February 26th

Egypt to Hamas, Fatah: Reconcile for Palestinian statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Egyptian intelligence head Omar Suleiman on Thursday urged rival factions Hamas and Fatah to unite in order to establish a Palestinian state. "Everyone is looking towards you ... and are hanging their hopes on you. So do not prolong the disagreement and deepen the division. Unite ranks to fulfill the hopes of all for an independent Palestinian state," said Suleiman, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's right hand-man.

Israel's next government will be 'more Jewish and more Zionist'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel's next government will be "more Jewish and more Zionist", the confident faction leader of the right-wing National Union party declared Thursday, following coalition talks with members of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. "There was very positive atmosphere at the meeting [with Netanyahu]," said Yaakov Katz, as he emerged from the talks at Kfar Maccabiah in central Israel. "...There is an understanding with Likud that the next government will be more Jewish and more Zionist."

U.S. envoy, Netanyahu meet on peace efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 26, 2009 - 1:00am

The special U.S. envoy tasked with jump-starting flagging peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians huddled Thursday with designated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a vocal opponent of the negotiations. The meeting was the first between Netanyahu and George Mitchell since Netanyahu was tapped to lead Israel's next government.

February 25th

Hamas: Abbas Thwarting Shalit Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 20, 2008 - 12:00am

Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, held a wide-scale exercise Tuesday evening on the ruins of the former settlement of Netzarim. During the exercise, group spokesman Abu Ubaida said that if Israel carries on with its policy regarding a future prisoner exchange deal, kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's fate will be similar to that of missing IDF navigator Ron Arad. Ubaida accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of thwarting the deal.

Evacuated Settlement 'reestablished'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - August 20, 2008 - 12:00am

The Samaria Regional Council and the Homesh First organization decided to mark the third anniversary of the evacuation of the northern West Bank in a special way Tuesday evening. A number of Knesset members, including Yuli Edelstein (Likud), pressured Defense Minister Ehud Barak to let them hold a council meeting at the location of the evacuated settlement of Homesh, and end the event with a wedding.

Israel Closes Gaza Crossings Over Rocket Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shumlik Hadad - August 20, 2008 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the commercial crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip closed as of Wednesday morning following the launching of a Qassam rocket towards southern Israel earlier on Tuesday. The crossings are to remain closed over the next two days. On Thursday Barak will conduct a revaluation of the situation Palestinian gunmen launched a Qassam rocket from northern Gaza towards Israel on Tuesday evening. The rocket landed in an open area in a kibbutz belonging to the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

New land seizure orders issued during the Gaza operation - February 2009
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

The Peace Now Settlement Watch Team latest report discloses that a number of new land seizure orders were issued during the Gaza operation, a number of these orders were related to the route of the separation fence. In most cases they were irregular orders signed by a brigadier general, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division (as opposed to the Officer in Command of the Central Command who usually signs seizure orders), and are limited to only 60 days. Peace Now sees these seizure of orders as an attempt to establish quick facts on the ground and to bypass High Court provisions.

U.S. Middle East envoy takes second trip to region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

U.S. special Middle East envoy George Mitchell has embarked on his second trip to the region to further President Barack Obama's pledge to work for Arab-Israeli peace, the State Department said on Tuesday. Mitchell was in London on Tuesday for talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and would also visit the Turkish capital Ankara, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Israel and the West Bank before returning to Washington on March 4.

Obama ties Israel talks to ‘new era of engagement’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

President Obama coupled his calls for expanded diplomatic outreach to his quest for peace for Israel and its neighbors.

World Agenda: why the Middle East could thwart Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Richard Beeston - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

He has dispatched envoys, offered his hand in friendship to old enemies and even raised the matter last night in his first big speech to Congress on the state of the nation. But no matter how hard Barack Obama tries, the Middle East is proving even more challenging a problem than he could have reasonably expected. In the space of a few days the mess he inherited from George Bush has got a lot messier.

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