military has a long history of sharing information with extremist settlers. Donniel Hartman says Israel needs to ask itself if it is ready for peace. Sari Bashi says Gaza is still occupied by Israel no matter what anyone claims. Tony Karon says Palestinians should learn lessons from the ANC. The Jordan Times denounces FM Lieberman's proposal to expel Arab villages from Israel. The Gulf News says Israel needs to rein in such extreme comments. Yariv Oppenheimer has 2012 could be a year of dynamic resurgence of the Israeli peace camp. Imad Al-Frangi says changes in the Arab world are being led by Islamists, and this will benefit Hamas. Dan Rothem asks whether Jews should be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state. David Makovsky says there will be no diplomatic breakthrough during a US election year.

Differences within parties – not just between them
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Makovsky - (Opinion) January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

After 16 months of no negotiations, Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Amman last week and again this week. Yet, the question remains whether these talks represent a new opening or if they are merely a tactical instrument for each side to perpetuate recriminations?

Israel Arrests 10 Palestinians in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from WAFA
January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

WEST BANK, Israeli forces Tuesday arrested 10 Palestinians from across the West Bank, according to security sources. In Jenin, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians from Jenin refugee camp after raiding their houses, searching them and tampering with their contents, according to the sources. They also raided a garage and confiscated four cars. Forces also raided several Palestinian houses in Battir, a village west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, searched them thoroughly and arrested three Palestinians, including a 16-years-old boy.

Israel Passes Draconian Law on Illegal Immigrants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel's parliament approved harsh new penalties on illegal immigrants yesterday in an effort to stop mainly sub-Saharan Africans seeking refuge from conflict and poverty. Although the law stopped short of enacting some of the most draconian penalties sought by the government, it has provoked widespread criticism from human rights groups. The law allows the state to imprison illegal migrants for life if they commit certain crimes and detain them and their children for three year terms simply for being caught entering Israel.

Bill: Citizens Who Didn't Complete Army Service Can't Be MKs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel News
by Moran Azulay - January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party has introduced a bill that aims to prevent citizens who did not complete their IDF service from running for the Knesset in the next elections. Ynet learned that Knesset Member Moshe Matalon submitted the proposal on Tuesday. According to the bill, Israelis who did not serve in the IDF or complete the National Service program will not be able to run for Knesset. If passed, the bill would essentially mean that the haredi and Arab parties would be dissolved. Yisrael Beiteinu realizes it will be difficult to pass the bill into law.

Will Jews be Able to Live in a Future Palestinian State?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Dan Rothem - (Opinion) January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

The Atlantic's new special report "Is Peace Possible?" is featuring multimedia presentations on the four core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Borders, Security, Refugees, and Jerusalem. These are complex issues, so post your questions in the comments section of each chapter, send them via email (to, or tweet them to us at @IsPeacePossible.

Israel Subsidizes West Bank Housing, Breaking Promise to U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

Despite the government's promise to Washington to stop giving financial incentives for construction in West Bank settlements, the Housing Ministry recently published a tender for 213 new housing units in Efrat under a program that offers substantial discounts on the land.

A year of preparation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Imad Al-Frangi - (Interview) January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

bitterlemons: Hamas seems to have many things to look forward to in 2012. Do you agree?

Hamas PM Arrives in Gaza, Says Foreign Visits Broke Political Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night after his first tour in years, saying that he managed to break the political blockade imposed by Israel on the enclave. "The tour broke the siege imposed on the government, on the Gaza Strip and on Palestine," Haneya said, adding that he visited the four countries mainly for the issues of "Palestine and al-Aqsa Mosque."

Egypt: Israeli Pilgrimmage 'Impossible' This Year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Maggie Michael - January 10, 2012 - 1:00am

CAIRO — Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it had told Israel that it would not be "appropriate" for Israeli pilgrims to make an annual visit to the tomb of a 19th-century Jewish holy man in the Nile Delta, as activists mobilized to block the pilgrimage route. Ceremonies at the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hatzira have triggered yearly political sparring in Egypt throughout most of the last decade, with Islamists, nationalists, and others claiming that the government by allowing the pilgrimage is pursuing an unpopular policy of normalization with the country's former enemy.

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