Daily News Issue Date: 
September 15, 2008

Palestinian President Abbas is interviewed by Haaretz (1) as the Palestinian Authority's security efforts are gaining wider acknowledgement (10). Israeli police investigate ?pogrom? by settlers (5) while the Israeli government debates settler evacuation (9). Peace talks continue (3) (7) even as commentators urge focus on stabilizing the situation on the ground (11).

Olmert voices sorrow for plight of Palestinian, Jewish refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shahar Ilan - September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday said he was sorry for the plight of Palestinians and Jews who became refugees as a result of Israel's establishment. "I join in expressing sorrow for what happened to the Palestinians and also for what happened to the Jews who were expelled from Arab states," the prime minister said. Olmert made the comments before a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, apparently in his last such session as prime minister. He was speaking in reference to the key Palestinian demand for a "right of return" in peace negotiations with Israel.


Israeli, Palestinian leaders to hold talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to hold what could be their last meeting before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves office. Officials from both sides say Olmert and Abbas plan to hold their talks in Jerusalem on Tuesday night. The summit comes on the eve of elections for Olmert's Kadima party. Olmert is expected to resign soon after the vote. Although he will remain in office for a brief caretaker period, it is unclear whether he will continue with peace talks during that time.


Israeli soldier gets 14 days for role in stillborn at checkpoint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


An Israeli soldier was sentenced to 14 days in prison for his role in an incident in which a Palestinian delivered a stillborn baby after being forced to wait at a checkpoint inside the Occupied West Bank, the Israeli Army said Friday. "The incident is one that could have been prevented," the Israeli military said, adding that the squad commander who was in charge of the checkpoint at the time was removed from his position and sentenced to 14 days in jail.


Israeli Police Probing "Pogrom"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli police are investigating a rampage by settlers in a Palestinian village in the West Bank on Saturday which PM Ehud Olmert called a "pogrom". Mr Olmert, who is about to step down, called the attack by about 100 settlers on Asira al-Qabaliya "intolerable". It was filmed by human rights groups and came after an intruder stabbed and wounded a child at Yitzhar settlement. But police have not arrested any of the settlers who were filmed. Four people suffered gunshot wounds in the attack.


Israel seals Gaza border crossings after rocket attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel?s border crossings with the Gaza Strip were sealed on Monday, following a rocket attack by Palestinian fighters. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered the indefinite closure of the crossings after the attack. The rocket, which was fired into the Israeli town of Sderot, started a fire but did not cause any casualties.


Abbas to Meet Bush on Sept 25: Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is to hold talks with US President George W. Bush at the White House on September 25, a day earlier than initially announced, Palestinian officials said on Monday. "The meeting will be held on September 25," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP. Before traveling to Washington, Abbas is to attend the opening session of the UN General Assembly. Abbas and Bush will "evaluate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process and discuss the obstacles that prevent reaching an accord," Erakat said.


Palestinian Is Killed in a Clash With Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - September 12, 2008 - 7:00pm


A Palestinian youth was killed on Saturday in a clash with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Tekoa, near Bethlehem, Palestinian and Israeli officials said. Earlier in the day, armed Jewish settlers attacked a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank after a Palestinian intruder stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli boy, 9, in an illegal Jewish outpost in the area, Israeli officials said. At least four Palestinians were wounded in that confrontation, some by live fire, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials.


Israeli government debates settler evacuation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Matti Friedman - September 13, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel's government had its first discussion Sunday of a plan to offer West Bank settlers cash to leave their homes, a largely symbolic step taken as the prime minister approaches the premature end of his term. The plan would pave the way for a large-scale pullback after a peace agreement with the Palestinians. But both sides say such a peace accord, or even a partial agreement, are far from completion.


As peace talks sputter, Israelis and Palestinians eye Plan B
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Over the past two decades of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, deadlines for peace agreements have come and gone with precious few treaties. Now, amid low expectations for an agreement before the expiration of the Bush administration's target for an accord by the end of 2008, voices are growing on both sides advocating abandoning talks on Palestinian statehood if they miss the mark yet again. "We certainly need to think outside the box," says Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian legislator and longtime supporter of peace talks. "The business-as-usual approach hasn't worked."


There's a Partner, but Who Cares?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


A new security reality has been developing in the West Bank in recent months, one that has been virtually ignored by the Israeli press. The chaos that once reigned in the West Bank's cities, villages and refugee camps has vanished, replaced by newly invigorated Palestinian security forces. In the 14 months since Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority has managed to revive a concept almost unknown to residents of the territories in recent years: law and order.


A Mideast Crisis to Avert
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Dennis Ross - September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Having just spent a week visiting Israelis and Palestinians, I find it hard not to be struck by the sense that everything is in limbo. Even as they continue to negotiate, Israelis and Palestinians are, for the most part, biding their time as they wait to see what the political transition in Israel and in the United States will produce. But there is a looming issue that I found to be worrying Palestinians and Israelis alike: What happens in January when Mahmoud Abbas's term as president of the Palestinian Authority expires?


Abbas to Haaretz: We will compromise on refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - September 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Perhaps it was the daytime fast and abstention from smoking during the holy month of Ramadan, and perhaps it was the conversation about the exhausting negotiations with Israel that caused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) to press the white button at least three times in the course of last Wednesday's interview. Sa'id, his personal assistant, enters without a word, pulls out the packet and lights a cigarette for the president. Abu Mazen's relaxed mood does not hint at all the troubles bombarding him from inside and out.



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