Accord Needed Before Mideast Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - October 12, 2007 - 1:04pm

President Bush should not convene his planned Mideast peace conference next month if Israel and the Palestinians have not achieved an agreement in advance, a Palestinian negotiator said Thursday. Israel has been pressing for a vaguely worded document that would gloss over the toughest issues still outstanding _ borders, Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. Palestinians prefer a detailed preliminary agreement with a timetable for creating a Palestinian state, though it is not clear if they would refuse to agree to less.

On The Road To Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) October 12, 2007 - 1:02pm

It’s still looking like the international Middle East conference will take place in November at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It’s a good venue, providing Camp David-like security and easy and fast access to Washington, DC. Should peace break out, Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert will be able to get to the White House within an hour to announce it with the President at their side. You shouldn’t hold your breath.

Olmert, Abbas Narrow Land Gap, Other Snags Remain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - October 12, 2007 - 12:58pm

The gap is narrowing between Israeli and Palestinian leaders over the amount of territory Israel would hand over to a Palestinian state, people close to the talks said a month ahead of a U.S.-sponsored conference. But Israeli, Palestinian and Western officials say sketching the boundaries of a future state may be the easy part -- real progress, they say, depends on narrowing differences over the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, on which little progress can be discerned so far after closed-door meetings.

Gaza Banks Out Of Cash As Israeli Banks Halt Business
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner, Taghreed El-Khodary - October 12, 2007 - 12:57pm

Gaza’s banks have run out of cash, an economic adviser to Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, said Thursday. The cash shortage followed a decision by Israeli commercial banks to halt all business transactions with Palestinian bank branches in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. “People responded by withdrawing their deposits,” said Ala al-Araj, the adviser to Mr. Haniya. The spate of withdrawals brought about the cash shortage.

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