Daily News Issue Date: 
September 22, 2008

Ehud Olmert formally resigns as Israeli Prime Minister (1). Israeli President Shimon Peres is expected to ask Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, winner of the recent Kadima party elections, to form a new coalition government (4). A commentary in The Times of London discusses the importance of Israel?s continued work towards a peace deal despite distractions (2). A Fatah official states that a military option against Hamas is a possibility (5), resulting in a strong reaction by Hamas leadership (9). Palestinian company PADICO announces a massive investment plan for the West Bank (6).

Olmert Quits Post, and Political Maneuvering Begins
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - September 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Ehud Olmert officially resigned as prime minister of Israel on Sunday, but the woman who hopes to replace him, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, faces formidable obstacles in preserving the governing coalition. Labor, her main governing partner, is weighing a move to early elections. Mr. Olmert, mired in corruption investigations, stepped down by handing a letter to President Shimon Peres. Under Israeli law, Mr. Olmert automatically became the head of an interim government until a new prime minister is sworn in.


Iran is an inevitable distraction but a Palestinian pact is vital
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Bronwen Maddox - September 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


No wonder that Tzipi Livni?s campaign managers were edgy just before the polls opened. Sitting in their offices, under thin-lipped posters of their normally photogenic champion, they talked at twice normal speed about how she was sure to win. In the end, her pitch for ?change? beat Shaul Mofaz?s ?security? refrain only by a whisker. She has won the leadership of the Kadima party, but nothing certain by way of power.


Fury over British embassy link to Jewish settlement-builder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - September 19, 2008 - 7:00pm


The British Government's plan to rent new premises in a Tel Aviv skyscraper hasrun into trouble after a wave of protests that their prospective landlord is a major participant in Jewish settlement-building in the occupied West Bank. The British embassy has been in negotiations to lease three floors in Kirya Tower from Africa Israel Investments, a company controlled by Lev Leviev, a London-based property and diamonds billionaire with substantial business interests in Israel.


Livni seeks unity with new Israeli government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alastair MacDonald, Joseph Nasr - September 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni accepted the task of forming a new Israeli government on Monday following the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and called on her right-wing opponents to join a unity coalition. There was no indication, however, that Benjamin Netanyahu, the former premier who leads the opposition Likud party, would drop his demand for an early parliamentary election instead -- an election which opinion polls suggest he could win with ease.


Fatah Official Says Military Option Against Hamas Possible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali El-saleh - September 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian National Security Forces Commander Major General Diyab al-Ali does not excluded a military solution as one of the options for retrieving the Gaza Strip from the hands of the Hamas movement and reuniting the homeland's two parts.


Unveiled: Massive Investment Plan for West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Abd el-Raouf Arnaout - September 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


A leading private Palestinian company is planning to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, beginning in the coming months. Projects range from an electricity power-generation plant in the West Bank city of Qalqilya to a multi-purpose hall next to the Israeli Justice Ministry in ?Salah A-Din Street in the center of Arab-dominated east Jerusalem.


2 Palestinians die in Gaza smuggling tunnel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
September 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Two Palestinians suffocated inside a tunnel used by smugglers under the border between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Egypt on Sunday, local medics said. Several Palestinians have died in similar incidents in recent months in the tunnels, which are used to smuggle arms, fuel and other supplies into Gaza. Just last Thursday two people died in the collapse of a smugglers' tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border.


Israeli, Palestinian bereaved families meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Anat Shalev - September 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


This weekend a series of meetings between Jewish and Palestinian families was held under the auspices of the "Parents Circle," a group connecting bereaved families from both sides. The Palestinians listened to the accounts of families of individuals who were killed by Qassam rockets, while the Israelis heard stories from Palestinian parents who have lost their children in the West Bank village of Naalin. Both sides agreed that peace must prevail to stop the bloodshed.


Hamas slams PA threat to use force to regain control of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Hamas government spokesman Taher Nunu urged all the Palestinian organizations on Sunday to refrain from making statements that could escalate the internal Palestinian conflict. Nunu's comment came after Gen. Dhiab al-Ali, who heads the Palestinian Authority's forces in the West Bank and is considered the Palestinian chief of staff, told Haaretz that the PA must be ready to use force against Hamas in the Gaza Strip "to reunify the homeland." Such comments legitimize various groups that want to undermine security and stability in Gaza, Nunu charged.


Hamas: Israel reneging on its promises for Shalit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader in Gaza, on Friday accused Israel of reneging on offers made in the negotiations for the return of Gilad Shalit. In an interview with the Palestinian Ramattan News Agency, Zahar claimed Israel had offered to free 450 Palestinian prisoners once Shalit was returned to Israel and an additional 550 prisoners two months later. He said Israel was now offering to release only 450 prisoners and warned that such back-pedaling could lead to the negotiations being scrapped altogether.



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