December 28th

Middle East Censors Seek To Limit Web Access
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Hannah Allam - December 28, 2007 - 3:11pm

In Iran, a large red icon pops up on computer screens. In Syria, there's a discreet note from the filter. Other Arab nations display "blocked" in bold lettering or issue crafty "page not found" replies. However the censors put it, the message is clear: You're not permitted to see this Web site.

Mideast Talks Already Tangled A Month After Annapolis Summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - December 28, 2007 - 3:08pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are set to meet Thursday amid rising tensions over whether the promises of peace they made a month ago in Annapolis, Md., can be fulfilled. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have quickly met a variety of roadblocks in the process they had pledged to relaunch last month at the summit under US auspices, buoyed by the attendance of other Middle East players.

Har Homa Crisis / Waiting For Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - December 28, 2007 - 2:45pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow in an attempt to solve the so-called settlement crisis that has plagued negotiations since the Annapolis summit late last month. The Palestinians are upset over a tender by the Housing Ministry for the construction of 307 housing units in the southeast Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, on the Palestinian side of the Green Line.

Apology In Kafr Qasem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tom Segev - December 28, 2007 - 2:43pm

On October 29, 1956, a little after 5 P.M., several dozen Kafr Qasem residents were coming home from work, unaware that a curfew had been declared because of the start of the Sinai Campaign. Border police lined them up and shot them dead: 47 people, Arabs, citizens of Israel.

Clearing Out The Jails
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) December 28, 2007 - 2:41pm

For many years, and especially as head of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, Brigadier General Ilan Paz earned a living hunting down and jailing Palestinians. He has spent this last year, however, with two released prisoners: Fatah leaders Hisham Abd al-Razeq, Fatah's former minister of prisoner affairs, and Ibrahim Salameh, a former adviser to the Palestinian interior minister.

Israel Must Stop Its Latest Illegal Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) December 28, 2007 - 2:40pm

During this festive season, Israel has given the Palestinians one less reason to celebrate through its announcement that it will expand two of its existing illegal colonies. This comes at a time when the "serious negotiations" following the Annapolis conference were set to resume between Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators were scheduled to meet on Monday for the second time since last month's US-sponsored conference, but that meeting is now put on hold.

Close Down Dimona - The Risks Are Just Not Worth It
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Bennett Ramberg - (Opinion) December 28, 2007 - 2:39pm

Nuclear facilities as military targets? The drumbeat appears to be growing louder. Western leaders repeatedly declare that no option is off the table to stem Iran's nuclear ambitions. And, in mid-November, London's Sunday Times reported that Israel put defenses around its Dimona nuclear reactor on "red alert" 30 times, as worries grew that Syria would avenge Israel's September attack on a suspected nuclear site in Syria.

Jewish 'return' Hits 20-year Low
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
December 28, 2007 - 2:37pm

The Israeli government says Jewish immigration to Israel has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years, with fewer than 20,000 Jews arriving in 2007. The agency to promote Jewish migration to Israel said the Diaspora had less reason to leave countries of origin, while Israel was losing its appeal. Israel's Law of Return allows anyone who is Jewish or has a Jewish spouse, parent or grandparent to be a citizen. Immigration is an important factor in Israel's survival as a Jewish state.

All Beds Booked In Bethlehem For First Time In Seven Years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Eric Silver - December 28, 2007 - 2:36pm

After seven lean, intifada years, Joseph Canavati, owner of the modern Alexander Hotel on Manger Street, the snaking main road leading to the Church of the Nativity, is dusting off his "No vacancies" sign. The pilgrims are coming back.

They Do Not Exist, And That Is Official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mona Alami - December 28, 2007 - 2:34pm

In the maze of dirty streets that spreads from Beirut's revamped Sport City to the shabby Halabi quarters, 20,000 refugees are clustered in what is known as the Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian camp. In a town plagued by poverty, many families live in complete destitution.

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