Obama gets tougher with Israel on Palestinians, Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington May 17 approaches, the United States is sending strong messages on the establishment of a Palestinian state and Israeli settlement activity. Gen. James Jones, national security adviser to President Barack Obama, told a European foreign minister a week ago that unlike the Bush administration, Obama will be "forceful" with Israel. Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told an AIPAC conference last night that two states for two peoples is the only solution the United States is committed to.

Netanyahu: Ready for peace talks now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel is prepared to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians without any delay and without any preconditions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday night, speaking from Israel via satellite to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference. The prime minister said he believed that "with the help of (US President Barack) Obama and (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas, we can defy the skeptics, we can surprise the world."

PA working to root out Hamas, Hezbollah secret agents
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority has established a special counter-intelligence squad in its security services to uncover agents working for Hamas and Hezbollah. To date the Palestinian Authority security services have arrested dozens of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with the two radical Islamic groups. Israeli security sources said that the PA has made a focused effort to uncover foreign agents, noting that the new unit involves a large contingent of officers.

Don't bet much on a US-Israel showdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by George Giacaman - (Opinion) May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no political rookie. Nor is US President Barack Obama bereft of a battery of advisers with experience on how to deal with Israel. One expects that both will try to avoid a showdown as much as possible even if for different reasons. Netanyahu is due to visit the United States in May and the outlines of his

Did Egypt's Campaign against Hezbollah Fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - (Opinion) May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The question that presents itself is the following: Is there an Egyptian campaign against Hezbollah, or is it merely a claim by Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah? A verbal campaign has started since last summer to criticize Egypt on the pretext that it is participating with Israel in putting the Hamas Government and the people of Gaza under siege. The Egyptians at the time refrained from commenting, and restricted themselves to playing the role of the mediator who wanted to close the Palestinian rift, until the war broke out, and the issue escalated.

On the right path
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

His Majesty King Abdullah said during recent talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama and other high-ranking US officials that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is the only workable answer on the table. There are simply no other options that are viable or operational. Also recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that his country would be willing to support the two-state solution if Palestinians themselves agreed to this basis for a settlement.

AIPAC delegates lobby for two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Barbara Ferguson - May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

To thunderous applause, former Republican House leader Newt Gingrich attacked President Barack Obama’s policies in the Middle East, promoted military action against Iran, and assailed diplomatic engagement as weakness at the American Israel Political Action Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference in Washington. Just before he went on stage late yesterday, Gingrich told The Jerusalem Post that the president’s policy with Israel and Iran was a “fantasy” and that Obama was “endangering Israel” by trying to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Palestinian Spat Over Photos of Pope Beside the Wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel has been accused of issuing orders to demolish a stage built to welcome the Pope to a Palestinian refugee camp next week so as to avoid images of the pontiff in front of the controversial Israeli barrier surrounding Bethlehem, The Media Line has learned. The dispute over where, exactly, the pope should be received when he visits the ‘Aida Palestinian refugee camp next week centers around whether or not the refugee camp's reception for the pope should be held at a spot at which a walled section of Israel's separation barrier, including a military control tower, are easily visible.

Homes destroyed for lack of permit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The newly tiled floor is still immaculately swept and the two sofas and two armchairs are regularly dusted. Taghreed Essayyad, 36, likes to keep the sitting area clean because she and her family spend as much time as possible in their home in the Al Tur neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Or, at least, in the corner that still stands. When a Jerusalem municipality bulldozer a few months ago flattened the rest of the house for being built without permit, a wire caught under its tracked wheel, Mrs Essayyad recalled with some fondness, and the bulldozer broke down before it could complete the job.

Palestinians say Netanyahu 'ambiguous'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday that the position on the peace process outlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an influential US lobby group is "ambiguous." "The statements by the Israeli prime minister to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are ambiguous and insufficient," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said. Netanyahu called Monday for a "fresh" triple-track approach to peace with the Palestinians that includes an immediate resumption of talks without conditions.

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