Saudi Arabia…Mishal and the Removal of Doubts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) January 5, 2010 - 1:00am

Did [Hamas chief] Khalid Mishal arrive in Riyadh to announce the selling of Iran, or did he come to sell us another illusion? Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal described his talks with Mishal as being "focused on removing doubts about the role that it [Hamas] is playing in our region." I liked the comment made by Mr. Turki Al Sudairi, the editor of the "al-Riyadh" newspaper when he said on the "Ekhbariya" news channel that "these doubts are equivalent to the population of the Arab world."

For Israel, was 2009 just the calm before the storm?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Emile Hokayem - (Analysis) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

It was a good year for Israel. Beyond the paralysis on the peace-process front in 2009, for which the hardline Israeli prime minister can claim credit, Israel has had the quietest year since the beginning of the second intifada. Its territory was kept secure and fewer Israelis were killed and injured (although more than 1,500 Palestinians lost their lives at Israeli hands in the meantime).

Hamas holds out olive branch to Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - (Opinion) January 5, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY // Hamas’s announcement this week that it is on the verge of signing a reconciliation deal with Fatah may be a reaction to rising sentiment on Gaza’s streets – and even among its own ranks – that it is time for the Islamist movement to reconcile with its secular rivals in the West Bank. The group’s political chief, Khaled Meshaal, based in Damascus, said this week in Saudi Arabia that his movement is in the final stages of reconciliation with Fatah, after three years of division split the Palestinian territories into two enclaves run by the respective movements.

Guileless in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Eddy Portnoy - (Opinion) January 5, 2010 - 1:00am

It is difficult not to be impressed by Joe Sacco’s “Footnotes in Gaza.” A unique journalistic product, Sacco’s latest book offers an in-depth look at disputed events that took place after the Israelis occupied Gaza at the beginning of the aborted British-French-Israeli attack on Egypt in 1956. Perhaps these are neglected “footnotes” in the history of this pitiful strip of land, but Sacco makes them central as he assiduously researches the events.

Egypt police clash with Gaza aid convoy activists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
(Editorial) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

More than 50 people have been hurt in clashes between Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian activists seeking to take a convoy of supplies to Gaza. Protests reportedly broke out when Egyptian authorities at the port city of Al Arish ordered some lorries to go via an Israeli-controlled checkpoint. British MP George Galloway, leading the convoy, told Reuters that Israel was likely to prevent them entering Gaza. The activists want all the goods to be sent via Egypt's Rafah crossing.

PM: World must press PA to return to talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

The international community has to stop "coddling" the Palestinians and tell them unequivocally that they need to return to the negotiating table, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a visiting US congressional delegation on Tuesday. Netanyahu told the delegation, led by Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), that the refusal of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to enter negotiations is bad for the PA, pushes peace further away, and only strengthens Hamas.

US: East J'lem housing hampers peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger, Tovah Lazaroff - (Analysis) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

The US accused Israel on Wednesday of damaging the peace process when it approved the construction of four new buildings in a Palestinian area on east Jerusalem's Mount of Olives a day earlier. "We have noted that these types of announcements and activity harm peace efforts," a US State Department official told The Jerusalem Post. Still, the harsh response was more measured than several previous US criticisms of plans to build in east Jerusalem.

PRC threatens to avenge 'occupation's crimes'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - (Analysis) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

The Popular Resistance Committees organization threatened Wednesday to forcefully avenge an Israel Defense Forces airstrike Tuesday night, which left a senior group member killed and four group members injured. The organization's spokesman, Abu Mujahed, said that PRC would respond "to this crime" when the time is right. "We will not sit idle in light of the ongoing crimes of the Zionist occupation against our Palestinian people," he added.

Saudi Arabia backs Egyptian plan for renewed peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Zvi Barel - (Analysis) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

Saudi Arabia is adopting an Egyptian plan for the resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and is trying to rally Syrian support for the continuation of the negotiations process. Egyptian sources told Haaretz Tuesday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "has expressed willingness to accept the Egyptian plan on condition that it will also enjoy the support of Arab leaders, which is the reason of the Egyptian and Saudi effort to rally broader Arab support so that Abbas will have the necessary backing."

IDF to seek legal advice during future conflicts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Analysis) January 6, 2010 - 1:00am

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has issued an order requiring the Israel Defense Forces to consult with the army's legal advisers while military operations are underway and not just when they are being planned. Ashkenazi imposed the stricter regulations despite opposition by several commanders, including members of the General Staff.

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