Why Should Obama Do Anything for the Peace Process?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the US President "is not doing anything at the present time" to revive the Israeli – Palestinian negotiations for peace, adding that Obama "called for us to resume the peace process…and I hope that he plays a larger role in the future." Abbas also said that the Palestinians "are waiting for America to put pressure on Israel to respect international law and follow the roadmap for peace."

Prisoner Exchange Deal Expected Next Week – Palestinian Sources
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Saad Jarous - November 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian sources in Damascus revealed that the Israeli – Hamas prisoner exchange which is being negotiated with the aid of a German mediator will likely be concluded by next week. Palestinian sources close to the Hamas movement informed Asharq Al-Awsat that a Hamas delegation from the Gaza Strip led by Mahmoud al-Zahar, and also including Khalil al-Hayya and Nizar Awdallah met with the German mediator in Cairo.

Hamas and Fatah wage rivalry on Gaza’s walls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - November 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Mohammed Fouad’s eyes darted from place to place on the quiet Gaza City street. Puffing nervously on a cigarette, he began brisk strokes with an aerosol paint can and in just five minutes completed a near-perfect portrait of the late Fatah leader Yasser Arafat. “If they see me, I’ll go to jail,” Mr Fouad said, referring to the Hamas policemen who forbade him from writing or drawing any pro-Fatah graffiti on Gaza’s walls. “I’ve been to jail five times since the Hamas takeover because of my art.”

Palestinian Affairs: Abbas's angst
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - November 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Amid reports of significant progress in mediation efforts to achieve a prisoner exchange agreement between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Authority convened a conference in Jericho earlier this week to highlight the case of Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Obviously, the PA leadership in the West Bank was hoping that the conference would divert attention from reports about an impending deal between Israel and Hamas. To achieve its goal, the PA dispatched Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to address the conference.

The mission: Saving Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Alex Fishman - (Opinion) November 26, 2009 - 1:00am

The construction freeze in the settlements is yet another oxygen tank en route to reviving the “diplomatic horizon,” without which we shall see the Palestinian Authority increasingly disintegrating. This is not about getting sentimental with Abbas or a sudden love story between the Israeli government and the diplomatic process. Even the tough “ideologists” within the cabinet realized Wednesday that there is no other choice, and that every effort must be made in order to preserve regional stability, even for a limited time. The Palestinian Authority must not collapse.

Minister Livnat: We are facing an awful administration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ilana Curiel - November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

"I do not envy the prime minister. We are facing an awful administration," Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat said during a Likud convention in Beersheba Thursday, referring to US President Barack Obama's government.

Civil Administration distributes freeze orders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Officers of the Civil Administration began Friday to hand out orders to Judea and Samaria council heads commanding them to stop issuing construction permits in settlements, just two days after the cabinet decision on a 10-month settlement construction freeze. In addition, Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed reports that his ministry sent an aircraft to photograph West Bank settlements, in order to document the construction taking place there.

Report: Israel will release Barghouti in Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Jack Khoury - November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel will release Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouti as part of a deal to secure the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted Palestinian sources as saying Thursday. Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences in Israel for his role in a series of deadly terrorist attacks during the second intifada.

Settlers have been working for months to undermine construction freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - (Analysis) November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu owes much gratitude to the Yesha Council and the members of the rightist flank in Likud. Were it not for their public opposition over the past two days, someone might have suspected that the decision to freeze settlement construction permits for 10 months was an even smaller Israeli concession than it originally appeared to be.

Israel okays 28 new settlement buildings, despite freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson, Barak Ravid, Yanir Yagna - November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday ordered the IDF to issue a temporary freeze order, but at the same time allowed the construction of 28 new public buildings in settlements. Meanwhile, Haaretz has learned that the state is expected to ask the Supreme Court for more time to evacuate illegal outposts. The State Attorney's Office is expected to update the Supreme Court by next week on three court rulings that have not been carried out, for the evacuation of outposts at Eli, Horsha, and Netiv Ha'avot, as well as six other locations in the West Bank.

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