Palestine on the brink: only a quick de-escalation can prevent an explosion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

We are facing a perfect storm of provocations, grievances, outrage and mutually reinforcing escalations that have pushed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly Jerusalem, to the brink of an eruption. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to call the present situation uncannily and very disturbingly reminiscent of the build up to the unleashing of the second intifada, which created disastrous consequences for the Palestinian people.

Europe's top soccer official touts sport in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The head of Europe’s football governing body visited the West Bank on Wednesday in a continuing Mideast tour where he has promoted the sport as peace building tool. UEFA President Michel Platini toured the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in the morning before heading to Ramallah for talks with caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Fayyad: Road to statehood will not be of flowers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah – Ma’an – “Building the road to the establishment of an independent state will not be furnished with flowers,” Palestinian Prime Minister of the caretaker government in Ramallah Salam Fayyad said Wednesday.

US: Prospect of peace talks trumps Goldstone report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Bethlehem - Ma’an - US State Department spokesperson on the Middle East Ian Kelly refused to comment Wednesday on whether or not the US would use their veto in the Security Council over the issue of the Goldstone report.

Global promises to restore Gaza `dreams, illusion'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Linda Gradstein - October 8, 2009 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY, GAZA–Almost 10 months after the end of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, a cherry-red bulldozer is scooping up huge chunks of concrete and twisted metal struts at what used to be the Palestinian security forces headquarters. While some of the rubble has been cleared and trucked to southern Gaza, many half-destroyed buildings are still standing and almost no reconstruction has been done. According to United Nations estimates, some 4,000 homes were destroyed in the 22-day Israeli bombardment and 17,000 were partially destroyed.

Hamas Finds Gaza Tunnels’ $500 Million Loss Worse Than Madoff
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Jonathan Ferziger - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Investment opportunities are rare in the Gaza Strip. So when Nabila Ghabin saw one last year, she pawned her car and jewelry and put $12,000 into a network of tunnels that brought in supplies smuggled from Egypt. She was one of about 4,000 Gazans who gave cash to middlemen and tunnel operators in 2008 as Israel blocked the overland passage of goods. Then Israeli warplanes bombed the tunnels before and during the Dec. 27 to Jan. 18 Gaza offensive and the investments collapsed.

Israeli foreign minister: No chance for peace deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - October 8, 2009 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel's powerful foreign minister declared Thursday that there is no chance of reaching a final accord with the Palestinians any time soon, casting a pall over the U.S. Mideast envoy's latest effort to get peace talks moving again. Peacemaking policy in Israel is decided by the prime minister's office, and not the foreign ministry. But Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman carries significant weight in Israeli decision-making, and his is a sentiment common among confidants of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Furor Sends Palestinians Into Shift on U.N. Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Faced with a torrent of criticism at home and abroad, the Palestinian leadership abruptly reversed course on Wednesday by endorsing a Security Council debate on a United Nations report accusing Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza. The report, produced by a panel of investigators led by an internationally respected jurist, Richard Goldstone, found extensive evidence that both Israel and Palestinian militant groups took actions amounting to war crimes during last winter’s Gaza war.

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