We shouldn't rush into negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Analysis) February 15, 2010 - 1:00am

In spite of the failure of US-led international efforts to secure the necessary conditions for a successful renewed peace process, pressure is increasing on the Palestinian side to accept going to negotiations anyway. This is in spite of continued Israeli settlement expansion and without any Israeli commitment to specific terms of reference such as previously signed agreements, the 2003 Quartet roadmap or relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Meir Dagan: the mastermind behind Mossad's secret war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Uzi Mahnaimi - February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

IN early January two black Audi A6 limousines drove up to the main gate of a building on a small hill in the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv: the headquarters of Mossad, the Israeli secret intelligence agency, known as the “midrasha”. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, stepped out of his car and was greeted by Meir Dagan, the 64-year-old head of the agency. Dagan, who has walked with a stick since he was injured in action as a young man, led Netanyahu and a general to a briefing room.

Better public relations won't improve Israel's image abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Opinion) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The international furore over the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai has obscured a political event in Israel that might have otherwise made more headlines.

Killing blamed on Hamas traitor as passport showdown looms
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas last night vigorously denied that a renegade from its own ranks helped set up the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room last month, a shock claim made by Dubai's police chief, as echoes from the killing and its investigation continued to resound in the Middle East and Europe.

Killed Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh betrayed by associate, says Dubai police chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas official assassinated in Dubai, was betrayed by a close associate, the emirate's police chief claimed as it emerged today that the Palestinian's murderers used more fake Irish passports. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim described whoever leaked details of Mahbouh's arrival to his assassins as "the real killer", Abu Dhabi's al-Khalij newspaper reported. Tamim said last week he was 99% certain Israel's Mossad secret service was responsible.

UN coordinator slams PM’s heritage plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has expressed concern over Israel's inclusion of Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs and Bethlehem's Rachel’s Tomb in the National Heritage Plan, and the "heightened tensions" that have resulted.

An American discovery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Analysis) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Toward the end of the visit to Israel last week by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, a senior officer in his delegation asked an Israeli counterpart to "protect" Mullen's friend. No translator was necessary. The reference was to the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi. The Americans count on him. Not that he would prevent a war over Iran. Rather, he would prevent the start of such a war. For the time being.

Netanyahu to Haaretz: Palestinians seem to be backing down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Interview) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu, a year into your term, observers seem to agree: You're an impressive survivor, but just a survivor. The government you lead has no vision, no destination. It's not going anywhere.

Is Israel severing East Jerusalem from the West Bank?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Analysis) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Blocked roads and asphalt that has been ripped open like a zipper can be seen everywhere in Ramallah these days. And whether or not the municipality bothers posting explanatory signs, people know what is being done - a new road, sewage pipes, a sidewalk.

EU initiative: Recognition of Palestinian state by next year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Spanish counterpart Miguel Moratinos are promoting an initiative by which the European Union would recognize a Palestinian state in 18 months, even before negotiations for a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are concluded. According to senior European diplomats and senior Israeli officials, Israel has relayed its opposition to the initiative - warning that it would undermine any chance of a successful peace process.

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