NEWS: A new US intelligence report predicts a Palestinian state will be created approximately along the 1967 lines, but possibly without a full peace agreement with Israel, by 2030. PM Netanyahu accuses the international community of "double standards," and claims settlements are no obstacle to a Palestinian state. Hamas calls for Palestinian national unity. The EU, though saying it is "dismayed" by Israeli settlement expansion plans, takes no action. PLO leaders call on the EU to review relations with Israel. Hamas bans Israeli-provided Internet services in Gaza. Approximately half of the Palestinian citizens of Israel may not be planning to vote in the upcoming election. Israeli occupation forces raid the offices of a Palestinian NGO in Ramallah and reportedly assault the staff at a Bethlehem school. Israeli occupation authorities say they will yet again demolish the access road to the West Bank village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. Israel's Foreign Ministry says it's launching a campaign to equate Pres. Abbas with Hamas. FM Lieberman says Palestinian police officers who clash with Israeli occupation troops "should not remain alive." The BBC looks at "unusual careers" for youth in Gaza due to the blockade. Sources say Khalid Mishal is preparing to retract his resignation as Hamas' leader. COMMENTARY: Alan Baker points out that no Palestinian state has been created. Reuven Pedatzur says the recent UN vote was the best in 65 years. Charles Freilich criticizes the policies of both Netanyahu and Abbas. Linda Heard says Mishal's Gaza speech only bolsters Israeli propaganda. Ophir Pines-Paz thinks Abbas has reached the end of the road politically. Frank Jacobs says Israel doesn't have to worry about running out of oil. Frida Ghitis says Israeli leaders need to start making more intelligent strategic decisions.

Israel's leaders need to make smarter decisions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Frida Ghitis - (Opinion) December 11, 2012 - 1:00am

You have seen the headlines from the Middle East. Now imagine listening to the same stories as you stand in Israel, just a few miles from Syria, Egypt, Gaza, the West Bank. Considering the range of unhappy outcomes the Israeli people may have to face, it is stunning to see their political leaders create unnecessary problems for their country.

Keeping the Flame Alive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Frank Jacobs - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Recent developments have ruined one of Golda Meir's favorite jokes. The former Israeli prime minister was known to quip: "Know why Jews don't like Moses? For 40 years he leads them through the desert, and then he brings them to the only place in the Middle East without oil!"

The End Of Abbas's Game
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Janine Zacharia - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

A few days before the November 6 American election, Mahmoud Abbas summoned roughly 15 Israelis, including former pro-peace politicians, ex-generals and ex-diplomats, to his presidential office in Ramallah for a chat about the future. Ophir Pines-Paz, the former Labor Knesset member—who, dismayed with the trajectory of his party, abruptly exited politics three years ago—was among those in attendance. According to Pines-Paz, the 77-year old Abbas told the group he would resign and dismantle the Palestinian Authority if there was no movement toward peace soon.

Mesha’al oils Israel’s propaganda machine with his statement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

The first ever visit of Khalid Mesha’al, Chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau, to Gaza was a historic moment eliciting high emotion not only for the man himself, but also for the hundreds of thousands who flooded into Gaza City’s Katiba Square to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas. This was their chance to see up-close-and-personal a person of stature who represents their interests on the world stage — his latest coup being the brokering of a ceasefire with Israel that was poised to launch a ground invasion.

Abbas and Netanyahu in Wonderland
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Charles Freilich - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel faces dire, historic decisions in the coming year. With his electoral victory virtually assured it is time for the premier to get his strategic priorities right. This is true for Abbas and the Palestinians as well, but then, they always prefer to live in Wonderland. The Middle East has always marched to its own drumbeat, lived in its own special reality, but Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are taking matters to a new level.

The UN's best decision in 65 years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Reuven Pedatzur - (Opinion) December 11, 2012 - 1:00am

Had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu treated the UN General Assembly resolution rationally and coolly instead of waging a fruitless battle against it, he would have rushed to adopt it. After all, it was the organization's most positive resolution in 65 years.

No Palestinian state has been created
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Alan Baker - (Opinion) December 11, 2012 - 1:00am

Even as the United Nations has returned to its routine, unproductive agenda, an atmosphere of expectation prevails following the General Assembly resolution granting the Palestinians the status of nonmember observer state. Some even anticipate charges in the International Criminal Court against Israeli leaders and military officers in the expectation that the ICC will accept "Palestine" as a state with the right to present claims.

Mishal likely to remain Hamas leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat - It could only be a matter of time before Khalid Mishal retracts his decision to step down as leader of the Hamas political bureau, according to Palestinian sources affiliated with Mishal. According to the sources, Mishal’s retraction is being called for both inside Hamas and from Arab and regional states.

Unusual jobs highlight restricted choices of Gaza youth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Whewell - December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Newsnight's Tim Whewell talks to two young people's whose jobs highlight the peculiarities of life in the Gaza Strip - Muhammad, who works in the smuggling tunnels into Egypt, and Madeline, who is the only woman in a fishing fleet restricted to trawling the waters inside the Israeli blockade. It is not even dawn in Rafah, at the southern extremity of the Gaza Strip, when Busaina Ismail leans over her sleeping son Muhammad and tries, with difficulty, to rouse him.

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