September 29th

Israel, U.S. working on bridging issues to restart PA talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - September 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel and the U.S. will continue their talks in Washington tomorrow on bridging the open issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that are delaying the reopening of peace negotiations. Formulating the framework for the negotiations and the "terms of reference" are the focus of the talks in Washington. At the same time the sides will continuing negotiating over the length of the settlement construction freeze.

Report: Abbas drops demand for settlement freeze under US pressure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Two key Israeli officials are headed to Washington on Wednesday for continued talks leading up to renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney Yitzhak Molcho, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's chief of staff, Michael Herzog will attend the talks with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell and senior White House officials, according to the newspaper Haaretz.

Report: Israel threatening to block cell provider over war crimes case
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel is threatening to withhold permission for a second Palestinian cellular phone network if the Palestinian Authority (PA) does not withdraw its call for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to look into allegations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, a leading Israeli newspaper said on Sunday. Tel Aviv-based Haaretz quoted Israeli security sources saying that the PA’s appeal to the ICC in The Hague has incensed military leaders. Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi is reportedly withholding his approval for mobile provider Wataniya because of the legal petition.

Yearning for the Golan Heights: why Syria wants it back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Julien Barnes-Dacey - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The US demonstrated its commitment to reengage Syria as a partner for Middle East peace Monday, advancing a process that some Arab countries had declared dead in recent weeks. At Washington's invitation – the first one extended to a high-ranking Syrian official in five years – Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad came to town to meet US officials.

September 28th

The drama and the farce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

No point denying it: In the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten. Obama had demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states — Israel and Palestine. In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The president of the United States has stumbled.

Gaza peace protester is imprisoned in own home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Nine months after he helped to organise protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza, Samih Jabareen is a prisoner in his home in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, an electronic bracelet around his ankle to alert the police should he step outside his front door. The 40-year-old actor and theatre director is one of dozens of Arab political activists in Israel who have faced long-term detention during and since Israel’s winter assault on Gaza in what human rights groups are calling political intimidation and repression of free speech by the Israeli police and courts.

Netanyahu runs a victory lap – but what has he won?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) September 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Say this for Benjamin Netanyahu: he’s not short on chutzpah. He may be the leader of a country whose occupation of conquered territory has put it on the wrong side of UN resolutions for the past 42 years – and was accused of war crimes in a UN human rights report just this month – but that didn’t stop him from sticking a finger in the eye of a US president trying to broker an end to the Middle East’s most toxic conflict, or from rounding on members of the UN General Assembly who dared sit through a vicious speech by the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hamas leader to give unity reply
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Christian Fraser - September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah, headed by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas have been bitterly divided since Hamas took control of Gaza in May 2007. So far there have seven rounds of dialogue, with no breakthrough. The Egyptians have twice postponed the scheduled date for a signature as the row between the factions has festered. But Khaled Mashaal's latest visit to Cairo is thought to be significant. The Syrian-based Hamas leader is coming to give his side's response to a written Egyptian proposal on how they might finally come to an agreement. Prisoner issue

Anger at Jerusalem shrine clash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse 150 Palestinian protesters who had thrown rocks at non-Muslims who entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound. The site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is sacred to both religions. Israeli police said the visitors were foreign tourists, but Palestinians said they were Jewish extremists. "At a time when (the US administration) is trying to bridge the divide... Israel is deliberately escalating tensions in Jerusalem," said Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Clinton urges Arabs to normalize ties with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
September 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday urged Arab nations to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel and supporting the Palestinians in an effort to help restart stalled Mideast peace talks. Clinton made the case with senior officials from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The session followed President Barack Obama's talks this past week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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