Daily News Issue Date: 
September 12, 2008

The New York Times reports on positive signs coming out of the West Bank city of Jenin (1). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas comments on the status of talks with Israel (3, 5). Improved security conditions are taking hold in Hebron (6). ATFP Board Member Saliba Sarsar writes about the life of Dan Bar-On (7).

A West Bank Ruin, Reborn as a Peace Beacon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - September 10, 2008 - 7:00pm


Pessimism is a steady companion these days for advocates of Middle East peace. A lame-duck Israeli government is negotiating with a weak Palestinian leadership in the twilight of an unpopular American administration. Few forecast success. But a quiet revolution is stirring here in this city, once a byword for the extremes of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2002, in response to a wave of suicide bombers from Jenin, Israeli tanks leveled entire neighborhoods.


The Iron Wall That Was
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


Thirty-eight percent of Israelis support the Arab League Initiative (formerly, the Saudi peace plan) while 69 percent of Palestinians do. That is the finding of a September poll conducted jointly by the Harry Truman Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.


Abbas: Mid-East deal is far off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said peace talks with Israel have failed to reach any breakthrough, despite nine months of negotiations. "I can't say that even one issue has been agreed upon," Mr Abbas told Israel's Haaretz newspaper. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have met since talks resumed following a US-sponsored summit last November. But Mr Abbas said the process would continue with whoever replaced Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Mr Olmert has said he will step down after his Kadima party chooses a new leader next week.


Israel accuses Gaza fighters of bombing attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


Militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Thursday detonated a bomb near an Israeli Army patrol along the border fence, causing no injuries but shaking a fragile truce, an Israeli Army spokeswoman told AFP. "An explosive device was set off against an army force patrolling the fence in central Gaza, south of the Kissufim crossing, causing some damage to the fence but no injuries," the spokeswoman said. A Gaza witness said that an Israeli ambulance had been at the scene, at the border between Israel and the central Gaza Strip, but the army said nobody was injured.


Abbas vows to pursue talks after Olmert: report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to pursue peace talks with Ehud Olmert until the scandal-hit Israeli prime minister's last day in office, and with whoever succeeds him, an Israeli newspaper said on Friday. But Abbas told the Haaretz daily he doubted the sides could meet Washington's expectations of reaching even a limited peace accord before U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office in January. Olmert, whom police have recommended indicting for corruption, has said he will resign after his Kadima party chooses a successor in a leadership contest next week.


Palestinian police make a difference in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Wafa Amr - September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


A new chapter in the history of Hebron is being inscribed in a Palestinian police blotter. The record shows that in August Palestinian police arrested 139 people on suspicion of crimes ranging from murder, drug dealing and illegal arms trading. Nearly 700 traffic tickets were handed out. After years of rule by gunmen in the Palestinian side of the divided city in the occupied West Bank, some 400 pistol-toting Palestinian policemen in blue uniforms are beginning to make a difference, residents said.


Overcoming our whirlwinds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Saliba Sarsar - (Opinion) September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


Dan Bar-On had a story about how he learned to see things through Palestinian eyes. An Israeli Jew, born in Haifa to refugees who had left Nazi Germany in 1933, Dan was a psychology professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and he had long been interested in seeing his nation live in peace with its Palestinian neighbors. At a certain point back in the mid-1990s, however, he realized, as he told me in a formal interview I conducted with him last year, that "I could not live my life in this region without seeing Palestinians, without feeling their pain."


Ahmadinejad: Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Friday to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the "collapse of Israel." The Iranian news agency Khabar quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran views the support of the Palestinian people as part of its religious and national duty and that Iran will stand behind the Palestinian nation "until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime."


PM Fayyad: Int'l community must press Israel to halt settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm


The international community's support for the peace process is meaningless so long as there is no real pressure on Israel to halt settlement expansion in the West Bank, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told visiting European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Friday. During his meeting with Solana in Ramallah, Fayyad said Israel's continued building in the settlements is a blatant violation of international law, according to Israel Radio.



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