How Israel Helped Create Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Khaleej Times
by Phillip Knightley - (Opinion) March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

An advance copy of an important new book on the Middle East has kept me awake at night reading it. Called “Kill Khalid: Mossad’s Failed Hit. . .and the Rise of Hamas”, it is by an Australian journalist, Paul McGeough, and was written before the recent war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. McGeough is scrupulously objective but paints a telling picture of the skill with which Hamas and its leader Khalid Meshaal have succeeded in turning most of the Israeli’s strategy around so that it rebounded upon them.

Police: West Bank shooting not caused by checkpoint removal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Senior police officials say that the removal of checkpoints and the low intensity of Israel Defense Forces operations in the West Bank did not contribute to Sunday's shooting death of two traffic cops in the Jordan Valley. "The IDF's activity is very extensive," said Shlomi Katbi, the commander of the West Bank police. "I don't see where one can tie the ongoing security activity and its quality with what happened Sunday evening." Danny Dayan, the head of the Yesha council of West Bank settlements, said Israel's policies in the territories were to blame for the continued bloodletting.

Worldview: Decision time on Mideast for Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Trudy Rubin - (Opinion) March 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Hillary Rodham Clinton tiptoed oh-so-carefully around the Israel-Palestine issue on her recent trip to the Middle East. But she and President Obama will have to make some tough decisions soon, as Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to form a right-wing government. Otherwise, any prospects for a two-state solution, even in the long run, will be dead before the end of Obama's first term.

Egypt concerned about future Israeli govt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul Gheit voiced concern Monday for Middle East peace hopes after an ultra-nationalist party signed up to be part of Israel's new government. "We have a negative, possibly damaging factor, which is the emergence of an extreme right government in Israel," he told members of the European Parliament in Brussels. Earlier Monday, Israeli prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu took the first step toward forming a right-wing government by inking a coalition deal with the Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman.

American activist hurt badly at fence protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 15, 2009 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An American demonstrator was seriously wounded when Israeli troops and protesters clashed at Israel's West Bank separation fence. Tristan Anderson, an International Solidarity Movement activist from the Oakland, Calif., area, was hit in the head Friday by a tear gas cannister fired by Israeli troops, according to the Associated Press.

Palestinian elections fixed for January
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas and Fatah agreed on Sunday to hold presidential and legislative elections by January 2010 but remained deadlocked over the key issues of forming a unity government as well as dealings with Israel. Diplomats and analysts see the success of the Egyptian-sponsored talks as key to reuniting Palestinians after 21 months of schism between Hamas-ruled Gaza and the West Bank, where the Fatah group of President Mahmoud Abbas holds sway.

Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu sign coalition deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

The Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu parties signed a coalition deal late Sunday night stipulating that Avigdor Lieberman will be appointed Israel's next foreign minister. According to the agreement, Stas Misezhnikov will receive the Tourism portfolio, Uzi Landau will be given the National Infrastructure portfolio, Sofa Landver will become immigration absorption minister and Yitzhak Aharonovitch will be appointed national security minister.

Netanyahu advisors tell him to push ahead with Syria track
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

A panel of expert advisors have told Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to devote his attention to negotiations with Syria, thereby creating a chance for regional peace. The panel comprises prominent figures who formerly served in key posts in the defense establishment, government and the business community. The group is offering its services as a "strategic think-tank" to aid the new government in crises management and decision-making, and submitted its major recommendations at a symposium Sunday with Netanyahu's "first 100 days" advisors.

Demographic map of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Fahed Fanek - March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

In a recent issue of Foreign Affairs, one author came up with a meaningful piece of demographic data. It says that the number of Jews around the world is estimated at 13.1 million, of which 5.4 million live in Israel proper and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The total number of Palestinians is estimated at 10.6 million, including 1.4 million in Israel proper, 3.8 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 2.4 million in Jordan, and 3 million in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere around the world.

Israeli envoys leave Cairo after intensive Shalit talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's special envoy, Ofer Dekel, left Cairo on Monday evening following days of intensive negotiations over a deal for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Upon their return to Israel, Diskin and Dekel were to head to the government compound in Tel Aviv to update Olmert of progress made during the talks.

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