November 20th

Israel conducting secret talks with Hamas, Abbas says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 20, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that Israel is currently conducting secret negotiations with Hamas. In an interview with the BBC in Arabic, Abbas said that the talks between Israel and Hamas revolved around a Palestinian state with temporary borders. The Palestinian president reiterated his criticism against Israel, saying that Jerusalem wasn't truly interested in peace, adding that "Washington isn't pushing Israel enough to advance the peace process."

What does Israel have against a Palestinian stadium?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - November 20, 2009 - 1:00am

A friendly game between an Arab soccer team and a Palestinian team was supposed to inaugurate the new stadium being built in the eastern part of Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, at the end of the year. "Supposed to" because the Civil Administration, an arm of the Defense Ministry, has ordered that the work be halted and is threatening demolition.

Why Jerusalem matters on the road to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Sydney Morning Herald
by Jason Koutsoukis - November 21, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian aspirations to establish a capital in East Jerusalem are unwavering, despite this week's announcement by Israel that it is expanding Jewish neighbourhoods in the eastern half of the city. The former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qureia, now the Palestinian Authority's Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, has told the Herald that Jerusalem is integral to Palestinian sovereignty. ''This is non-negotiable; we will not accept anything less than Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,'' Mr Qureia said.

Israel, Egypt squeeze Gaza tunnel business
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 20, 2009 - 1:00am

Fearing loss of life and money, Palestinians are abandoning tunnels that supply the blockaded Gaza Strip with everything from food to fridges to weapons. On the Gaza side of the border with Egypt, there is little activity in an area that was once as busy as an industrial zone. Many tunnel workers have concluded that the risk of being buried alive by Israeli bombardment and accidental ground collapses or poisoned by gas pumped underground by Egyptian security forces is just not worth it. Around 100 people have been killed in the past year.

Does sinking Mideast peace process hold any hope?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - (Analysis) November 19, 2009 - 1:00am

Efforts to rescue the sinking Middle East peace process are losing support. Influential U.S. pundits have lost faith. Those Israelis who never did believe in it are saying: we told you so. Some Palestinians believe it is as good as dead, strangled by Israel. They talk gloomily of a moment of truth. Middle East veterans say they have seen such hopeless spells before, and seen them lead to outbreaks of violence.

President Clinton, you're wrong!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yoram Ettinger - (Opinion) November 20, 2009 - 1:00am

On November 15, 2009, former President Clinton stated in Jerusalem: "Two things remain unchanged since 1993 – geography and demographics. Palestinians have more children than Israelis can have or import." Clinton's intentions are positive. However, he is mistaken and misleading, while trying to convince Israelis to support a policy (withdrawal to the 1967 lines), which could determine the fate of the Jewish State: Oblivion or survival.

Netanyahu: I want final accord with PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - November 20, 2009 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is interested in aiming for a final-status agreement, and not an interim one as some of his ministers are proposing, if and when negotiations with the Palestinian Authority resume, The Jerusalem Post has learned. In various internal discussions this week, Netanyahu said that were there "courageous leadership" on the Palestinian side, a resumption of negotiations could lead to a final peace agreement, and that this was preferable in his mind to an interim agreement based on a Palestinian state within temporary borders.

Palestinian leader wants popular, diplomatic action
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - (Interview) November 19, 2009 - 1:00am

Peace talks with Israel have failed and the Palestinians must launch popular and diplomatic campaigns to achieve statehood, Marwan Barghouti said in an interview from his prison cell. Still popular and articulate despite five years behind bars, the 50-year-old activist is seen by some as a Palestinian Nelson Mandela, the man who could galvanise a drifting and divided national movement if only he were set free by Israel.

Mahmoud Darwish: If He Were Another
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jo-Ann Mort - November 18, 2009 - 1:00am

Two summers ago, I dined at a Ramallah restaurant with a Fatah leader. I ordered Taibeh, the local beer, but my host chose Heineken, remarking: “I just dined with Mahmoud Darwish, and he told me, ‘My stomach knows no nationality.’”

Army faces friction over evacuations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - November 19, 2009 - 1:00am

A growing threat of mutiny by pro-settler soldiers has alarmed Israel’s senior political and military leaders and spurred fears that a rightwards shift in the country’s army may hinder any future land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians. On Monday, six soldiers hung a banner on a rooftop inside their military base proclaiming their refusal to dismantle Jewish outposts in the occupied West Bank. That rebellion followed a demonstration last month by conscripts, who waved banners calling for continued Jewish settlement in the West Bank, during their swearing-in ceremony in Jerusalem.

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