Daily News Issue Date: 
October 24, 2008

The New York Times profiles how the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict is playing out in the contested West Bank town of Nablus (1). The Christian Science Monitor examines the current calm in the midst of so many changing administrations (2). The World Bank announces that the price of property in the West Bank has soared to a level unreachable by most Palestinians (3). The Israeli ultra-Orthodox Shas party has refused to join Tzipi Livni’s coalition government (4). Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat urges the next U.S. President to continue efforts towards a peace deal (5).

Pilgrimage to Roots of Faith and Strife
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


They came in waves, ardent Jewish settlers, religious women from central Israel, black-clad followers of Hasidic courts and groups of teenage boys and girls, almost a thousand of them in all. Crammed into a dozen buses and escorted by the Israeli military, the Jewish pilgrims slid quietly along deserted streets throughout the early hours of a recent morning while the residents of this Palestinian city, a militant stronghold ruled until recently by armed gangs, slept in their beds.


Chances for peace emerge in Mideast clashes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


Both Israel and the United States soon will have new leaders at the helm. The Palestinians, too, are facing possible elections. During such transitional times for the three major players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, few expected any concrete steps toward peace. But a new calm has emerged in the cross-border battle between Gazan militants and the Israeli army, Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas are preparing for reconciliation talks, and on Thursday in Egypt Israeli President Shimon Peres backed the "spirit" of a 2002 Arab initiative that maps out regional peace.


West Bank land prices skyrocket
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
October 22, 2008 - 7:00pm


In the city of Ramallah, the value of central commercial plots has doubled each year since 2005, hitting $4,000 per square metre ($372 per sq foot). Prices are being pushed up by a weak dollar and Israeli control of large chunks of the territory, the organisation said in a report. Investment in the Palestinian economy is "precariously" low, it also warned. In the report published on Thursday, the World Bank said prices for land in key West Bank cities are now beyond the reach of most local businesses and homebuyers.


Israel's key Shas party will not join coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


The Israeli ultra-orthodox Shas party decided on Friday not to join a coalition led by Israeli premier-designate Tzipi Livni, a party spokesman said, making early elections almost inevitable. On Thursday, Livni set a Sunday deadline to either say she can form a new Israeli coalition government or announce failure, thereby starting the constitutional process that leads to an early general election.


Next US leader should get to work on Mideast: Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


The next US president, be it Barack Obama or John McCain, should get to work immediately to jump-start Middle East peace talks, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said here Thursday. Erakat was visiting Tokyo for talks with Israel's Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, in the latest meeting arranged by leading donor Japan aimed at building confidence between the two sides. "Whoever will be the next president of the United States, whether Mr. McCain or Mr. Obama, they must immediately engage and continue their engagement and no time should be wasted," Erakat told reporters.


Bitter harvest: peace hopes wither in orchards of violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Sydney Morning Herald
October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


AT around 10am last Saturday, Abed Hashalmoun, 45, a Palestinian news photographer who lives in the West Bank city of Hebron, followed a group of Israeli and international peace activists on an exercise to help local Palestinian farmers harvest their annual olive crop. Hashalmoun was accompanied by his brother Nayef, 55, a photographer for the Reuters news agency, and several other Palestinian journalists and television news crews.


Arab-Israeli peace - a suggestion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Opinion) October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


It is a foregone conclusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is difficult to resolve. A wide variety of obstacles stand in the way of a solution. While most have to do with Israel’s intransigence, internal politics, hidden agendas and long-term aspirations in the region, some have to do with exaggerated reliance on the US’ and the international community’s part to intervene and facilitate peace.


Breathing Life into the Arab Peace Initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by Sadie Goldman - October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


In a meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today, Israeli President Shimon Peres praised the Arab Peace Initiative, first introduced by Saudi Arabia and adopted by the 22 states of the Arab League, and said that, “peace has never been more possible than it is now. It would be a mistake to miss out on this opportunity.”


Hamas takeover good for us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) October 23, 2008 - 7:00pm


We’ve been hearing “horrifying scenarios” recently regarding the possibility of Hamas taking over Judea and Samaria just like it did in Gaza. Yet is this possibility really that bad for Israel? We can argue that this would actually be a desirable development for us.



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