December 23rd

Palestinian Authority gives Mideast peacemakers an ultimatum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK -– The Palestinian Authority on Thursday gave the so-called quartet of Middle East peace negotiators an ultimatum: It will resume its campaign for statehood recognition if there is no movement in the peace process in the next month. "If nothing happens by Jan. 26, we are going back to our international campaign for recognition," said Nabil Shaath, a senior official in the administration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel has 101 different types of permits governing Palestinian movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's Civil Administration issues 101 different types of permits to govern the movement of Palestinians, whether within the West Bank, between the West Bank and Israel or beyond the borders of the state, according to an agency document of which Haaretz obtained a copy. The most common permits are those allowing Palestinians to work in Israel, or in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Over the decades, however, the permit regimen has grown into a vast, triple-digit bureaucracy.

Gaza Christians long for days before Hamas cancelled Christmas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Phoebe Greenwood - December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

When the Latin patriarch came to Gaza's Holy Family church to celebrate Christmas mass last week, he instructed a full house of Catholic and Orthodox families to pray for reconciliation. As the archbishop, Fouad Twal, stood at the lectern in Gaza City, Fatah and Hamas leaders were meeting in Cairo attempting to mend differences that have divided the Palestinian factions for four years and rendered Gaza a besieged Islamist enclave.

Page by page, Marwan Barghouti's anti-war tome walked out of prison
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Joseph Dana - (Opinion) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza celebrated the return of their loved ones last Sunday as the final wave of prisoners were released in an exchange between Hamas and Israel. However, one prisoner was notably absent. Marwan Barghouti, the jailed Fatah leader known by many Palestinians as the "prince of resistance", remains behind bars in Israel despite promises from the Palestinian leadership that his freedom would be secured through the exchange of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

New test for Israel — this one from within
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Frida Ghitis - (Opinion) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Over the six decades since its founding, Israelis have faced, and continue to face, countless threats to their country’s survival as the democratic state of the Jewish people. That threat comes from abroad and from neighboring countries that would like to see Israel cease to exist. But today Israel also suffers from self-inflicted wounds. And some of those wounds are becoming infected.

Diplomacy should conform to international norms
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jay Bushinsky - (Opinion) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Two major mistakes were by Israeli policy- makers: The Oslo Accords of 1993 and the unilateral and unconditional withdrawal of troops and civilians from the Gaza Strip in 2005. These ill-considered initiatives have caused seemingly insoluble problems. They were radical departures from the Jewish state’s original adherence to traditional diplomacy based on international norms, and deviated from the initially consistent effort to gain recognition as a bona fide member of the international community.

Gaza in Shock After Rare Double Homicide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omar Ghraieb - (Analysis) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – The Gaza Strip is all abuzz about a grisly murder of an elderly couple in a story that brings together drugs, money, the dangers of leaving home and family, and a desperate escape by tunnel to Egypt. It’s the routine stuff of tabloid journalism in America and Europe, but here in this tiny coastal enclave, killings like those of Mustafa Al-Huweihi and his wife Salma are quite rare, despite all the violence associated with the ruling Hamas movement and the other Islamic groups in Gaza that are in constant war with Israel.

No room to compare Binyamin to Bil'in
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

It's true that the settlers are also rising up against what they see as injustice: the evacuation of settlement outposts, but these outposts are patently illegal. Ever since dozens of settlers rioted at the Binyamin Brigade's base in the West Bank last week, several people, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have compared the rioters to those who gather weekly at Bil'in to protest the separation fence. Netanyahu compared the two again this week, during the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle at the brigade's headquarters. This is an unfounded and outrageous comparison.

How I became a 'terrorist'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Abdelrahman Al Ahmar - (Opinion) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

The first time I was attacked by an Israeli settler, I was 14 years old. I was walking to school when an armed man wearing a skullcap, standing near some Israeli soldiers, pulled my pack off my back and threw it in the mud. That wasn't last month, nor was it near a new outpost in Nablus. Rather, this happened 30 years ago, on the main road running through Bethlehem, near Deheisheh refugee camp, where I lived. The settler was not just any alienated, disaffected man. He was, I learned later, the father of the national religious settlement project - Rabbi Moshe Levinger.

Netanyahu's choice of advisers is cause for concern
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

The situation is so funny that I feel like crying. There's something about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that, despite his pretensions to glory as the nation's unparalleled leader, and despite the basso-profundo voice that presents him as a person of authority and the nation's savior, makes him look like a caricature of a leader.

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