Daily News Issue Date: 
October 22, 2008

Egypt drafts a proposal for consensus government between Fatah and Hamas (1) (4). Palestinians are hopeful at the prospect of a revival of Saudi involvement in the peace process (2) (6). Israel closes Gaza crossings in response to the rocket fired yesterday (3). Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas appoints a new intelligence chief in continued reshuffling of high level positions within his government (7) (11). Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet with Mahmoud Abbas next week in an attempt to keep the peace process moving (9). Israeli extremists stage violent actions in Jerusalem (10).

Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, near unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Carolynne Wheeler - October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


This new proposal, drafted by Egypt, has raised hopes of a settlement of the internal Palestinian conflict which began with Hamas's victory in the elections of 2006. A four-page plan proposes that Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader, joins Hamas in a "consensus government".


Palestinians welcome Israeli interest in Saudi plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinians hope Israeli calls for the revival of a Saudi peace initiative could lead to progress on a diplomatic track that has been dormant for years, their chief negotiator with Israel said Wednesday. Israeli President Shimon Peres last month called on Saudi King Abdullah to "further" a land-for-peace proposal endorsed six years ago by the Arab League, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last week Israelis were reconsidering the plan.


Israel shuts Gaza crossings after rocket attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel temporarily closed its border crossings with the Gaza Strip Wednesday after militants from the Hamas-controlled territory fired a rocket into southern Israel. "After a rocket was fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip yesterday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Gaza crossings to be closed starting Wednesday morning," a defense ministry official said. The official did not say how long the crossings would remain shut. Gaza militants fired the rocket Tuesday, the first in more than six weeks, causing no damage or injuries, Israeli police said.


Hamas backs Egypt's plan for thaw with Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Hamas gave its tentative support Tuesday to an Egyptian plan to reconcile the Islamist movement and the rival Fatah faction of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas amid a looming constitutional crisis. "We will agree to the draft of the agreement and will not reject it," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP, but he added that the plan would require some "modification" before it could be implemented. "The draft contains positive elements, but also has some points that need modification and some points that need clarification from the Egyptian leadership," he said.


Israeli, Egyptian leaders to meet on Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli President Shimon Peres will discuss an Arab proposal for comprehensive Mideast peace when he meets with Egypt's leader this week, Peres' office said Wednesday. Peres has been promoting the Saudi initiative recently because Israel's separate peace talks with Syria and the Palestinians appear to be making little progress. Peres spokeswoman Ayelet Frisch confirmed the Arab peace plan would "come up" when he meets President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt on Thursday.


Faisal welcomes new interest in Saudi plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said on Tuesday he hoped that Israel's next government would follow the lead of President Shimon Peres, who last month called for a revival of Arab-Israeli peace initiatives. Peres, speaking at the United Nations, called on Saudi King Abdullah to "further" a dormant land-for-peace plan endorsed by the Arab League six years ago, and said Israel would attend any venue to end the conflict with its Arab neighbors. The Saudi minister told a news conference in Riyadh that the interest in the plan voiced by the president was "better late than never".


Abbas replaces intelligence chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has fired his intelligence chief, amid reports that Hamas, the Palestinian faction that runs the Gaza Strip, had demanded he be replaced. The move sparked tensions within Abbas's Fatah faction, an unnamed Palestinian official was reported as saying by The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.


Building peace through health in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Cesar Chelala - October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


For over two decades, international health organizations have offered their services to people in regional conflicts throughout the world. While health initiatives alone have not and cannot achieve peace, especially where political, cultural or religious tensions might abound, they often serve as the last point of contact between conflicting parties.


Abbas and Olmert to meet October 27, say Palestinian officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
October 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet on October 27, possibly for the last time, to push forward with peace talks, Palestinian officials said on Monday. Olmert is serving as caretaker premier since he quit on Sept. 21 and his ruling Kadima party elected Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as his successor. "President Abbas and Olmert plan to meet on October 27, maybe for the last time before Olmert leaves office," a senior Abbas aide told reporters. Israeli officials were not available for immediate reaction.


Israeli hardliner group "sabotages" Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli extremists executed violent action early Wednesday in the city of Jerusalem, the Israeli radio reported."Tens of Israeli hardliners took part in aggression that concentrated in western Jerusalem," the radio added. Those saboteurs heavily stoned a passing car and tried to put afire another vehicle in the neighborhood, where they also set several dumpsters alight. Two Palestinians citizens sustained serious injures as a result of attacks by the extremists who stopped their cars and asked for their identification.


Abbas relents, appoints Tirawi as senior advisor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - October 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Tensions are mounting in the Palestinian Authority ahead of a reshuffling of its security brass as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is adamant to replace Tawfik Tirawi, head of the PA General Intelligence Service in the West Bank, and Diab al-Ali, commander of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. A senior Palestinian security official told Ynet on Tuesday that in one month's time Tirawi will step aside for his deputy.


Israeli rightist wounds soldier guarding Palestinian farmers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yuval Azoulay - October 21, 2008 - 7:00pm


A right-wing activist on Wednesday lightly wounded an Israel Defense Forces soldier protecting Palestinian olive harvesters near the West Bank settlement of Otniel. The incident occurred as twelve masked rightists, armed with clubs, scuffled with IDF soldiers deployed to guard the Palestinians. The rightists subsequently fled the scene, after which police embarked on a search for them.


Hamas: Jerusalem stabbing is natural response to Israeli aggression
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - October 21, 2008 - 11:00pm


A Palestinian attacker killed a 86-year-old Israeli and wounded a policemand in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. The policeman was classified as serious. The attacker, 20-year-old Mohammed al-Badan, was shot and disarmed during the attack. The Palestinian militant group Hamas added that the terror attack came as a direct response to Israeli moves to make Jerusalem more Jewish. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said two police officers on patrol in Gilo had stopped an Arab for questioning on the street when he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them.



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