Obama Rebuffs Israeli Hawk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Robert Dreyfuss - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

There are very worrying signs about Israel and Iran, amid new threats from Israeli officials that they won't long tolerate Iran's nuclear program before they strike militarily. But, at the same time, there are reports that President Obama's national security team isn't buying the Israeli line that time is running out. For instance, a top Israeli military official, in Washington, was not exactly given the red carpet treatment by Obama's top officials -- yet even so, he met Jim Jones, Obama's national security adviser, Hillary Clinton, and Dennis Ross.

Israel: Netanyahu still hopes to attract moderates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu still hopes to persuade moderates to join his government as the deadline for forming a new coalition approaches, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. Netanyahu prefers a broad coalition alongside moderate partners to his other option, a narrow and unstable coalition of hard-line parties that could find it difficult to govern and draw the displeasure of the international community by rejecting the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Murky Palestinian group says it's behind shooting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ian Deitch - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

An obscure Palestinian militant group is claiming responsibility for a West Bank attack that killed two Israeli police officers this week. But Israeli and Palestinian security officials are casting doubt on the claim. Sunday's shooting was the first fatal attack in the West Bank in nearly a year. The Martyrs of Imad Mughniyeh says it was behind the shooting. The group is named after an assassinated Hezbollah mastermind. It also has claimed responsibility for previous assaults, including a shooting at a Jewish seminary that killed eight students last year.

Israel's national security aide barred from U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Eli Lake - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Uzi Arad, who is expected to serve as national security adviser in the next Israeli government, has been barred from entering the United States for nearly two years on the grounds that he is an intelligence risk. Mr. Arad, a former member and director of intelligence for the Mossad, Israel's spy service, is mentioned in the indictment of Lawrence Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst who pleaded guilty in 2005 to providing classified information about Iran in a conversation with two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Abbas: Hamas-Fatah talks doomed to fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

The Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks between the rival Palestinian factions appear to be on the brink of collapse, Palestinian sources told Ynet on Tuesday. According to the sources, Fatah and Hamas remain in disagreement over the establishment of a unity government, elections, and the make up of the security forces and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In light of the disputes, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has estimated that the negotiations, being held in Cairo, will fail.

Injured American Is 'Semi-Conscious'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

An American injured last week during a demonstration near the West Bank village of Naalin remains in critical condition, still heavily sedated but breathing on his own, a hospital official said Monday. Tristan Anderson, 37, was struck in the head Friday by a tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier during a Friday afternoon protest over the construction of an Israeli security barrier. "A full investigation will ensue," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Negotiations to Free Israeli Soldier Reach Standstill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Negotiations to free an Israeli soldier captured near the Gaza Strip nearly three years ago deadlocked in Cairo overnight, and the Israeli cabinet was scheduled to meet today to pass the issue off to the new government of incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel has been negotiating through an Egyptian intermediary with the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to exchange Gilad Shalit for hundreds of prisoners in Israeli jails. But Israel's negotiators returned home Tuesday without a deal.

Israeli coalition government takes shape
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem -- Avigdor Lieberman, whose ultranationalist rhetoric has raised alarm among Arabs and international concern, took a major step Monday toward becoming foreign minister in Israel's next government. His appointment, part of a pact between his right-wing party and that of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, is not final. The deal leaves an opening for the current foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, to stay in that post if her centrist Kadima party agrees to join the coalition. But that possibility appeared remote.

The writing on the wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

We came to annihilate you; Death to the Arabs; Kahane was right; No tolerance, we came to liquidate. This is a selection of graffiti Israeli soldiers left on the walls of Palestinians' homes in Gaza, which they turned into bivouacs and firing positions during Operation Cast Lead. Here and there, a soldier scribbled a line of mock poetry or biblical quote in the same sentiment. There were also curses on the Prophet Mohammed and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, along with shift schedules and favorite soccer teams.

Police believe West Bank killings were terror-driven
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - March 17, 2009 - 12:00am

The search for the killers of two police officers on the Jordan Valley's Route 90 Sunday night is continuing, but it has mostly focused on intelligence gathering. Security forces are convinced that the incident was a terrorist attack, but there is still no clear view as to which group the culprit, or culprits, belonged to. Monday, Israel Defense Forces sources rejected claims of responsibility by a group called Imad Mughniyeh Battalions, named after the assassinated Hezbollah terrorist mastermind.

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