NEWS: Hamas and Fatah sign an agreement that will apparently allow Pres. Abbas to also serve as PM, although it's not clear when this would take effect. Human Rights Watch says Israel's policies are denying thousands of Palestinians residency rights. PM Netanyahu will address the AIPAC conference next month. The last remaining member of Hamas' politburo leaves Damascus. In Israel, chatter about a possible attack on Iran grows, but Pres. Obama says he doesn't believe Israel has made any such decision. Palestinian villagers escort a stranded Israeli soldier to safety. The PLO will submit a list of proposed world heritage sites to UNESCO. An Israeli pro-peace group is banned from leading tours of occupied Hebron. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Israel could broker a nuclear-free Middle East, but it won't. Eliezer Yaari says Palestinian MKs are maintaining a shameful silence on violence in Syria. Susan Hattis Rolef says Israeli students should visit Hebron, and Jeff Barak says they need to see both sides of the story there. Amir Ofek denies Israel mistreats Palestinian children. Ben White says Israel won't allow equality for its Palestinian citizens. Tim Llewellyn memorializes the late Palestinian journalist Tewfik Mishlawi. David Ignatius says US officials are genuinely worried about a potential Israeli attack against Iran. Stuart Littlewood says Palestinians need higher caliber leaders. Azriel Bermant looks at Pres. Peres' new book about David Ben-Gurion. Ha'aretz says Palestinian citizens are not enemies of the state. Elyte Baykun says it is pointless for Palestinians to negotiate with an Israeli government that continues seizing land for settlements.

What would you do?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Elyte Baykun - (Analysis) February 4, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel is blaming the Palestinians for putting "preconditions" on peace talks by insisting on a settlement freeze before returning to direct negotiations. They say that Palestinians have negotiated for the past twenty years without this condition, so why demand it now? But the PLO says that is precisely the point. They have been negotiating in good faith with the Israelis for the past 20 years without first insisting on a settlement freeze and look where it has gotten them.

Israeli Arabs are citizens, not enemies of the state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) February 5, 2012 - 1:00am

"As a community," Shin Bet security service chief Yoram Cohen said this week, "Arab Israelis are not a target of Shin Bet. They are not a fifth column and we do not view them as such." He also presented data which showed that Israeli Arabs were involved in three attacks during the past year, adding that "the number of those involved in terrorism is not large. We arrested 20-30 Israeli Arabs during the past year, compared to 2,000 Palestinians in Judea and Samaria."

David Ben-Gurion's legacy, through Shimon Peres' eyes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Azriel Bermant - (Book Review) February 6, 2012 - 1:00am

Ben-Gurion: A Political Life by Shimon Peres, with David Landau Schocken Books, 224 pages, $25.95

Urgently Palestinians need leaders of high caliber
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Stuart Littlewood - (Opinion) February 4, 2012 - 1:00am

Did anyone know? Did Western media care? No. Not until reports appeared that Jewish community leaders cancelled a meeting with him after intervention by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office and Israel's embassy in London, and Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi condemned the move as “seeking to suppress and manipulate Jewish public opinion.” It was also typical of Netanyahu's “persistent efforts” to prevent dialogue, she said, according to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.

Is Israel preparing to attack Iran?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) February 6, 2012 - 1:00am

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a lot on his mind these days, from cutting the defense budget to managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But his biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran militarily over the next few months.

Tewfik Mishlawi obituary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Tim Llewellyn - (Obituary) February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

Tewfik Mishlawi, who has died aged 76, was a father-figure and guru to at least three generations of journalists who went to the Middle East. They live in eternal gratitude to him and his daily digest of translation from the local and regional Arabic press and his analytical explorations of what was going on.

Equality for Palestinians? Israel won't have it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ben White - (Opinion) February 3, 2012 - 1:00am

The presence of a few Palestinian members in the Knesset (MKs) is often touted as a sign of Israel's robust democracy. Yet elected representatives of the Palestinian community inside Israel face growing harassment by the state, by fellow MKs and the media. On Monday, the trial of MK Said Naffaa, from the Balad party, opened in Nazareth. Naffaa is charged with "travelling illegally to an enemy state, assisting in organising a visit to an enemy state, and being in contact with a foreign agent" – all relating to a trip he made to Syria as part of a Druze delegation in 2007.

Israel does not mistreat detained Palestinian children
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Amir Ofek - (Opinion) February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

Your special report looks at allegations that Israel's military justice system mistreats Palestinian children who have been arrested for throwing stones. "Many are exhausted from sleep deprivation. Day after day they are fettered to the chair, then returned to solitary confinement. In the end, many sign confessions that they later say were coerced," you state. But you omit the horrific nature of the atrocities that minors, some as young as 12, can be arrested for.

Reality Check: Visit both sides of Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jeff Barak - (Opinion) February 5, 2012 - 1:00am

One of my regrets, despite having lived in Israel for more than quarter of a century, is never having visited Hebron. I can still remember the lessons in heder about the Cave of the Patriarchs, which the Bible relates was bought by Abraham for 400 shekels as a burial place for his wife, Sarah, and where the religious believe Abraham himself, and his son and grandson, Isaac and Jacob, alongside their wives (except for Jacob’s second wife Rachel) are also buried.

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