State Department: Special U.S.-Israel ties will no doubt stay strong
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Yoav Stern - February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

The State Department on Tuesday reaffirmed its support for Israel, telling Haaretz that the U.S. viewed its relations with Jerusalem as "special" and lasting. When asked whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's declaration that "There will be no pigeion-holing, no exclusivity, we're reaching out to the entire world" could affect the U.S.' ties with Israel, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said: "U.S. has special relations with Israel, it will continue strong with no doubt."

Israel Frees Palestinian Prisoners
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Nimrod Novik, Gideon Rachman - August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

Israel released almost 200 Palestinian prisoners Monday in a good-will gesture aimed at reinvigorating the faltering peace process. Hours later, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the country to make her own push for a deal between the two sides. With President Bush leaving office in January, his administration has been seeking a peace agreement before the end of the year, but the efforts have brought little progress so far. Ms. Rice arrived Monday for two days of talks with top Israeli and Palestinian officials, her seventh trip to the region since November.

Rights Advocates Defy Israeli Blockade Of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Taghreed El-Khodary, Isabel Kershner - August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

Two boats carrying more than 40 international human rights advocates landed in Gaza on Saturday, challenging an Israeli blockade of the Hamas-run territory. About 2,000 residents came out to greet them at the small seaport near Gaza City. Many were singing, while others swam or set out in fishing vessels to meet the boats. Israel had told the activists to keep their boats away but ultimately decided to allow them to land, apparently to prevent a potentially more damaging public relations drama.

Rice To Make New Push For Mideast Peace Agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left for Israel and the Palestinian territories on Sunday in another bid to push the stalled Arab-Israeli peace process forward. Rice "will travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories on August 24," said spokesman Sean McCormack. McCormack said Rice's talks would include senior Israeli and Palestinian officials and would cover "ongoing efforts to create positive and lasting peace in the region and progress towards the shared goal of a peace agreement in 2008."

Officials: Cairo Talks Unlikely To Reconcile Hamas And Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

A new round of Egyptian mediation starting on Monday and aimed at reconciling the rival Hamas and Fatah factions is unlikely to produce a breakthrough, officials familiar with the talks told Reuters. Sharp differences between Egypt and Hamas on two key issues will make it even harder for Cairo to broker a deal between the Islamic militant group that now rules the Gaza Strip and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, they said.

Israel Releases 198 Palestinian Prisoners As Rice Visits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

Israel freed nearly 200 Palestinian prisoners to a hero's welcome in the West Bank on Monday, seeking to bolster President Mahmoud Abbas as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began a new peace mission. Making her seventh visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories this year in the long-shot U.S. effort to secure a peace agreement by December, Rice welcomed the release as "something that matters a lot to the Palestinians."

The ‘one-state Solution’ Is Full Of Dangers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

Every so often comes a remorseful Israeli leftist academic, a well-meaning Western peace activist, or a frustrated Palestinian official like Ahmed Qurie, the head of the Palestinian peace delegation, who pronounces the death of the two-state formula and advocates a one-state solution on the whole land of historic Palestine as a way to end the 60-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Settler Accused Of Injuring Palestinian With Stone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Raanan Ben-Zur - August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

A young man suspected of injuring Palestinian mother and her two daughters stands trial. The State Prosecutor's Office on Monday filed an indictment against 19-year-old Daniel Avraham of the settlement of Yitzhar, accusing him of injuring a pregnant mother and her seven and two-year-old daughters. According to the indictment, a Palestinian family – Mali Hazen, his wife Palestine, who was seven months pregnant at the time, and their three daughters – drove by Yitzhar on August 1.

The Right Move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

The release scheduled for today of 198 Palestinian prisoners, many of them convicted of serious terrorist offenses--including two who were directly involved in the murder of Israelis prior to the Oslo accord of 1993--is a smart and courageous move by the otherwise highly problematic Olmert government. If it introduces some logic into criteria for future prisoner release by Israel it could have a positive strategic effect beyond its immediate confidence-building impact on Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Partial Process Of Prisoner Releases Is Devoid Of Context
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Walid Salem - (Opinion) August 25, 2008 - 12:00am

In the fifteen years that have passed since the Oslo process began, several partial releases of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons have occurred even while the number of Palestinian prisoners continued to increase. How can one understand the seeming paradox that partial releases take place, but the number of prisoners increases because of new Israeli arrests?

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