November 18th

Ban Ki-moon condemns plan to expand Gilo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly denounced Wednesday Israel's plan to expand the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, calling it a blatant expansion of a settlement. A spokesman for the secretary general said that Ban "believes that such actions undermine efforts for peace and cast doubt on the viability of the two-state solution". The Secretary-General reiterated his position that settlements are illegal, and called on Israel to respect its commitments under the Road Map to cease all settlement activity, including natural growth.

Poll: Record high support of peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

According to the monthly War and Peace Index, some 75% of the Jewish public in Israel support holding peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. This marks the highest support rate recorded on the War and Peace index in recent years. Despite the optimistic numbers, the public is split vis-à-vis the demand to freeze construction in settlements in order to advance negotiations.

Comment / Why Netanyahu really does want to advance peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

I could hear the prime minister's familiar voice on the telephone. "I want to advance a peace agreement with the Palestinians. I am capable of achieving an agreement. I have the political will inside me," Benjamin Netanyahu told me. He repeated this message during his speeches at the conference of Jewish communities in Washington and at the Saban Forum in Jerusalem: great concessions, generosity of spirit, territorial compromise, let's start negotiations and surprise the world, he said.

ANALYSIS / Netanyahu senses Obama's weakness on Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Analysis) November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

If there is anything that irks the White House more than news from the American consulate in Jerusalem about new West Bank settlements, it is a newspaper report on a new neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Thus when U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, on Monday about a new construction project in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood, which is beyond the 1967 lines, Mitchell was hoping to settle the matter quietly.

Abbas in Cairo: PA committed to seeking UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

President Abbas confirmed on Tuesday the unilateral decision to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state in accordance with the recent Arab Peace Initiative committee’s support, during a news conference with Egyptian President Hosni Mobarak. Abbas confirmed the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to appealing to the UN Security Council for a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with Arab support.

Israel razes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli bulldozers demolished a two-family Palestinian home in the town of Al-Isawiya in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, the second home demolition in two days. Residents of the town said Israeli forces entered the village with three bulldozers on the premise of carrying out demolition orders, and noted Israeli police and border guards blocked off the main entrances of the community.

Middle East peace: Is two-state solution kaput?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by John V. Whitbeck - (Opinion) November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

The seemingly perpetual Middle East "peace process" is now at a moment of truth. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said so himself at a press conference on Nov. 4.

Housing plan for Jerusalem neighborhood spurs criticism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

City officials moved forward Tuesday with a plan to build 900 homes in a disputed neighborhood of Jerusalem, prompting sharp criticism from the White House, the Palestinians and others who feel it will further undermine the chance of renewing peace talks. The new units will expand the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, one of several built on land taken by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed to the city in a step not recognized by the international community.

Plan to Expand Jerusalem Settlement Angers U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel said Tuesday that it had advanced plans to expand a Jewish district of Jerusalem in territory that was captured in the 1967 war and that the Palestinians claim as part of their future state. The move is likely to further complicate the Obama administration’s faltering efforts to restart peace talks.

November 17th

Recognize Palestinian statehood now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

The failure of the Obama administration to launch a serious negotiating process between the PLO and Israel has led to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, announcing that he will not seek re-election. He cited Washington's inability to ensure an Israeli settlement construction freeze as well as American bias toward Israel as the main reasons.

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