Report: Mashaal promised release of Jordanians in Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has promised to include the release of Jordanian prisoners held in Israeli prisons as part of a prisoner exchange deal meant to secure the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, Jordanian newspaper al-Arab al-Yawm quoted secretary of the National Committee for Jordanian Prisoners and Missing in Israeli Jails as saying. The matter of Jordanian prisoners has surfaced in the past in talks for a Shalit deal as part of Hamas' demands of prisoners to be released in the second phase of the agreement.

Peace will help keep Obama popular
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Steven W. Barnes, Nadia Bilbassy - August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Two international opinion polls released this summer indicate that global views toward the US are improving – in no small part due to the election of Barack Obama as president. The polls, by the Pew Global Attitudes Project and, both stress that Obama is viewed positively in most of the countries surveyed, but questions remain in the Middle East about the direction of US policies.

Editorial: Not the way to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

When Israeli officials this week meet US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, when President Barack Obama unveils his Middle East peace plan at the UN in New York next month, and when Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas hold a possible first encounter on the sidelines of the General Assembly, the common denominator issue will be Israeli settlement building. The Jewish outposts have for decades been one of the biggest obstacles in the way of a settlement but recently the issue has taken on a new dimension.

Israel may soon agree on settlement freeze: Solana
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel may agree to a West Bank settlement freeze by mid-September and is discussing the technical aspects of a deal with the United States, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Monday. Solana also said after meeting the Israeli premier that a summit between the US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders to relaunch the dormant peace process could take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the end of September.

Freeze in Jerusalem too
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) August 30, 2009 - 12:00am

If there is any truth in the reports that came out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip to Europe - that the United States agreed Israel can go on building in East Jerusalem - the headlines should have read "Obama has pulled out of the Middle East peace process."

Report: Meshal to fly to Cairo to approve Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal is expected to fly to Cairo next week to approve a deal that includes the release of captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, the London-based Arabic language newspaper al-Hayat reported on Friday. Meanwhile, a German intelligence official has arrived in Cairo to help mediate on the Shalit deal, senior German officials told Haaretz on Thursday.

US: Settlements no precondition on Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States indicated Friday that its calls on Israel to freeze settlements were not a precondition for restarting Middle East peace talks, as the Jewish state held firm in its refusal. President Barack Obama's administration insisted it was not changing its stance, which has caused friction with the close US ally, that Israel halt all settlements in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem. But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the main US goal was to relaunch talks between Israel and the Palestinians, who will decide for themselves on the contours of a peace deal.

PM faces uprising over 'settlement halt'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - August 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will return from his European trip to find that two Likud rallies have been organized to express opposition to the settlement freeze he reportedly negotiated with US envoy George Mitchell in London. The first, scheduled for Tuesday at Tel Aviv's Azrieli Tower, was organized by Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled. It is not officially an anti-Netanyahu rally but rather a "pro-Jerusalem event," and yet MKs who attend are expected to bash the deal the prime minister is negotiating with the Americans.

Obama steers the peace train
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jerrold Kessel, Pierre Klochendler - August 28, 2009 - 12:00am

It isn't formal yet, but it's bound to be soon - within the coming six weeks, Palestinians and Israelis will again sit down around the peace table. That's the upshot of Wednesday's London meeting between United States President Barack Obama's special Middle East envoy, Senator George Mitchell, and Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. Mitchell is set to come to Jerusalem in a fortnight's time with the goal of finalizing an agreement on both an Israeli settlement freeze and the consequent re-igniting of direct peace talks.

PA wants piece of Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Reports of progress on a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas have led to high expectations in the Palestinian Authority as well, as sources say they hope this means past understandings between Israel and the PA will also be realized with the deal's execution. According to sources, Israel has in the past agreed to release a number of Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to President Mahmoud Abbas as the deal for the release of captive solder Gilad Shalit nears completion.

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