September 29th

Israeli Foreign Minister Distances Himself From Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Neil MacFarquhar - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Sharp differences within the Israeli government over peace negotiations played out in the unusual setting of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman using the podium to say that peace with the Palestinians required an intermediate agreement lasting “decades” and that the issue of Iranian belligerence should be addressed first.

U.S. Jews outraged by Lieberman's UN speech on population exchange
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid, Shlomo Shamir - (Analysis) September 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Many American Jewish leaders fumed Wednesday when Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed "an exchange of populated territory" as part of a Mideast peace deal in a speech before the UN General Assembly in New York. Lieberman suggested ceding parts of Israel with large Arab populations to a future Palestinian state in exchange for Israel keeping large settlement blocs in the West Bank, a proposal which has been part of his party's platform.

US pressing Israel to halt West Bank construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - (Analysis) September 29, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Washington's special envoy to the Mideast is in Israel Wednesday to try and get the stalled peace process back on track and press for a halt to new settlement construction on land the Palestinians want for a future state. Israel's own foreign minister highlighted the stiff opposition Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces within his own governing coalition to making concessions to the Palestinians. At the United Nations on Tuesday, Avigdor Lieberman spoke of a decades-long interim agreement with the Palestinians instead of the near-term statehood they demand.

Separating gimmickry from reality on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel’s temporary, partial settlement construction moratorium has finally expired without being renewed in any way. This is in spite of repeated American entreaties to the Israeli government to extend the moratorium and repeated Palestinian warnings that negotiations could not continue if building resumes. As things stand, the issue is unresolved and poses a serious threat to the future of negotiations, with the United States urgently looking for a compromise and the Palestinians putting off any final decision for at least another week.

September 28th

3 dead in Gaza airstrike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's air force bombed the Gaza Strip late Monday, killing three Palestinians, onlookers said. The dead, three young men in their 20s, were transferred to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, officials said. They were identified as Ala Abu Zbeida, Awni Abdul Hadi, and Muhammad Eid. According to witnesses, the bombardment targeted the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, with one Israeli jet also firing a missile toward a house in the camp causing no injuries.

Fatah official: Serious progress in unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- A Fatah Revolutionary Council member said Monday that "serious progress" has been made in finalizing a unity deal between his party and Hamas following a meeting in Damascus over the week. Faisal Abu Shahla told Ma'an that representatives from the rival parties agreed on three disputed points of four during the Damascus meeting, which have thus far stalled the ratification of the Egyptian-backed unity deal.

Gaza's troubled tunnel trade swings into reverse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Business has become so bad for Gaza's smuggler barons since Israel relaxed its blockade that tunnel traders have given up spiriting goods into the enclave, and some have even turned underground exporters. Smugglers had made fortunes hauling all manner of goods from Egypt through tunnels into Gaza, supplying 1.5 million Palestinians badly hurt by Israel's clampdown imposed in 2007 after the Islamist Hamas group took over the tiny territory.

Israel navy halts Gaza-bound boat without violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Aisha Mohammed - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli naval forces on Tuesday intercepted a catamaran carrying nine Jewish activists toward the Gaza Strip, encountering no resistance as they took control of the sailboat and escorted it to shore, the military said. The incident occurred four months after a deadly Israeli raid on an international flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists, one of them a dual Turkish-American citizen, were killed in clashes with naval commandos. The Irene, like the earlier flotilla, had been trying to breach Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

US 'disappointed' after settlement freeze ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- US envoy George Mitchell will hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week to discuss the consequences of Israel's decision not to extend a temporary moratorium on settlement building. The US administration is "disappointed" at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. Crowley praised the "restraint" of the Palestinian response to resumed building.

Why Palestinian refugees in Lebanon support violence rather than peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nicholas Blanford - (Analysis) September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, Lebanon — Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations hung in the balance Monday as Israel ignored international pressure to extend a 10-month freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, under pressure from the United States to stick with the talks, is expected to consult with his partners in the 22-member Arab League next week before announcing a decision. But Mr. Abbas said Sunday, hours before the freeze expired, that Israel had only one choice: "either peace or settlements.”

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