[NOTE: Due to the upcoming holidays, the ATFP News Roundup will be suspended for next week and resume service on Monday, December 30.]


Palestinians say Sec. Kerry has modified somewhat a US security proposal after hearing Palestinian concerns. (Xinhua)

Palestinians urge China to help pressure Israel on peace. (Jerusalem Post)

The Irish ambassador to Israel says the Israeli-Palestinian deal is "inevitable." (Times of Israel)

Violence and settlement activity are complicating Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (AFP)

The PA condemns Israel's killing of two Palestinians. (Xinhua)

The UN says at least 3,608 Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces in 2013. (PNN)

An Israeli soldier filmed hitting Danish activists with his gun is sentenced to two months community service. (Jerusalem Post)

Pres. Abbas is going to Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials and Arab foreign ministers. (Ma'an)

Hamas urges Abbas to speed up the process of national reconciliation. (Xinhua)

Israeli occupation forces detain two young men in Qalqiliya and clash with local residents. (Ma'an)

The New York Times profiles "Arab Idol" Mohammed Assaf, including in both an article and a video feature. (New York Times)

The outgoing EU Middle East envoy says support for labeling Israeli settlement goods is growing in Europe. (Ha'aretz/AP)

Israelis are split over whether an international boycott movement is really a threat or not. (AP)

Israel is promoting Arabic studies in Jewish schools to counter growing anti-Arab racism. (Ha'aretz)

A Jewish Israeli is indicted for throwing hot tea on Palestinian MK Tibi. (YNet)

Tibi says Arab MKs suffer from incitement in the Knesset, which leads to such incidents. (Times of Israel)

"Jihadist" leader in Syria spells out his vision of an Islamic state in the country in an Al Jazeera interview. (New York Times/BBC)

Human Rights Watch urges Lebanon to protect minorities and prevent more spillover Syrian conflict. (AP)

A new report shows Palestinian refugees, particularly women, in Lebanon live in constant fear of eviction. (The Daily Star)

450,000 Syrian Christians are said to have been displaced in that country's conflict. (Xinhua)

Syrian Kurds remain divided over upcoming peace talks in Geneva. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Leaked conversations about Egyptian DM Sisi having prophetic dreams seem to have enhanced rather than harmed his popularity. (AP)

Egypt begins its national dialogue on its "transitional roadmap." (Xinhua)

Egyptian authorities extend their crackdown on dissent to a non-Islamist NGO. (New York Times/Christian Science Monitor)

Tunisia's new caretaker PM faces many complex challenges. (Reuters)

Suicide bombers kill 36 Shiite pilgrims in Iraq. (Reuters/AP)

Six more Iraqis are killed in a double bombing at a sheep market north of Baghdad. (AP)

The death toll in Iraq on Thursday reaches 46, with at least 100 wounded. (Xinhua)

Eight people close to the government are jailed in Turkey in an anticorruption probe. (AP)

Libya extends voter registration for a constitution-drafting Constituent Assembly. (Xinhua)


Joshua Mitnick interviews chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. (Wall Street Journal)

Yoel Marcus says time is running out for peace talks to succeed and it's in Israel's vital national interests they don't fail. (Ha'aretz)

Uri Savir says 2014 is the year for both Palestinians and Israelis to decide if they want to accept reasonable peace terms or not. (Jerusalem Post)

Mazal Mualem says PM Netanyahu's hard-line speech at the recent Likud convention doesn't sound like he's ready for compromise. (Al Monitor)

Uri Dromi says Kerry will need a miracle to succeed in peace talks. (Miami Herald)

An anonymous Economist correspondent says Palestinians are upset about recent developments but Jordan is pleased. (The Economist)

The New York Times and Victoria Brittain both remember the late Palestinian psychiatrist and activist Eyad Sarraj. (The New York Times/The Guardian)

Zafrir Rinat says Palestinians tend to hate "nature reserves" in the occupied territories because they find them reserved for settlers. (Ha'aretz)

Michael Ross says boycotting Israeli universities is an attack on academic freedom. (Los Angeles Times)

Lawrence Grossman says calls for academic boycotts against Israel are hypocritical and should be stopped. (JTA)

Henry Siegman says there is no bigotry in anti-Israel boycotts because of the occupation. (Ha'aretz)

George Hishmeh says the BDS movement is gaining ground. (Jordan Times)

Shlomi Eldar says Israeli academics are worried the academic boycott movement could have "a snowball effect." (Al Monitor)

Martin Kramer calls the academic boycott "ridiculous." (Foreign Policy)

The Jerusalem Post says Israel needs to pick its battles and not every critic is an "anti-Semite." (Jerusalem Post)

David Fachler says Israel tried to court Nelson Mandela and other Africans in the 1960s with training and other inducements. (Ha'aretz)

David Horovitz says there is growing evidence the Lockerbie bombing attack was conducted by an extremist Palestinian group tied to Syria. (Times of Israel)

Diana Atallah profiles a Palestinian woman victim of a so-called "honor killing." (The Media Line)

Rami Khouri looks back at three years of Arab uprisings. (Jordan Times)

Eyad Abu Shakra says Iran's efforts at exercising regional hegemony through proxies like Hezbollah is pushing the region to the brink. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Lebanon's PM-designate Salam about his unsuccessful attempts to form a government. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The National says clerics are spewing sectarian hate speech and Gulf states have to put an end to it. (The National)

Hasan Tariq Alhasan says GCC states should turn their focus back onto economic integration. (Gulf News)

Kadri Gursel tries to tally the damage done to the government by Turkey's ongoing corruption scandal. (Al Monitor)

Samir Salha says upcoming municipal elections will determine the future of Turkey's ruling AKP and PM Erdo─čan (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Mohammad Akef Jamal says April elections in Iraq will be a litmus test for that country's future. (Gulf News)

The Daily Star says the US should listen closely to the legitimate complaints of its Arab allies. (The Daily Star)

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