Occupation tourism: A new trend at West Bank fence protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Coby Ben-Simhon - January 15, 2010 - 1:00am

An old man in a black galabia who is leaning on a walking stick catches the attention of Ferdino Madno. In the center of Bil'in, while waiting for the start of the weekly demonstration against the separation fence, Madno, 41, scurries around with two cameras slung over his shoulders.

MIDEAST: Will You Marry Poor Me
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Eva Bartlett - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israeli siege imposed shortly after Hamas's election in early 2006 has ruled out marriage for many. Palestinians traditionally marry young, between 18 and 25, but more and more now pass their mid-twenties single. With unemployment levels above 45 percent, and the price of most goods doubled or more, living, and marrying, are becoming unaffordable.

Fatah-Hamas dialogue idle as Hamas says 2010 the year of reconciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party said Thursday it will not hold talks with rival Hamas unless it accepts an Egyptian-drafted pact for national reconciliation. The statement dimmed Hamas' hope of a dialogue with its rival despite that deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya said the year 2010 will be a year of reconciliation.

Egypt works on resuming Palestinian-Israeli negotiations soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

CAIRO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Egypt is now working to create some common ground between the Palestinians and Israel so as to resume their talks in the near future, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki on Thursday. Egypt's official MENA news agency quoted Zaki as saying that negotiations based on a U.S. vision for the final settlement is what Egypt is working to achieve. "We hope to see the U.S. move in this direction," he said, adding that Egypt is talking with all parties in coordination with Washington.

U.S. tells Abbas pushing hard for Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made clear he still wants U.S. President Barack Obama to press Israel to halt all expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem before he would consider new negotiations. U.S. national security advisor Jim Jones told Abbas in Ramallah that Washington was "trying very hard to find a way to resume the negotiations," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters after the meeting.

Bomb in Jordan Misses Convoy of Israeli Diplomats
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Charles Levinson - January 15, 2010 - 1:00am

A roadside bomb exploded near a convoy of vehicles carrying Israeli diplomats in Jordan on Thursday, but no one was injured, according to Israeli and Jordanian officials. "All I can say at this moment is there was an attack that targeted an Israeli embassy vehicle," foreign-ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. "The Israeli embassy staff in the vehicle were not injured. The vehicle proceeded." A senior Israeli official said Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Danny Nevo, wasn't in the convoy, but refused to specify who was.

Obama's second try at Mideast peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
(Editorial) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Last year, the Obama administration urged Israel and Arab players in the region to take several interim steps that might create enough confidence to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. For lack of sufficient step-taking by all sides, it didn’t work. Rather than regroup and suggest another series of steps – because that’s how progress in the Middle East tends to move, incrementally – the administration is now looking to take a giant leap forward.

US security envoy meets Israeli, Palestinian leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — US President Barack Obama's national security adviser James Jones held talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders on Thursday aimed at furthering US-led peace efforts. "Jones confirmed Obama's determination to arrive at a comprehensive peace in the Middle East despite the difficulties, and said the key to peace in the region is to resolve the Palestinian issue," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP after Jones met president Mahmud Abbas.

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