A renovation on shaky ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

Take a walk between Old Acre’s Khan al-Umdan complex and the lighthouse at the western end of the city and you’ll find a tent pitched at the entrance to a large, ancient building. The tent was erected by the building’s residents and social activists, protesting eviction notices given to the residents by the Amidar Company.

Senior Fatah, Hamas leaders meet in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah central committee member Nabil Shaath met with Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar in Gaza City on Tuesday afternoon to progress the reconciliation deal between their parties. In a press statement, Shaath said they discussed the political detentions in Gaza and the West Bank and ways to implement the agreement, despite all the obstacles facing the reconciliation. Meanwhile, head of political independents Yasser Al-Waddiyeh announced a "senior reconciliation leadership committee" will meet for the first time on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip.

A small sign of progress toward Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

SOMETHING SURPRISING happened Tuesday in a Middle East diplomatic landscape that most people assumed was frozen over: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met face-to-face for the first time in 16 months. That they did so was partly to the credit of Jordan’s King Abdullah, who has been working feverishly to restart negotiations, and partly to the credit of the “Quartet,” the diplomatic amalgam of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, which has been pressuring the two sides for months.

A spitting incident sets off Israeli frustration with Jewish zealotry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 27, 2011 - 1:00am

The harassment of an 8-year-old girl by ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh is shaking Israel’s self image to the core, stirring nationwide outrage about escalating religious zealotry and creeping public segregation of women.

Palestinians block performance of Israeli-Arab singer under pressure from boycott movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — A popular Israeli-Arab singer had to cancel a show on New Year’s Eve in the West Bank because of threats from Palestinian activists opposed to coexistence with Israel, the performer and police said. It was the latest in a string of cancellations after threats and other pressure tactics by Palestinians groups promoting a boycott of virtually anything connected with Israel. The boycott movement says its tactics are a nonviolent way to protest Israeli policies. Israeli officials denounce the efforts as “delegitimization” of Israel’s right to exist.

Israelis and Palestinians meet, agree to keep talking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met for the first time in more than a year in Amman on Tuesday and agreed to keep talking at further meetings, Jordan’s foreign minister said, adding that Israel had received written Palestinian proposals on borders and security and would respond. Although the minister, Nasser Judeh, was careful not to characterize Tuesday’s talks and the coming meetings as negotiations, the discussions in Jordan marked a resumption of direct contacts between the Israelis and Palestinians after a protracted impasse in peace efforts.

As Israelis and Palestinians Talk, the Rise of a Political Islam Alters the Equation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday, their first encounter in more than a year, and while little emerged, the meeting said a great deal about the crossroads facing the Palestinians — and the entire Middle East — as political Islam emerges as a potentially transformative force in the region.

Israel, PA agree to meet again next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Herb Keinon - January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel and Palestinian negotiators meeting in Amman on Tuesday for the first direct talks in 16 months agreed to continue talking, with another round scheduled in Jordan next week, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Palestinians pessimistic about negotiation prospects
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian sources in Ramallah said Tuesday that the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian representatives in Amman may be important but doubted it will yield results. This despite optimism expressed on the Israeli side. "One cannot say progress was achieved, there is just an attempt to create atmosphere," one Palestinian official said. "It was an important meeting indeed as it's the first official meeting between the parties after a long period of political stalemate, but it's not a big deal."

PLO gives borders, security proposal at Amman meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian envoys handed Israeli officials a proposal for resolving border and security issues at a meeting in the Jordanian capital on Tuesday attended by international Quartet delegates. Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Juda said Israeli representatives promised to respond to the proposals in future meetings, which were agreed to be held in Amman at an unspecified date, official PA news agency Wafa reported. Juda emphasized that there were no specific breakthroughs at the meeting, which was called by the international Quartet and attended by

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