Peace talks framework may bridge goals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - December 31, 2009 - 1:00am

When US Mideast envoy George Mitchell arrives here in early January he is expected to declare a framework for peace talks aimed at reconciling the Palestinian demand for a state based on the 1967 lines, with Israel's goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Journey to nowhere
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) December 31, 2009 - 1:00am

Well, here we are. A new year begins at midnight, and for the Middle East, 2010 will be a year of negotiations. Peace envoys are warming up at the starting line, document writers are polishing draft agreements for the envoys, advisers are coming up with their own phraseology, pundits are piling up verbiage, photographers are aiming their cameras, and diplomats are packing their bags and sharpening their tongues. George Mitchell will be here soon, Benjamin Netanyahu has already been to Cairo, Mahmoud Abbas is on his way. In the end there will be a summit.

Shin Bet: 2009 was quiet year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hanan Greenberg - December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

The year 2009 saw a significant decline in the number of attacks both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank compared with previous years, according to data released Wednesday by Israel's Shin Bet to mark the end of the year. At the same time, many attempts by terror groups from the Gaza Strip to plant booby traps inside Israel were thwarted by removing the devices from the Strip into the Sinai, and from there to Israel.

PCBS: 10.88 million Palestinians in the world, half in diaspora
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 31, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a report on the Palestinian population worldwide, noting a decrease in family size for the population living in Palestinian territories. The report counted a total of 10.9 million Palestinians worldwide by the end of 2009, with 2.5 million in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, 1.5million in the Gaza Strip and 1.25 million living in Israel. More than half of the world Palestinian population, the report noted, live in the diaspora.

Zahhar: Hamas still open to swap deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 31, 2009 - 1:00am

Hamas has not ruled out a prisoner exchange with Israel, one of the movements top leaders said upon returning from talks on the issue in Damascus. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar told Ma’an, “Hamas did not close the door on the Shalit deal. Hamas is demanding that Israel release some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held in Gaza. Zahhar said Hamas is still holding internal consultations on the prisoner deal, and other issues, including reconciliation with Fatah, and the steel wall Egypt is building on the border with Gaza.

Israel's Right in the 'Disputed' Territories
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Danny Ayalon - December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

The recent statements by the European Union's new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel's rights to what are generally called the "occupied territories" but what really are "disputed territories."

Middle East quagmire had another good year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Etgar Keret - (Opinion) December 29, 2009 - 1:00am

In 2002, at the height of the second Palestinian intifada, a new kind of illegal gambling sprang up in Israel: suicide-bombings roulette.

A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

He can be impulsive. She has a touch of bossiness. Next-door neighbors for nearly a year, they talk, watch television and explore the world together, wandering into each other’s homes without a second thought. She likes his mother’s eggplant dish. He likes her father’s rice and lamb.

December 30th

Working with the PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Yedioth Ahronoth
by Dov Weissglass - (Opinion) December 29, 2009 - 1:00am

The heinous murder of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai called for speedy justice. Most likely the operational circumstances made it impossible to arrest the murderers and justified killing them. The many worrying indications of a resumption of terror acts in Judea and Samaria justified a swift, precise and forceful action, in order to deter properly those wishing to renew the acts of violence.

Cruel onslaught on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) December 30, 2009 - 1:00am

Sunday, the 27th of December, marked one year since Israel’s military launched Operation Cast Lead that robbed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians including 318 children, leaving 5,300 wounded. The cruel onslaught on Gaza that relentlessly continued until Jan. 18, 2009, destroyed United Nations facilities, hospitals, schools, ministerial buildings and 3,500 houses, leaving 20,000 homeless.

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