Israeli Settlements Burden Peace Push
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - November 8, 2007 - 3:18pm

The pounding chatter of jackhammers echoes over a wind-swept West Bank hilltop as workers lay bricks at a new apartment building rising in this sprawling Jewish settlement. The Israeli government says it's ready to make a deal that would give Palestinians their own state. But realities on the ground — outlined in a report Wednesday showing vigorous Israeli construction in the West Bank — hold important implications for the latest U.S. peace push.

Rice Sounds Optimistic Tone As She Leaves Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ashraf Khalil - November 6, 2007 - 12:47pm

As U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrapped up her latest Middle East mission, Palestinian officials acknowledged Monday that a timetable to finish negotiations leading to establishment of a Palestinian state will not be finalized before an upcoming U.S.-sponsored peace conference. But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, after meeting with Rice in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said negotiations carry their own nonnegotiable deadline: the end of President Bush's term in January 2009.

Israel Puts Jerusalem On The Negotiating Table
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - November 6, 2007 - 12:41pm

As she visits the Middle East this week, USSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pressing Israeli and Palestinian leaders to commit to confidence-building measures and a timetable ahead of an upcoming US-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Md. Israel has resisted a timetable, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a major speech Sunday night that he is ready to begin accelerated peace talks – even on final-status issues such as Jerusalem.

Saudis Signal Doubts Over Middle East Peace Talks Called By Us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - November 2, 2007 - 4:54pm

Saudi Arabia has signalled that it will not attend the Middle East peace conference scheduled by the US for this month unless there is significant agreement in advance on the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. But Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, also held out a vision of normalisation between the Arab world and Israel - "not just the absence of war" - if the conflict could be resolved.

Creating The "jerusalem Paradigm"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Daniel Seidemann - (Opinion) October 30, 2007 - 1:15pm

Sit any Friday afternoon on the corner of el-Wad St. and St. Stephen's Road in Jerusalem's Old City, just opposite the Austrian Hospice. Thousands of Muslim worshipers throng to the mosques on Haram al-Sharif. Additional thousands of Orthodox Jews flock to prayers at the Western Wall. And the brown-robed Franciscans bearing the cross turn the corner and proceed to the Third Station of the Cross.

Public Opinion And The Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Abu Zayyad - (Opinion) October 30, 2007 - 1:14pm

The importance of public opinion stems from the fact that in democratic regimes it can play a determining role in the shift of power between the different political forces. Political leaders and parties must always bear in mind that, come election day, it is the voters who will be judging their performance and deciding whether they deserve to be reelected, or whether they should be voted out for having disappointed their electorate. Thus the agenda of political parties must always take into account the wider public agenda and concerns.

Palestinian Census Carries Sobering Subtext For Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 30, 2007 - 1:07pm

The field worker matches the villa at 5 El Balu'a Street with a building survey map, scribbles a number in blue crayon, and then offers a brief introduction to the homeowner on what the counting means. "I'm a representative of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and we're doing preliminary work for the census," says Raniah Haseebah, a youthful, bright-eyed statistician. "I'm giving you this questionnaire."

An Interview With Adnan Husseini
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
(Interview) October 29, 2007 - 7:10pm

bitterlemons: We've heard recently Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert talk about the outlying neighborhoods of Jerusalem and that Israel might be willing to "divide" Jerusalem. What do you make of this? Husseini: First of all, we've been hearing such ideas for a while, but we also see the objections from many others in Israel, so we can't really trust these statements.

Inside Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Clancy Chassay - (Special Report) October 26, 2007 - 5:50pm

In the long shadows of early dusk, a large black Mercedes with blacked-out windows picked me up from my hotel and whisked me through Gaza City's dusty, sullied streets. The roads, strewn with rubbish, were largely empty: Gaza was preparing for an Israeli incursion and the routine was familiar.

A Minimum Strategic Goal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Daoub Kuttab - (Opinion) October 24, 2007 - 2:45pm

In all previous attempts at negotiations with Israel, Palestinians have never made any real breakthrough. Progress has only been made on procedural or superficial issues, even if expectations were always raised unreasonably high, which in turn created exaggerated hopes for the peace process. This has been the case since the Madrid peace conference and was true of the Oslo process. Throughout, the Palestinian position was in permanent retreat and concessions were offered Israel at no cost.

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