U.S.: Republican plan would cut aid to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Blog) September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. House Republican leaders signaled this week that they are serious about cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority if its leaders continue their quest for U.N. recognition as a sovereign state. The Republican leaders of the House Appropriations Committee this week released a preliminary 2012 spending plan that would prohibit aid to the Palestinian Authority unless the State Department certifies that the Palestinians aren’t seeking to gain full membership in the United Nations.

Palestinians could pursue war crimes charges without full statehood: ICC prosecutor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Olivia Ward - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

In the fierce debate over the Palestinian bid for UN membership, one unseen presence has cast a long shadow. It’s that of Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court — the body Israel has long feared would take up Palestinian allegations of war crimes if its statehood bid is successful. A few blocks away from the UN this week, the man at the centre of the controversy said if Palestine becomes a member state, or a lower-ranked non-member observer state, it could be eligible to pursue claims against Israel.

Palestinians deny bid to remove Tony Blair from Quartet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Jon Donnison - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Mr Blair, a former UK prime minister, has held the position of special envoy for four years. Palestinians see him as biased towards the Israelis. The Quartet, made up of the US, Russia, the EU and UN, was established in 2002 to help mediate peace in the region. There have been no direct Israeli-Palestinian talks for more than a year. A spokesman for the PA said that while there was great unhappiness with Mr Blair's role as envoy, his removal was not a priority. He said there were no plans to formally ask for Mr Blair to be replaced. 'Suspicion'

PA: We are one vote shy of a majority in Security Council
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians have received approval from eight members of the UN Security Council in support of their bid for full membership to the United Nations. If nine members of the Security Council vote in favor of the Palestinian state bid, the the resolution will pass, unless one of the council's five permanent members uses a veto. While the US, one of those five, has said before that it would veto the Palestinian resolution, it has also stated that it would rather not be forced to use the veto.

Clinton: Israeli settlement move counter-productive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's decision to build 1,100 settlement homes on West Bank land is counter-productive to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday. The decision appears to make it even less likely that the two sides will answer a call on Friday by the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, collectively known as the Quartet, to resume peace talks within a month.

Clinton, Egypt FM call for negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

The Egyptian foreign minister and his US counterpart called on Israelis and Palestinians to resume talks in a joint press conference on Wednesday. "Negotiations should resume as soon as possible between Israelis and Palestinians with clear terms of reference and with a clearly defined time-line," Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr told reporters after a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. "Israeli illegal settlement activities continue to be an impediment in the road for peace, and we would like to see them stop," he added.

UN refers Palestine bid to review panel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The UN Security Council on Wednesday pushed back a decision on a Palestinian bid to join the United Nations in a move that will give more time to international efforts to revive direct talks. But UN envoys for the two foes wrangled over who is to blame for the latest year-old negotiations deadlock, with diplomats warning both sides are hardening their positions. The 15-member Security Council sent the bid made by President Mahmoud Abbas last Friday to a special membership committee to give its verdict.

Palestinian statehood bid stokes tensions in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

In this village tucked among the rocky hills of the northern West Bank, flags are flying to celebrate the bid for membership of a Palestinian state in the United Nations. A poster in the village center carries a picture of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is riding a wave of popularity after defying U.S. pressure and submitting the membership application last week.

Israelis Happy at Home but Glum About Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

With the start of the Jewish New Year at sunset on Wednesday, a traditional time for stock-taking in Israel, the public mood seemed paradoxical: a growing disillusionment with the prospect of Middle East peace yet a marked sense of satisfaction with life here. That gap, reflected and discussed in news media commentaries, was evident in a survey of Israeli Jews published on Wednesday in the newspaper Yediot Aharonot. Two-thirds of the respondents said there was no chance — ever — of achieving peace with the Palestinians. But asked if Israel was a good place to live, 88 percent said yes.

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