December 28th

Negotiating Solutions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) December 28, 2007 - 3:54pm

It is fine that the Palestinian delegation to the bilateral negotiations with Israel should refuse to negotiate anything other than a freeze on settlement building. It is a shame that the Palestinian side should have granted Israel the diplomatic victory of Annapolis before such a principled stand could be reached.

Israel Needs To Act Like A Partner, Not A Policeman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) December 28, 2007 - 3:52pm

Israel's accusation that Egypt is not doing enough to control its border with Gaza and stem the flow of weapons into the Hamas-controlled territory is nothing short of absurd. The suggestion that Egypt is secretly colluding with Hamas in Gaza is laughable, not least of all because of the long-standing animosity between the Egyptian regime and Islamists.

Palestinian Gas Project "is Wrecked By Israel"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Tim Butcher - December 28, 2007 - 3:51pm

An offshore gas project in the Mediterranean, which could have earned desperately needed revenue for the Palestinian economy, is in ruins after negotiations to sell the fuel to Israel collapsed. Industry sources blamed Israel for the failure of negotiations with the British multinational BG Group after the Jewish state repeatedly reduced its offer price for the gas. "This meant that from the off the project would struggle to be economic," one source told The Daily Telegraph.

Glimmers Of Mideast Peace Rise From Ashes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Oakland Ross - December 28, 2007 - 3:47pm

Where would the Middle East be without another war? No one knows, because every passing year seems to bring with it a new armed conflict, and 2007 was no exception, producing a brief but bloody outbreak of fraternal killing that has sharply divided some 3 million Palestinian people, while plunging the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip into even greater depths of misery. Paradoxically, however, the five-day shootout that splintered Palestinians this past June also ignited the first glimmers of peace this region has known in seven years.

A West Bank Struggle Rooted In Land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Bourdreaux - December 28, 2007 - 3:25pm

From his hilltop farm, Daoud Nassar can see the sun rise over the Jordan Valley and set in the Mediterranean, an arc that spans the territorial breadth of his people's conflict with Israel. He also can see the neighbors whose rival claim has drawn the idyllic 100-acre plot deeply into that fight. The only large Palestinian property to occupy high ground in this part of the West Bank, it is ringed by expanding Jewish settlements and coveted by the one perched on the nearest hill, 800 yards away.

If I Forget Thee...’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) December 28, 2007 - 3:23pm

It always happens when Israel approaches a peace agreement with the Palestinians: Noisy voices of protest arise within the American Jewish community, arguing that Israel misjudges the Palestinians, doesn’t understand the terrain, doesn’t understand the Middle East as well as rabbis in Brooklyn or lawyers and electronics salesmen in Philadelphia. So it is today.

Middle East Bog
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) December 28, 2007 - 3:20pm

IT'S BEEN one month since Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Annapolis to launch the first Middle East peace negotiations in seven years. When they meet again today, they will have cause to reflect on how much can go wrong when the world's most notoriously difficult "peace process" is taken over by official negotiators, government bureaucrats and military commanders. Far from beginning to hammer out the two-state settlement that Mr. Olmert and Mr.

Beware Of Barak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Antiwar
(Editorial) December 28, 2007 - 3:18pm

Israeli "Defense" Minister Ehud Barak is definitely the most dangerous politician in the Middle East. Ahmadinejad can only dream of having the powers – political and military, conventional and non-conventional – that Barak already possesses. Netanyahu and other far-right Israeli politicians say what they think and are earmarked as extremists, so they are under permanent scrutiny. Barak is more extreme than Netanyahu, but he's an extremist in disguise.

Israel's Olmert Balks At Full Settlement Halt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - December 28, 2007 - 3:15pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert balked on Thursday at committing to a total freeze in settlement activity, a key demand of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for advancing U.S.-backed peace talks. But the leaders agreed during their two-hour meeting to press ahead with negotiations that have been paralyzed since Israel announced plans to build hundreds of new homes in an area near Jerusalem known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim.

Abbas, Olmert Put Aside Settlement Fight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Josef Federman - December 28, 2007 - 3:12pm

Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed Thursday to put aside a dispute over Israeli construction in a Jerusalem neighborhood and get down to work on a final peace agreement, according to participants at the meeting. The two-hour meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to break an impasse that has clouded renewed peacemaking, and cleared the way for a visit by President Bush next month. It was the first summit between the two leaders since they relaunched peace talks at a U.S.-hosted meeting last month.

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