When it comes to the settlement freeze, Netanyahu maintaining poker face
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Some political crises come as a surprise and overcoming them involves a high price. Others are expected and can be prepared for without causing damage. The first kind includes events like the building plan in East Jerusalem that was published during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Jerusalem and infuriated President Barack Obama. Or the flotilla to Gaza, which was expected, but its interception turned into an unforeseen entanglement. In both cases, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was lambasted abroad.

Netanyahu proposes bi-weekly meetings with Abbas during direct peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed to the U.S. administration On Thursday that he hold a face-to-face meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas every two weeks to try to forge covert understandings and set principles to solve every issue. After the principles are determined, small negotiation teams would hammer out the details and put the understandings into writing. Netanyahu said in a meeting to prepare for the Washington summit that "serious negotiations in the Middle East mean only direct, quiet and consecutive talks between the two leaders on the key issues."

Palestinian rights watchdog accuses Hamas of preparing to close it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian national human rights watchdog on Thursday accused Islamic Hamas movement of trying to block its activities in the Gaza Strip. The accusation came after Hamas lawmakers approved a law and said it aims at regulating the work of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave. Officials from the ICHR said that the law targets the commission, which has been operating since the creation of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), and is a prelude to restricting its work before shutting it.

Israeli army cracks down on soldiers' controversial photos
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military prosecution Thursday asked to extend the remand of three soldiers after their photos of posing with a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian were found saved on their mobile phones last week. The photos, in which the soldiers are seen pointing a gun at a suspected Hamas member, were apparently taken eight months ago in the West Bank town of Jenin.

Abbas: Negotiations despite opposition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas said he would go to negotiations in Washington next week despite heavy opposition to the resumption of peace talks with Israel. Speaking at an iftar meal honoring religious figures and diplomatic officials in Palestine, Abbas said he hoped Israeli negotiators would grasp what he termed the "current opportunity to achieve peace."

Jerusalem settlers assault 9 year old, parents say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

A nine-year-old boy said he was beaten by Israelis affiliated with the Atarot Kohanim settler group in Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday evening. Anas Sa’ad Ash-Shaloudi said he was on his way to his uncle’s house for the fast-breaking iftar meal at sunset, and was assaulted by five men standing outside his uncle's home. "They hit me on my head and I fell on the ground. They took off my shoes and started beating me on my back. I yelled for help," Anas told Ma'an.

Decoding the Mideast peace rhetoric
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - (Opinion) August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week announced a new round of peace talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (known as Abu Mazen) accepted her invitation to Washington for the talks beginning September 2.

For Once, Hope in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Martin Indyk - (Opinion) August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

NOW that President Obama has finally succeeded in bringing the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, the commentariat is already dismissing his chances of reaching a peace agreement. But there are four factors that distinguish the direct talks that will get under way on Sept. 2 in Washington from previous attempts — factors that offer some reason for optimism.

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