Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times says both Israeli and Palestinian leaders need to be more serious about negotiations. Some analysts say the US is offering too many inducements. Declassification of Israeli documents about the 1973 war sparks controversy. Palestinians are halfway through their first state building project, and the US reiterates its support. A settlement in the Jordan Valley is expanding. Pres. Abbas and PM Netanyahu will reportedly meet in Paris. Palestinian officials say they do not believe there will be serious negotiations with this Israeli government. Israel bombs Gaza. Xinhua asks what will happen if talks fail. Hamas and Fatah will hold another round of talks in Damascus. Israel is likely to adopt a new loyalty oath that Palestinian citizens call racist, and the Labor Party hopes to leverage it for a settlement freeze extension. Palestinians say settlers are stealing their olive harvest. Todd Hasak-Lowy says many Israelis are oblivious to the dangers they face. Michael Jansen says negotiations are going nowhere.

They Need to Talk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) October 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are in danger of unraveling unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, show more political courage and sense.

U.S. giving away too much, too early in Mideast peace talks, some say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Reporting from Washington Only a month into a new round of peace talks, the Obama administration is drawing criticism from allies and veteran diplomats that it is giving away too much just to keep negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians from collapsing. Administration officials have offered an assortment of inducements to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend a freeze on Jewish construction in the West Bank for two months. Palestinian officials have threatened to break off the talks unless Israel extends the freeze that expired Sept. 26.

ISRAEL: Yom Kippur war protocols declassified, provoking debate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - October 6, 2010 - 12:00am

A few months ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved new regulations allowing state archives to extend classification of material from a period of 50 years to 70. The decision was made following pressure from Israel's security services and likely connected to an ongoing petition by journalists over access to archives kept by individual government bodies (in violation of the law, evidently) such as the Mossad and the Atomic Energy Commission. Documents whose due date was coming up cover Israel's first two decades but may now be released to scholars and the public in 2018.

Palestinian Nation-Building Reaches Halfway Point
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority speaks in a panel discussion 'Peace and Beyond in the Middle East' as Israeli President Shimon Peres, right, listens during Clinton Global Initiative Meetings in New York, 21 Sep 2010 (file photo) Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is midway through an ambitious two-year effort to build his government's institutions in order to build a viable Palestinian state if peace negotiations with Israel are successful. Analysts are mixed in their reviews about the results of this nation-building.

US seeks ways to support Fayyad plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) October 6, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (Ma'an) -- As American-lead efforts to push forward peace talks continue, officials made clear on Wednesday that continued support for the PA was part of the agenda. Meetings between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair were used both as a platform for updates on the peace-talk push, but also to review "how to increase support for the Palestinian Authority and the ongoing institutional efforts."

Jordan Valley settlement expands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Settlers in the northern Jordan Valley settlement of Mehola began large-scale construction projects on Wednesday night, reports from the Palestine News Agency WAFA said. Official sources told the agency that the settlers were adding new housing units in the western side of the settlement. Governor of Tubas Marwan Tubasy said three housing units had already been added during the past week, with several concrete pouring machines seen entering and exiting the settlement.

Report: Abbas and Netanyahu to meet in Paris
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's Army Radio quoted sources who said that President Mahmoud Abbas and would meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two weeks in Paris. The purpose of the meet would be determined by the decision of the Arab League later this week, the source said, though analysts expect the Arab Peace Initiative Follow-up Committee to agree with the PLO and give Abbas the mandate to walk away from talks if Israel does not agree to a settlement construction freeze.

Palestinian sees no serious talks with Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 7 (Reuters) - A senior Palestinian official said on Thursday he saw no hope of a serious peace process with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in some of the darkest comments to date on the U.S.-mediated talks. Yasser Abed Rabbo's remarks signalled deep Palestinian skepticism about the outlook for the talks, which began on Sept. 2 but have been on hold since an Israeli moratorium on new settlement building in the West Bank expired last week. The United States wants the talks to continue and has been trying to find a formula to save the negotiations.

Israel bombs Hamas base in Gaza, no one hurt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Israeli war planes bombed a Hamas Islamist training camp in the Gaza Strip before dawn on Thursday following a rocket launching from the enclave a day earlier, Israeli military sources and Hamas officials said. There were no casualties in the two raids carried out near Gaza City shortly after midnight, Hamas said. The strike came hours after Israel said a rocket fired from the coastal territory struck in an open area in its south, also causing no casualties.

News Analysis: What if current round of Israeli-Palestinian talks fail?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn, Geng Xuepeng - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- The direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks will remain at a standstill until Friday's meeting of the Arab League (AL) in Libya. The organization is due to decide whether or not to back Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' position not to continue with the negotiations until Israel extends its moratorium on construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a 10-month freeze that expired on Sept. 26.

Hamas, Fatah to hold 2nd round of reconciliation talks in Damascus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

DAMASCUS, Oct.6 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian two major factions Hamas and Fatah will hold 2nd round of reconciliation talks in Damascus on October 20, the Damascus-based Hamas official Ezzat al- Rashaq told Xinhua Wednesday. "The two movements have agreed to meet again in Damascus to resume discussion over putting an end for the dispute and to tackle the unresolved issue which is the unifying of security bodies," al-Rashaq said.

Labor expects new settlement freeze as payoff for loyalty oath
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Labor party ministers angered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's snap decision to back a controversial citizenship loyalty oath said late Wednesday that they expected a new freeze in settlement building as a payoff. Netanyahu neglected to inform his Labor coalition partners that he had approved a right-wing minister's draft of a new oath that would require any non-Jew taking Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state."

Loyalty oath proves Israel is racist, say Israeli Arab leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli Arab sector responded furiously Wednesday when it learned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to bring to cabinet vote an amendment to the Citizenship Law requiring anyone applying for citizenship to declare loyalty to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic" state. Israeli Arabs, who already have citizenship, would not be required to sign a loyalty, but it raised furor in their communities nonetheless. The amendment was proposed by Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman and has already been adopted by Netanyahu.

Palestinians: Settlers picked our olives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - October 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians and settlers continue to clash over olive picking in the West Bank: The residents of a Palestinian village adjacent to Ramallah claimed that settlers trespassed onto their lands and picked their olive trees. The Palestinians also claimed they took pictures of the perpetrators during the act, reported official Israeli sources that confirmed the allegations. Opinion What about Jewish farmers? / Orit Struck Op-ed: Police protect Arab olive harvesters, but do almost nothing for Jewish farmers Full story

Partying or Peacemaking?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Todd Hasak-Lowy - October 6, 2010 - 12:00am

The tenth anniversary just passed of the start of the Second, or Al-Aqsa, Intifada, which began not long after a breakdown in negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. It was the week of Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the Temple Mount, the week Palestinians renewed their rioting against Israeli forces. This time, the rioting was more violent — as was the Israeli response. These events killed the peace movement inside Israel, and sadly a lot of Israelis and Palestinians as well.

Negotiations that are 'going nowhere
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - October 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Since September 2, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have held three sessions of talks. But according to Western diplomats interviewed by the Israeli liberal daily Haaretz, the negotiations are “going nowhere”.

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