September 30th

The Etzion illusion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gershom Gorenberg - September 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

History - the history everyone thinks they know - misleads us. Take the story of Kfar Etzion, the first Israeli settlement in the West Bank, established 41 years ago this week. In the Israeli consciousness, Kfar Etzion has played a double role. On one hand, it has been the ultimate "consensus settlement." After all, the settlers returned to the site of a kibbutz that was overrun, along with the rest of the Etzion Bloc, on the eve of Israel's independence. Even veteran opponents of settling in occupied territory shrug, smile and say "that's different" when the Etzion Bloc is mentioned.

Israeli Rights Watchdog Sets Up Shop in Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - September 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

A new and unusual player is joining the Israel advocacy scene in the nation?s capital. B?Tselem, Israel?s leading human rights watchdog organization, launched its Washington operation September 24, aiming to spread information regarding Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians to the crowd of Capitol Hill policymakers and Middle East think tanks, and to the American Jewish community.

Hamas challenges Abbas term extension
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Hamas is planning to declare one of its top officials as interim president of the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas's term in office expires in January 2009, Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip said Sunday. The officials told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas would not recognize Abbas as president of the PA after that date. "We will remove his pictures from all the public institutions," said one official. "Until now, our policy has been not to challenge Abbas's legitimacy as the elected leader of the Palestinian Authority."

Palestinian?s Planned Cities Planner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Interview) September 27, 2008 - 8:00pm

Bashar Masri is chairman of the board of Massar International, a private development company with offices across the Middle East and Asia. Bashar is also the creator of the first planned Palestinian city, Rawabi. He spoke with The Media Line's Felice Friedson. TML: When you drive through Ramallah you see lots of construction going on, and business seems to be booming. Are foreign businesses investing in Palestinian areas?

Palestinian Economy: From Bad to Wretched
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arabic Media Internet Network
by Ramzy Baroud - September 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

The numbers are grim, whether in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian economy is in one of its most wretched states, and the disaster is mostly, if not entirely manmade, thus reversible.

Oslo at 15 Years--A Vanishing Dream
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Daniel Levy - September 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

This month marked 15 years since the signing of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on the South Lawn of the White House, launching the Oslo process and a new hope for the Middle East. The anniversary was largely ignored, overshadowed by the latest rounds of political uncertainty and upheaval in both Israel (where the ruling Kadima party elected Tzipi Livni its new leader) and in the Palestinian territories. Indeed there was little cause for fanfare or celebration.

Hamas, Fatah leaders pledge Palestinian unity bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 29, 2008 - 8:00pm

Leaders of the rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday with pledges to seek unity at talks in Cairo in the coming weeks. Healing the deep rift between them is seen as a vital step towards an eventual peace deal with Israel. But there was no evident sign of a change of position on either part signaling that their feud, which climaxed with militant Islamist Hamas fighters forcing Fatah forces out of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, would soon be resolved.

Shepherd 'not killed by settler'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

A Palestinian found dead in the West Bank was not killed by Jewish settlers, Israeli police said, contradicting earlier claims by the man's family. Shepherd Yahya Minya died from a shrapnel wound caused by a grenade, according to a police autopsy. A police spokesman ruled out any possibility the grenade, of a type used by the Israeli military, was fired by residents of a nearby settlement. Local people said Mr Minya was last seen being chased by settlers in a car.

Israel will have to reinstate pre-1967 border for peace deal, Olmert admits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - September 29, 2008 - 8:00pm

The outgoing Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, has publicly acknowledged for the first time that "almost all" of the territory seized during the Six-Day War in 1967 will have to be given back in return for peace with the Palestinians.

September 29th

Gaza militants fire Qassam at Israel, in fresh truce violation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

Gaza militants fired a Qassam rocket at Israel on Monday in a fresh violation of the truce between Israel and Hamas in the coastal territory, according to Army Radio. The rocket did not reach Israeli territory, though, exploding within the bounds of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip a few hours before the start of Rosh Hashanah. The cease-fire reached June 19 between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas has been occasionally violated by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire, leading Israel to punitively shut Gaza's border crossings.

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