Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times reports on the cash shortage in Gaza's banks due to the decision by Israeli commercial banks to stop all Palestinian banks in Gaza (2.) In Israel policy Forum, MJ Rosenberg identifies the critical steps needed in terms of both an agreement and actions on the ground if the fall Mideast meeting is to be a success (4.) The Guardian (UK) looks at the continued barring of Palestinian students from Israeli universities by the Israeli army despite an Israeli Supreme Court order to relax such restrictions (8.) The Economist (UK) reviews a book by Israeli historian Idith Zertal and Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar on how Israeli settlers have consistently thwarted Israeli law to establish settlements in the occupied West Bank greatly complicating two-state solution prospects (10.) In BitterLemons (Israel/Palestine) former Palestinian minister of planning Ghassan Khatib identifies Israeli actions on the ground that undermine prospects for a successful fall meeting (12.) In Haaretz (Israel), Aluf Benn analyzes how two parties in Israeli PM Olmert's coalition could determine the extent of flexibility in his negotiations with the Palestinians (14.) A Ynet News/Yedioth (Israel) opinion by Israeli Geneva Initiative director-general Gadi Baltiansky addresses the consequences of the current Israeli and Palestinian leaderships in reaching a peace settlement (15.)

On The Road To Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) October 12, 2007 - 1:02pm

It’s still looking like the international Middle East conference will take place in November at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It’s a good venue, providing Camp David-like security and easy and fast access to Washington, DC. Should peace break out, Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert will be able to get to the White House within an hour to announce it with the President at their side. You shouldn’t hold your breath.

Stalemate Threatens Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Bourdreaux, Paul Richter - October 12, 2007 - 2:00pm

After prodding the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table for the first time in nearly seven years, the Bush administration now confronts a stalemate that threatens to undermine the latest peace initiative and further diminish American influence in the Middle East.

Islamist Leader Hints At Hamas Pull-out From Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - October 12, 2007 - 2:04pm

Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip, took a significant step towards reconciliation with the Palestinian President yesterday, saying that its rule of the tiny coastal territory was only “temporary”.

Damascus Understands That It Needs Peace With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shlomo Ben-ami - (Opinion) October 12, 2007 - 2:12pm

An Arab-Israeli peace requires a comprehensive approach, because the problems at stake are intertwined. Not only are key issues such as Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees insoluble without an all-Arab consensus, but any country that is left out of the peace process is bound to persist in its role as a revolutionary power bent on regional destabilization.

The City Of David, Below And Above Ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Danny Rubenstein - (Opinion) October 12, 2007 - 2:18pm

The uncovering of ancient sites currently taking place on the City of David hill, on the slope south of the wall around Jerusalem's Old City, is almost certainly the most impressive archaeological enterprise in Israel today. During a visit there during the Sukkot holiday, one could see thousands of visitors, tourists from abroad and Israelis.

A Welcome Right-wing Leverage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - October 12, 2007 - 2:19pm

To his aides, Ariel Sharon would praise Uzi Landau, the leader of the Likud "rebels," who opposed the disengagement plan. Uzi has a historic role, Sharon explained: If the plan is implemented without encountering any resistance, the world will think such a move is easy and that Israel did not make enough concessions. For this reason internal opponents are important - they strengthen you outwardly.

Uphill Climb For Rice On Mideast Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Howard Lafranchi - October 15, 2007 - 3:04pm

As the Bush administration moves to revive the long-dormant Middle East peace process – most notably by calling Israeli and Palestinian leaders to an international conference to be held next month outside Washington – pressure is building for a White House to deliver on its new quest for peace.

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