Israel's settlement charade makes mockery of peace, curbs Palestinians' options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli government’s approval this week of plans to construct hundreds of new settler homes on occupied Palestinian Territory may well be remembered as the hammer that drove the final nail into the coffin of President Barack Obama’s peace efforts. All Israeli settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land is viewed as a “breach of international law,” according to a 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice.

Jerusalem can only gain through cooperative neighborhood initiatives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Fuad Abu Hamed, Hagai Agmon-Snir - (Opinion) September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

All over the Western world, community empowerment programs encourage resident participation by involving community leaders and organizers in decisions about the city in which they live. What could be better than the authorities and residents taking joint responsibility for muni­cipal challenges? In East Jerusalem, this is not so straightforward.

The Salam Fayad Document: A Palestinian Initiative to Bear Responsibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Analysis) September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Quite frankly, the program put forth by the government of the Palestinian Authority, detailed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in a document entitled “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State”, for the next two years is the only program that preserves the two states, undermines the occupation and ruptures its backbone by building the institutions of the de facto state.

Israel is not at all interested in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

It is becoming increasingly clear to the United States and Europe that Israel is simply not interested in returning to peace negotiations or ever will be under its current leadership. The latest show of defiance from Netanyahu's government came through a few days ago when Israel officially approved the construction of 455 new colonies in the West Bank, totally dismissing US and others' demand to freeze all colony activity.

Israeli Right tries to stop freeze on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli right-wing politicians and settler leaders have launched a last-minute campaign this week to pressure the government to reject the US call for a freeze on construction of Jewish homes in occupied Palestinian territory. The efforts by the Right come just days before Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is expected to reach a compromise with the United States on a temporary halt to settlement activity. Israeli media reported yesterday that he is likely to agree to a lull of six to nine months in the occupied West Bank.

Arabs in Israel plan to strike on October 1
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

The increasingly harsh political climate in Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government has prompted the leadership of the country’s 1.3 million Arab citizens to call the first general strike in several years. The one-day stoppage is due to take place on October 1, a date heavy with symbolism because it marks the anniversary of another general strike, in 2000 at the start of the second intifada when 13 Arab demonstrators were shot dead by Israeli police.

Israel’s settlement announcement irks negotiators, but unlikely to derail process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States and its partners pushing peace in the Middle East are treating Israel's announcement that it will build 455 new housing units in the West Bank before imposing a freeze as a buyer reviewing the unannounced "delivery fee" for a new car: Swallow hard, pay the extra bucks and move on. "It's difficult to understand what the Israelis want when they announce that kind of thing," one European diplomat said. "But it shouldn’t derail the process."

Israel 'understated' Gaza deaths
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

B'Tselem said detailed research with careful cross-checking showed 1,387 Palestinians died, over half of them civilians and 252 of them children. This contradicts an Israeli army report stating fewer than 300 civilians died in fighting in December and January. Israel launched the assault to halt rocket attacks from Hamas-run Gaza. The overall B'Tselem total broadly tallies with the official Palestinian death toll and the findings of other non-governmental organisations, although the proportion of civilians it identifies is lower.

Talks go on despite W. Bank construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon, Hilary Leila Krieger - September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Despite angry statements from the Palestinians and the Arab world, and condemnations from the US and the EU, Israel's announcement Monday of new housing starts in the settlements did not derail the diplomatic process; US envoy George Mitchell is expected here Saturday night, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Egypt for talks on Sunday. "The settlements aren't the be-all, end-all" of American policy efforts, one State Department official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "Our ultimate goal [is] to create the conditions for negotiations."

Hamas, Fatah set to reconcile by 2010
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - September 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal's recent visit to Egypt has brought the Islamist movement and Fatah closer to ending their differences, sources close to Hamas in the Gaza Strip revealed on Tuesday. In another sign of rapprochement between the two parties, Hamas has welcomed plans by senior Fatah officials to visit the Gaza Strip for talks aimed at resolving the crisis. The Fatah officials who are expected to visit the Strip include Nabil Sha'ath, Jibril Rajoub, Mahmoud al-Aloul and Fakhri Bsaiso.

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