A real plan to build Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Two weeks ago the Palestinian Authority issued a detailed budget for the state and institution-building programme it adopted last August. The programme calls for Palestinians to unilaterally build the administrative, economic and institutional framework of an independent state in spite of the Israeli occupation and as a peaceful, constructive means of countering it.

Hamas is Threatening Who?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Following the assassination of Qassam Brigades leading figure Mahmoud al Mabhouh in his [hotel] room in Dubai, the leaders of Hamas came out threatening and promising to avenge his death. This is understandable and only expected due to the nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; however what was not clear was whether Hamas was threatening revenge on Israel or was threatening to violate the land of Arab countries.

A dismal and serious view from Mr Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

It would be easy to dismiss the recent warning by the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, that the peace agenda he advocates risks irrelevance if the relentless Israeli colonisation of Palestinian land does not cease. After all, Mr Abbas has repeatedly raised alarm bells and threatened to leave his position over the stalemated peace process with Israel, only to stay in place. But as the beleaguered leader of an occupied people and a man who has rejected armed struggle in favour of negotiation, Mr Abbas deserves a hearing.

Arab politicians 'facing increased persecution’ in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Leaders of the Arab minority in Israel warned this week that they were facing an unprecedented campaign of persecution, backed by the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, designed to stop their political activities. The warning came after Said Nafaa, a Druze member of the Israeli parliament was stripped of his immunity last week, clearing the way for him to be tried for a visit to Syria three years ago.

UN find challenges Israeli version of attack on civilian building in Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

A new Israeli report defending the military's conduct in the Gaza war was challenged tonight after evidence emerged apparently contradicting one of its key findings. Israel submitted a 46-page report to the UN on Friday saying its forces abided by international law throughout the three-week war last year. It was meant to avert the threat of international prosecutions and to challenge a highly critical UN inquiry by South African judge Richard Goldstone, which accused both Israel and Hamas of "grave breaches" of the fourth Geneva convention, war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Helping Abbas climb down the high tree
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

If anyone sought proof that President Mahmoud Abbas was planning to return to the negotiating table with Israel in the near future, it was provided by the results of “public opinion” polls published in the past few days by a number of Fatah-controlled media outlets and an interview he gave to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. The polls are seen by many Palestinians as an attempt to prepare local public opinion for the possibility that the Palestinian Authority will soon resume the stalled peace talks with Israel.

Jordan king urges more peace efforts from Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

US President Barack Obama telephoned Jordan's King Abdullah II to discuss efforts to "overcome obstacles" facing the launch of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, the palace said. "The two leaders discussed Middle East developments, mainly efforts aimed at overcoming obstacles facing the launch of serious and effective Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in line with a two-state solution," a palace statement said.

West Bank settlement growth slows as freeze starts to bite
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

The settlement freeze is having an impact, figures obtained by Haaretz reveal: In the second half of 2009, one third of all West Bank settlements experienced slower population growth than the average inside Israel - a larger proportion than during the first half.

Netanyahu risks Muslim wrath over Jerusalem holy site
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Will Netanyahu use a court decision to forgo a plan to alter the Mughrabi Gate? King Abdullah of Jordan is distancing himself from Israel's prime minister because of the violation of the status quo in East Jerusalem. The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is waiting in the corner for the slightest provocation against Islamic holy places by the Israeli government. The only trouble Benjamin Netanyahu is still missing is that of the Mughrabi Gate, at the entrance to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary compound.

Hamas: Dubai assassins were likely Arabs, not Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

A preliminary investigation conducted by Hamas suggests that the assassination of one of its officials in Dubai last month was likely carried out by agents of an Arab government, and not by Israel's Mossad spy agency. When Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas official reportedly behind the smuggling of Iranian arms to Gaza, was found dead in his hotel room on January 20, the organization was quick to point the finger at Israeli intelligence, vowing revenge attacks. But details of a Hamas inquiry passed to Haaretz reveal that Arab states, not Israel, now top the suspect list.

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