August 27th

Edelstein: Palestinians should halt building as well
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

If the Palestinians demand the continuation of the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria beyond the 10-month moratorium, Israel should insist that the freeze be reciprocated, Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Thursday. Edelstein, a Neveh Daniel resident who is the only Likud minister who lives in the West Bank, intends to tell Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Sunday’s Likud ministerial meeting that he should demand a Palestinian construction freeze in his negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that are set to begin in Washington next week.

PM forms small negotiation team to prevent leaks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Ahead of next week's direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a small team of advisors to lead the negotiations, under his supervision. The PM opted for a small negotiating team in an effort to prevent leaks during the talks with the Palestinians, which are due to kick off in Washington September 2. On Thursday, Netanyahu was expected to meet with the advisors, including Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, Ron Dermer, Military Secretary Maj.- Gen. Yohanan Locker and National Security Council Director Uzi Arad.

US wants agreement now, peace later
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shimon Shiffer - August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration plans to present Israel and the Palestinian Authority with a new outline aimed at ending the Middle East conflict. The Yedioth Ahronoth daily has learned that the Americans will pressure the parties to sign a framework agreement for a permanent settlement within one year, but that the agreement itself woulbe implemented within 10 years.

Netanyahu may be a latter-day Gorbachev
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) August 27, 2010 - 12:00am

The opening of the direct talks with the Palestinians again raises the question: Who is Benjamin Netanyahu? Is he our Gorbachev, a great reformer who will end Israeli rule in the territories? A "Nixon who went to China" - a right-winger who disavowed his former approach and changed the balance of power with a brilliant diplomatic stroke? Or is he the "old Bibi" depicted by his rivals, the illusionist who is afraid of daddy Benzion and wife Sara, the uptight leader who flinches from making decisions and passes time by dribbling the ball?

Israel begins forming negotiations team for direct peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening began forming Israel's negotiating team for the direct peace negotiations set to commence next week in Washington, the Prime Minister's Office announced. Netanyahu will assemble a small negotiating team that will be under his direct supervision, in order to allow for thorough, serious and speedy talks.

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."

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