27 Feb. '09: Settlement expansion plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from B'Tselem
February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Following the Oslo agreement, Israel made a commitment to the United States that it would not build new settlements or expand existing ones, except to meet “natural growth.” This narrow allowance, never defined, was utilized by Israel to greatly expand settlements and build new settlements, such as Modi’in Ilit.

Time not ripe for two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) February 26, 2009 - 1:00am

The Obama administration will have to address on an immediate basis a number of burning problems of varying degrees of magnitude. In the short run it will be required to tackle the rehabilitation of Gaza under Hamas' rule: On the one hand to secure aid to assure the fundamental wellbeing of its inhabitants, while at the same time curtailing the influx of weaponry into Gaza. The fight against terror, its performers and sources has to be continued in all vigor.

The Palestinian Perspective: Prime Minister Faya'd in Conversation with TML's Felice Friedson
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Interview) February 23, 2009 - 1:00am

The Media Line’s Felice Friedson conducted an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Faya’d in his Ramallah office on February 19, 2009. Among the issues they discussed were the current state of the Palestinian Authority, the crisis in Gaza, Fatah vs. Hamas, and the future of relations with Israel. TML: Mr. Prime Minister, what is the most serious problem caused by the division of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: in effect the creation of two Palestinian states?

Shake Up in the PLO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - February 18, 2009 - 1:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- High-ranking Palestinian sources have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas transferred the task of leading the Palestinian negotiating team from Ahmad Quray, alias Abu-Ala, to Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO's negotiations department.

New proposals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
February 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Russia is pushing for a Middle East peace conference in Moscow this summer, to follow up on the 2007 Annapolis meeting that failed to deliver on its promises. During hisrecent visit for talks with Israeli leaders, including President Shimon Peres, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Kadima and Likud leaders Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov raised this Russian idea and offered additional assurances that the peace process will not be complicated by inviting Hamas for talks or pushing for a fast Syrian-track negotiations.

The end for the Palestinian Authority?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by George Giacaman - February 13, 2009 - 1:00am

As usual, the future Israeli government will be a coalition, either a right-wing one composed of Kadima, Likud, and Labor, or an extreme right-wing one, including Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, and others. Either way, this does not bode well for the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is entering the third stage of its turbulent life, and perhaps its last. The first stage began with the Gaza-Jericho agreement of 1994, followed in late 1995 with expansion of the PA's authority over parts of the West Bank. This stage ended with Yasser Arafat's death in November 2004.

One on One: 'I was the resident skeptic'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ruthie Blum Leibowitz - (Interview) February 12, 2009 - 1:00am

The one thing Elliott Abrams and I do not discuss during our hour-long interview in Jerusalem this week is his imminent career move. More specifically, how someone who has spent the better part of the last three decades vilified by those who consider "neoconservatism" a four-letter word will fare as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a key part of the liberal establishment.

PA: Hamas rockets are bid to sway Israeli election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 9, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority foreign minister on Monday accused Hamas of trying to influence the outcome of Tuesday's general election in Israel by keeping up the rocket fire on southern Israel. Riad Malki said Hamas did not want to see a pro-peace government elected in Israel during the parliamentary vote because it would pursue a political deal with the PA, dominated by its rival Fatah movement. On Sunday, two rockets struck southern Israel, violating an informal Israel-Hamas truce.

Israeli election: the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Peter Beaumont - February 9, 2009 - 1:00am

The settlements on the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law, a stumbling block to successive peace proposals. On the day I see Beni Raz I traverse the spine of Israel's settlements in the West Bank from west of the Palestinian town of Qalqilya to Jerusalem. There are the Jerusalem settlements that probe into the Arab neighbourhoods in the city's Arab east, pushing between the towns and villages. Prising them apart.

Political Divide Between Hamas, Fatah Deepens
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - February 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Hamas security men are back on the streets, directing traffic and trying to restore some semblance of law and order following isolated incidents of looting in the wake of Israel's 23-day military assault on Gaza. Operation Cast Lead left over 1,300 Palestinians dead and nearly 500 wounded, most of them civilian, and also left the infrastructure of the coastal territory decimated. The smuggling of weapons, and everyday essential items, into Gaza and sporadic rocket fire on Israel has resumed.

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