Netanyahu: We haven’t agreed to a settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel’s prime minister denied reports that Israel has agreed to halt construction in West Bank settlements. At a news conference in Berlin on Thursday following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu also said the Palestinians first must recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state before negotiations could be held.

PM wants US to pressure Saudis on normalization
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask US Mideast Envoy George Mitchell to pressure the Saudis into opening diplomatic channels and opening its skies to Israel as a leading condition towards normalization of ties between Israel and Arab states. If this is done, the Israeli government will be able to reach an agreement on freezing construction in settlements according to American demands.

Brown 'optimistic' on Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
August 25, 2009 - 12:00am

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he is "more optimistic" about Middle East peace after talks with with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. After the Downing Street meeting, he stressed that Britain was a "true friend" of Israel. But he stressed that it was necessary to remain "realistic" in efforts to secure lasting peace. Mr Netanyahu said a demilitarised Palestinian state was needed if this is to be attained. Mr Brown has repeatedly called for a freeze on Israeli settlement building, warning that the issue is an obstacle to peace in the Middle East. US pressure

PM heads to Europe with backing for settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's optimistic statement suggesting peace talks with the Palestinians may reignite by the end of September, is the apparent silent assurance that Yisrael Beiteinu chair and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will not extract his party from the coalition in the event Israel will comply with the US demand to halt all settlement expansion. Should Netanyahu have to force the narrow cabinet forum to make a decision on the matter, and with Lieberman abstained on the vote, he would have a majority of four.

Settlement issue looms over Netanyahu's Europe trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - August 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a four-day trip to Europe on Monday, during which he will meet in London with US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell to try to firm up an agreement for fast-tracking peace talks with the Palestinians.

Accusation of Organ Theft Stokes Ire in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - August 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel urged the Swedish government on Sunday to condemn an article in a Swedish newspaper last week accusing the Israeli Army of harvesting organs from Palestinians wounded or killed by soldiers.

What is Required of Europe and Russia in Support of Justice?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Russia, France, Britain and the remaining European countries can do much more than they are doing now to compel the Palestinians and Israelis to implement their commitments according to the Road Map to the two-state solution, which these countries supported in Security Council resolutions and within the framework of the Quartet for peace in the Middle East. Indeed, it is not enough to express support for the efforts of US President Barack Obama and to wait for an initiative from him when he addresses the UN General Assembly next month.

Swedish government disagrees with embassy in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Sweden's Foreign Ministry on Thursday said a response by the Swedish Embassy in Israel to a report by the Aftonbladet news saying IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to harvest their organs does not represent the government's stance. The embassy had stated that the report was "appalling". But the Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said, "The embassy in Tel Aviv responded in accordance to Israeli public opinion, however the Swedish government is committed to freedom of the press." She added that Israel had not issued an official complaint on the report.

Arab reaction to Obama’s Mideast policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Nasser Ali Khasawneh, Dima Sari - (Opinion) August 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The new American administration is moving at a frenetic pace, trying to break the seemingly interminable deadlock between Israel and the Arab world. Recent press reports suggest that George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, is reaching a critical point in his negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and the Palestinian Authority. Amid all this, it is fair to say that the average Arab is rather puzzled about the US policy.

Mubarak: U.S. will unveil first draft of Mideast plan next month
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama has promised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he will present a rough draft of his Middle East peace plan in September, a Mubarak spokesman said following their White House meeting Tuesday. Suleiman Awad said the two presidents had agreed that time was of the essence in forging an Israeli-Palestinian deal, and a detailed plan with a clear vision of how a final agreement would look was necessary.

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