PM 'intent' to hold peace negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah II sent out starkly different messages following an unannounced meeting between the two in Aqaba on Thursday. Netanyahu called it an "excellent" meeting, while Abdullah released a statement spelling out the demands he had made, including that Israel immediately declare its commitment to a two-state solution.

Fear causes Abbas to delay new gov't
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was forced this week to postpone the formation of a new government after members of his ruling Fatah faction threatened to openly revolt against him. Abbas is also facing fierce opposition from many Fatah members over his decision to convene the faction's long-awaited sixth "general conference" in the West Bank on July 1. Abbas's critics say that holding the parley in the West Bank would mean hundreds of Fatah members living in various Arab countries would not be able to attend the crucial meeting because of Israeli security restrictions.

Presidential demagoguery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by B. Michael - (Opinion) May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

During President Shimon Peres’ public relations campaign on behalf of the Netanyahu government, he sank as low as to defend the weakest national-religious-Orthodox bluff: The myth of natural growth as a pretext for settlement construction. After the American vice president refused to be impressed by this folly, our honorable president gaped at him with amazement and a sense of insult. What do they want?

Report: Egypt finds 266 rockets near Israel border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptian security forces uncovered 266 rockets and three antitank missiles in a cache near the border with Israel, an Egyptian security source told the London-based al-Quds al-Arab newspaper. The source said the weapons were likely meant to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The cache, that was located in northern Sinai, also contained 43 mines, 51 shells, 21 grenades and 178 machinegun bullets. The source said Egyptian security forces did not find any suspects when they stormed the hideout, in which they found another 50 grenades, 80 mortar shells, 20 rockets and some 500 bullets.

Hour of decision
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Seven years have passed since the Arab League came out with its proposal to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for an end to the occupation and a just, mutually agreed solution to the refugee problem. According to the road map peace plan, which the Quartet submitted to the parties in early 2003, the Israeli-Arab conflict should have come to an end more than three years ago.

U.S. officials: Two states for two peoples is not an empty slogan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state will be a major focus of the upcoming talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, senior American officials have said in internal discussions over the past few days. The officials stressed that the two-state principle was "not an empty slogan."

Amira Hass / Life among the ruins in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Wadi Gaza is an agricultural region southeast of Gaza City. The ruins of Hussein al Aaidy's family home are immediately apparent. The houses (and several other heaps of ruins) are scattered among budding hills, lazing goats and fields that have been plowed but not sown. Up until nine years ago, these houses were surrounded by orchards and other fruit trees. Until the Israel Defense Forces bulldozers uprooted everything in order to safeguard the Israelis driving to the settlement of Netzarim.

A New Plan for Mideast?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Khaleej Times
by Claude Salhani - (Opinion) May 14, 2009 - 12:00am

There has been much chatter in recent days that Middle East peacemakers are on the verge of a major breakthrough with some predicting that there may be an announcement when Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanhayu comes to Washington on May 18 to meet with President Barack Obama.

Pope Benedict rises above fray in the Holy Land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 14, 2009 - 12:00am

'A sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers within internationally recognised borders”. In voicing support for this formulation of the two-state solution, Pope Benedict XVI has thrown his considerable moral authority behind a peace settlement based on the 1967 borders. It is the goal of the Arab Peace Initiative, the realisation of which Israel whittles away with every new settlement in the West Bank, and implicitly at least the Pope has taken a stance not just on the side of Palestinians but for what may be the only workable solution.

Abbas visit to Syria boycotted by Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Phil Sands - May 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and his rival Khalid Meshaal, the head of Islamic resistance movement Hamas, yesterday pointedly failed to overcome the deep and bitter rivalry that continues to divide their people. Mr Meshaal, who lives in exile in Damascus, and Mr Abbas, in town for talks with the Syrian president, Bashar Assad, might have found themselves in the same city but they could not agree to sit in the same room, much less hold face-to-face discussions.

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