Hamas: PA security forces arrest 80 members in 24 hours
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested 80 members of the Hamas movement from locations across the West Bank in the last 24 hours a statement from the party issued on Wednesday said. The statement noted that the arrests occurred in ten of the eleven districts in the West Bank, including Nablus, Jenin, Salfit, Hebron, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jericho, Qalqiliya and Tubas. The statement included the names of 50 alleged supporters, which could not all be independently verified by Ma'an.

Hamas-Fatah summit proposed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

Egyptian mediators agreed to hold a meeting between opposing Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, a Palestinian official involved in the talks said on Wednesday. Iyad As-Sarraj, a prominent Gaza psychiatrist who heads the nonpartisan Palestinian Reconciliation Committee, said Egypt accepted a suggestion from the group during a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday night to hold a three-day workshop with Hamas, Fatah, and other factions.

Israel is ready for peace. Are its neighbors?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nadav Tamir - (Opinion) December 15, 2009 - 1:00am

The time for peace in the Middle East is now. This has been the consistent message from both the Netanyahu and Obama administrations. And it is time to take advantage of the fact that we have a stable government in Israel capable of making a move toward peace, a US government that has made it an important foreign-policy priority, our best Palestinian Authority negotiating partner thus far in President Mahmoud Abbas, and a majority of the population and government on both sides who desire a two-state solution.

Mahmoud Abbas remains in charge of PLO until elections can be held
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

Reporting from Ramallah, West Bank - With a giant poster of deceased leader Yasser Arafat smiling over them, members of the Palestine Liberation Organization's central council gathered here Tuesday to indefinitely extend President Mahmoud Abbas' term until credible elections can be held. The extension, expected to be formally approved today, should provide a degree of short-term stability to the fractured Palestinian movement. But for some, the stopgap measure only papers over an emerging PLO leadership crisis that could become yet another obstacle to peace talks.

Palestinian leaders to extend President Mahmoud Abbas's term indefinitely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Liberation Organization's ruling Central Council gathered here this week to extend the soon-to-expire term of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a session that promised to say as much about the drift and division in Palestinian politics as about the 74-year-old leader's standing.

Weighing Netanyahu as Peace Maker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 15, 2009 - 1:00am

A month ago, Aluf Benn, a senior columnist at the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote an article that shocked many. He said he believed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud party, was seriously interested in making concessions to the Palestinians and coming to an agreement on a two-state solution. Long a foe of Palestinian statehood, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now says he backs the two-state idea.

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