Construction to Continue in Israeli Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that construction will continue in existing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, despite a call by President Obama for it to be stopped, according to an Israeli official. Netanyahu has not commented publicly on the settlement issue since returning from meetings with Obama and other U.S. officials last week.

Jerusalem is not on the table, says Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Australian
by John Lyons - December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

ISRAEL and the US now appear to be on a collision course after the announcement yesterday by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would continue expanding its existing settlements. Mr Netanyahu told the first cabinet meeting since his meeting with US President Barack Obama that Israel would not begin new settlements on the West Bank but that it would allow "natural growth" in existing settlements.

Sarkozy says Palestinian state vital to Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Creating their own state is a "legitimate right" for Palestinians and necessary for Middle East peace and Israeli security, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told the UAE state news agency WAM. "No one would think seriously about peace in the Middle East without giving the Palestinians a state they have been persevering for years. It is their legitimate right," he said ahead of a formal visit to the United Arab Emirates. "The best guarantee for security of Israel is setting up an independent, democratic, modern and viable Palestinian state."

Is Hamas reassessing its strategy?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - (Analysis) May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Four months after the Gaza war, Hamas seems to be reassessing the wisdom of firing rockets at Israeli civilians -- at least for now. Although there is no formal cease-fire, fewer than a dozen attacks have hit Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery since April, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal says the current lull serves the "Palestinian interest."

U.S. Delegation 'Skeptical' That Netanyahu Will Advance Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid, Nadav Shragai - May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

A U.S. Congressional delegation in Jerusalem said on Sunday that it was “skeptical” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government would be able to move the peace process with the Palestinians ahead. The five-person delegation from the sub-committee on the Middle East was headed by Congressman Gary Ackerman from New York, who is considered one of Israel’s greatest friends on Capitol Hill. The delegation met with President Shimon Peres and other senior officials in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority.

Obama meeting: Second round in a long bout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The long-awaited Obama-Netanyahu meeting has finally taken place. If this was a boxing match, one would probably have to score the latest round in the White House as a tie.

Abbas to press Obama on 'natural growth' of settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday he would focus on Israel's refusal to stop the building of settlements when he holds talks with US President Barack Obama later this week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuffed US calls on Sunday for a full settlement freeze and said he would not accept limits on construction within Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Barak to offer US compromise on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Israel will dismantle the 26 illegal outposts in the West Bank within a matter of weeks in return for the resumption of the 'natural growth' of existing settlement blocs. This is the offer Defense Minister Ehud Barak will present to the US administration during his visit to Washington next week. The deal was agreed upon in a late-night meeting Sunday between Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The never-ending evacuation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nehemia Shtrasler - (Editorial) December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Maoz Esther is an extremely flexible outpost. In effect, it's part of the unwritten agreement between the settlers and government. Every time the Americans apply pressure, the police get orders, start moving their equipment, and hundreds of policemen evacuate the tiny outpost. Their lives at risk, they dismantle four tin huts, two tents and one wooden building containing toilets and showers.

PA: Settlers can become Palestinian citizens
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Interview) December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Perhaps it is a small coincidence that key Fatah figure Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), who heads the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel, decided to present the Palestinian position a few days before his boss, President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), talks to United States President Barack Obama about those negotiations.

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