Pope: Mideast peace is possible, urgently needed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday called for greater religious freedom in the Middle East and said that peace there is possible, urgently needed and the best remedy to the exodus of Christians from the region. Benedict celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday to mark the end of a two-week meeting of Mideast bishops, called to discuss the future of embattled Christians in the largely Muslim region. He called freedom of religion "one of the fundamental human rights, which each state should always respect" and said the issue should be the subject of dialogue with Muslims.

IDF planning for potential PA ban on West Bank raids
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces is preparing for the possibility that soldiers may not be able to enter Palestinian cities at will, something the Palestinian Authority has been requesting for some time. Military sources told Haaretz they believe such a change would not significantly impact the security situation.

The end of Oslo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

What fate would have befell the Oslo Accords if Yitzhak Rabin had not been assassinated in a Tel Aviv square on the night of November 4, 1995? Would he have succeeded in overcoming opposition at home and kept his promise to reach a final-status deal before the dawn of the new millennium? Would nothing have changed his position regarding the division of Jerusalem, just as he changed his position on the issue of conducting negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization? Would the Palestinians have succeeded in adopting a realistic solution to the refugee problem?

PNA furious over Israeli legislation over Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- A Israeli draft bill ranking Jerusalem as a national priority zone has enraged the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The law encourages young Israelis to move to the city to benefit from a series of economic, education and social development plans. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the law is another step forward to declare Jerusalem as Israel's undividable capital. The Palestinians claim the eastern part of Jerusalem as a capital for their future state.

Mideast sides eye US midterms and impact on talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israelis and Palestinians are closely watching next month's U.S. midterm race amid a sense — rarely discussed openly but very much on people's minds — that the result could affect the U.S.-led peace effort, and President Obama's ability to coax concessions from Israel. Animating the discussion is the startling fact that the United States has failed, despite emphatic public appeals by Obama and weeks of increasingly frustrating diplomacy, to persuade Israel to extend the settlement-building slowdown that expired on Sept. 26.

Israel tells Palestinians talks only option
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - October 24, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister on Sunday urged the Palestinians to avoid unilateral action and resume peace talks, a reflection of growing concern that the Palestinian leadership may be inching toward a "Plan B" in which they seek international recognition of an independent state without Israeli agreement.

Settlers confirm work has begun on up to 600 homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Karin Laub - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — A senior settler official says that work has begun on up to 600 new homes in West Bank settlements since Israel lifted its curb on such construction Sept. 26, mirroring recent findings by The Associated Press and the Israeli watchdog Peace Now.

Saudi Arabia pledges $100 million to PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Saudi Arabia pledged $100 million to the Palestinian Authority on Sunday, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said. Fayyad said President Mahmoud Abbas was notified that the donation would arrive within three days. The money was intended to ease the PA's financial difficulties, Fayyad said in a statement. The prime minister expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the king, government and people of Saudi Arabia for their constant support of Palestinian efforts to establish a state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

Abu Libdeh: Rawabi can absorb settlement workers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 24, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- PA National Economy Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh said Saturday that the first planned Palestinian city in Ramallah could be "a real opportunity to absorb Palestinian workers employed in settlements," a statement read. The Rawabi City project, he said, could provide between 8,000 to 10,000 jobs during the construction period and up to 3,000 jobs in the city itself once complete.

Gaza govt to raze 'illegal structures'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Gaza government announced Monday that it has given directives to its interior ministry to raze what it has termed illegal structures on public lands and enforce previous orders to arrest those trading the land. Head of the ministry's land department Ibrahim Radwan said those in violation of the order had been given a deadline which has now expired and that officers would maintain permanent checkpoints, supported by police, on public lands to prevent "any violation."

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