Israel's military leaders warn against Iran attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre, Kim Sengupta - February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

Almost the entire senior hierarchy of Israel's military and security establishment is worried about a premature attack on Iran and apprehensive about the possible repercussions, a former chief of the country's defence forces told The Independent yesterday. Lt-Gen Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who is close to Defence Minister Ehud Barak, said there had been little analysis of what happens the "day after" when the Tehran regime and its paramilitary allies retaliate. He warned that an assault may lead to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad benefiting from popular anger against foreign aggression.

Israel asks U.S. to prod Palestinians to continue peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to continue the talks with Israel that began last month in Amman. The Prime Minister's Office said that the conversation with Clinton lasted 45 minutes, and quoted Netanyahu as saying, "Israel is interested in continuous talks with the Palestinians while preserving the security interests of Israeli citizens."

Israel backtracks on housing benefits for West Bank settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

Housing benefits will not be granted to some 70 West Bank settlements unless specifically approved by the defense minister, who has authority over West Bank construction, the cabinet decided on Wednesday. The decision amended a cabinet resolution approved on Sunday that granted various housing benefits to people living in national priority areas. Since about 70 settlements are located in national priority areas, the new decision was passed to exclude them.

Germany upgrades Palestinian diplomatic status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Germany has upgraded the Palestinian diplomatic representation in Berlin from a delegation to a mission headed by an ambassador, visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced Wednesday. The decision followed similar steps in recent months by France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. It was seen as a boost to the Palestinian quest for international recognition. Germany is one of the most influential countries in Europe and one of Israel's most loyal allies.

Palestinian security forces question 2 journalists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Two Palestinian journalists said Wednesday they were detained and questioned by Palestinian security forces, one after mocking the Palestinian leadership and the other after reporting about alleged corruption at a Palestinian diplomatic mission. The detentions came as renewed criticism was aimed at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' government for suppressing dissent.

Analysis: Hamas on the move, seeks Palestinian ascendancy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Douglas Hamilton - (Analysis) February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Political winds from the Arab Spring are filling the sails of the Hamas, as it seeks a course out of international isolation to the forefront of the Palestinian national movement. Hamas' ties to Syria and Iran are changing. This week, the two top men in the 25-year-old organization dedicated to crushing Israel and establishing Palestine "from the (Jordan) river to the sea" headed off in distinctly different directions for high-level talks, and they began to look intriguingly like rivals.

Key settlement outpost slated for evacuation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from IRIN
February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (IRIN) -- Israel's High Court of Justice has ordered Israeli settlers in the Migron outpost in the West Bank to leave by March 31 in response to a 2006 petition filed by seven Palestinian landowners and Israeli pressure group Peace Now. "The prime minister is trying to implement the court's decision peacefully," by reaching an agreement with the Migron settlers which would include moving them from their homes to new housing on adjacent Israeli "state land", Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told IRIN.

Israelis, Palestinians at loggerheads over praise of settler killer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 2, 2012 - 1:00am

AWARTA, West Bank — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest complaints about Palestinian “hate speech,” after relatives of the killer of a Jewish settler family praised him in a phone call to the official Palestine TV, spotlight the intense animosity and mutual distrust that have blocked peace talks for years. Netanyahu argues that President Mahmoud Abbas’ government has failed to educate Palestinians for peace, stoking Israeli suspicions about a hidden Palestinian agenda, and that this poses a major obstacle to any peace deal.

Results of a Specialized Opinion Poll among Palestinian Youth: Activism, Political Efficacy,Palestinian Internal Politics, Elections, Arab Spring and Negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from AWRAD
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

Fieldwork: 15-17 January 2012 Sample Size: 1200 Palestinian Youth (18-30 years old) West Bank & Gaza Margin of error: + 3 % Highlights: •The majority of youth are skeptical about the direction where the Palestinian society is heading. •48 percent of youth respondents describe themselves as politically very active. •20 percent of the youth participated in activities directed at ending the internal division. •72 percent are willing to participate in protest activities against the occupation.

U.N. chief tells Palestinians their state is long overdue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said an independent Palestinian state is long overdue. Ban arrived in Ramallah from Israel, where he met Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to keep the latest peace talks between the two sides going. At a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the U.N. chief urged the Palestinians and Israelis to return to direct negotiations, stressing that “the two-state solution can be achieved only through negotiations.”

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