Obama: Mideast peace possible, but Israel is right to be skeptical
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama has said there is hope for peace in the Middle East, but told Israeli media that is not "blindly optimistic". Israel is right to be skeptical about the peace process, he told Israeli television in a yet-to-be-aired interview that was taped on Wednesday. He noted during the interview that many people thought the founding of Israel was impossible, so its very existence should be a "a great source of hope." Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama The interview with the U.S. president took place a day after he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

King for a day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

A week ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's condition was nearly desperate. The Turkel committee became a committee with teeth liable to bite the prime minister, while State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' scrutiny of the flotilla affair threatened to wound the prime minister. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman started making threats again and Defense Minister Ehud Barak continued to make trouble. Many observers are predicting that the government will start to disintegrate by September.

Focus U.S.A. / Netanyahu-Obama meeting continues the Israel-U.S. soap opera
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - (Opinion) July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Professional cynics should have no doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama had an “excellent” meeting at the White House on Tuesday. After all, Obama used the adjective three times, seemingly compensating for the previous episode of the unfolding Israel-U.S. soap opera, in which Obama snubbed the prime minister. Other superlatives describing the two countries’ relationship were “extraordinary," “unbreakable," “strategic," “closer and closer," as well as the declaration that “our relationship is continuing to improve."

Hamas chief wants Egypt to host meeting with Fatah leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

The Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal wrote a letter to Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, telling him he is ready to meet leaders from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party in Cairo, a Hamas official said Thursday. Mashaal sent his letter with an Egyptian lawmaker Mustafa Bakri when he met him in Damascus Tuesday, Yousef Rizka, an adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya, told Xinhua.

Netanyahu to CNN: I'm prepared to discuss future of settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he was prepared to discuss "right away" the future of Jewish settlements if Palestinians entered direct peace talks with Israel. Asked on CNN's "Larry King Live" if he would extend beyond September a 10-month moratorium on housing starts in settlements in the occupied West Bank, Netanyahu said it was time for the "Let's just get into the talks and one of the things we'll discuss right away is this issue of settlements and that's what I propose doing," he said.

ANALYSIS-In Gaza, Hamas may have weathered worst of storm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - (Analysis) July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

The worst could be over for Hamas whose rule in Gaza has survived three years of economic blockade and a full-scale Israeli military onslaught. The Islamist group is starting to see cracks in Israeli and Western policies that have made governing Gaza no easy task. Hamas still faces Israeli hostility and international sanctions, and is hated by its Palestinian opponents, foremost among them the Fatah movement which controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. For Hamas, the feeling is mutual.

Netanyahu to US Jews: Direct talks with PA soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he thinks direct talks with the Palestinians will begin very soon and he predicted they will be "very, very tough." Before flying to Washington for a meeting with President Barack Obama, Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that the "time has come" for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to get ready to meet directly with the Israelis "because there is no other way to advance peace."

Israel's list of banned goods into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Below is the official statement issued by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories on 6 July 2010 and a list of goods barred from entry into Gaza. Israel and the PA established joint-teams, as a part of the expansion of the land crossings' operation, and immediate steps were carried out in order to improve the efficiency of their operation. These include modifications of the infrastructure on both sides of the crossing, extending the operating hours of the crossings and augmenting the manpower.

Political theatre masks US-Israel tensions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jeremy Bowen - July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

After their meeting at the White House, President Barack Obama walked his guest, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to his limousine. The solicitous host waited, slightly awkwardly, as Mr Netanyahu settled himself into the back seat. Immaculately uniformed servicemen stood rigidly to attention on either side of the vehicle. And then the video ended, before you could see whether Mr Obama waved until his new pal was out of sight. Actually he was only staying a few minutes walk away, at the official guest quarters, Blair House.

Economy minister wants standards for local products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

National Economy Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh asked the government to work harder on Tuesday, in developing national consumer standards, to protect Palestinians and improve the marketability of products globally. Speaking in Nablus at the first conference for Palestinian consumer protection, Abu Libdeh accused the interior ministry and his own ministry of impeding a new project aimed at improving the labeling on Palestinian produce.

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