Hundreds of war crimes lawsuits filed against Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by David Sapsted - October 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Almost 1,000 lawsuits alleging war crimes by Israeli ministers and military personnel have now been filed around the world, Israel has admitted. And the situation could become immeasurably worse for Israel’s politicians and soldiers as efforts continue to have the Goldstone report, which accuses Israel and Hamas of crimes against humanity during last winter’s Gaza Strip invasion, raised at the United Nations.

Israeli officials warn against support for UN report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - October 11, 2009 - 12:00am

A jittery Israeli government reacted furiously yesterday after a top British diplomat voiced support for aspects of a UN report that could lead to prosecution of Israeli army officers for alleged war crimes. The UK ambassador to the UN, John Sawers, told Israel Army radio that the report on last winter’s Gaza war contains “some very serious details which need to be investigated by both the Palestinian authorities and the Israeli authorities.” He added that “serious information” in the document gives rise to the suspicion that violations of the laws of war were committed.

Hamas to Abbas: Don't call new elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - October 12, 2009 - 12:00am

In another sign of increased tensions between Hamas and Fatah in light of the Palestinian Authority's controversial decision to abandon a vote at the UN Human Rights Council on the Goldstone Report, the Islamic movement on Sunday warned PA President Mahmoud Abbas against unilaterally calling new elections. The Fatah Central Committee on Saturday night urged Abbas to issue a presidential decree on October 25 for holding presidential and parliamentary elections.

Turkey: Israel excluded from NATO drill over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told CNN on Sunday that his country excluded Israel from a planned NATO military exercise partly due to its criticism of the IDF's winter offensive in Gaza. Asked by CNN why Turkey excluded Israel from the exercise, Davutoglu said, "We hope that the situation in Gaza will be improved, that the situation will be back to the diplomatic track. And that will create a new atmosphere in Turkish-Israeli relations as well. But in the existing situation, of course, we are criticizing this approach, (the) Israeli approach."

Sources: Unity agreement to be signed on 15 October
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 11, 2009 - 12:00am

The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah will finally sign a reconciliation agreement on 15 October, effectively ending two years of disunity and violence that began in the summer of 2007. Ma'an has learned from informed sources in Cairo that the deal proposed by Egypt will be accepted by both parties without amendment. According to these sources, Hamas and Fatah will receive copies of the draft agreement by Monday at the latest, and its signing will be scheduled as follows. - Drafts will be handed to Hamas and Fatah within 24 hours.

Abbas reverses course on Goldstone report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 11, 2009 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday evening that he has instructed his envoy to the United Nations in Geneva to seek a new debate in the Human Rights Council on the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza. During a televised speech, Abbas confirmed reports from Friday that his government had completely reversed course on the 575-page report. “I instructed the ambassador to call for another exceptional meeting of the Human Rights Council to vote on the report, seeking to punish all who committed the most grotesque crimes against women and children in Gaza,” Abbas said.

Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian house in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday morning, witnesses said, before dismantling the foundation of another home in the same area. Both structures were in the Al-Marwaha and Ash-Ashqariyya neighborhood of the town of Beit Hanina, they added. Israeli forces arrived with bulldozers and besieged the At-Taleiqi family home on before forcibly evicting the five family members who were inside, onlookers told Ma'an.

U.S. upholds contiguous Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - October 11, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell told reporters after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday that Washington supports the creation of a Palestinian state with "contiguous territory." The "contiguous" Palestinian state suggests that Palestinians would be able to travel between any two places of their future state without entering Israel. Analysts believe that Mitchell was reassuring Palestinians over its position of upholding the creation of a Palestinian state.

Talk to Hamas now or fight new radicals indefinitely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nathan Stock - (Opinion) October 9, 2009 - 12:00am

History is repeating itself in the Palestinian territories. Washington refuses to engage a right-wing Palestinian group – and so spawns organizations that are even more extreme. It happened in the 1980s, when the US balked at recognizing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and hesitated to seek a resolution to the Middle East conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state. Those long delays helped propel the rise of the hard-line Islamist party Hamas.

Israel on Nobel Peace Prize: Hopes for progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Top Israeli and Palestinian government officials both had words of praise for President Barack Obama following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. The well-wishers included Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. But Obama's efforts to push a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Arabs is still a work in progress, and many in both the Palestinian and Israeli camps have been disappointed as Obama has, so far, fallen short of expectations.

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