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September 3, 2010

1. Negotiations between Israel and Fatah's Palestinian Authority of the West Bank continue in Washington. But the missing element is Hamas. The terrorist group which controls the Gaza Strip opposes negotiations and has attacked and killed Israeli civilians this week in a terrorist alternative to press conferences. Expecting a workable agreement sans Hamas is like expecting the NFL to negotiate a labor agreement without half of the players' consent.

2. Hizballah, Iran's Lebanese foreign legion, praised Hamas' attacks on Israeli civilians this week and encouraged more. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared the talks over and pointless, and as goes Iran, so goes their benefactors Hizballah and Hamas. Photos have emerged of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip celebrating the Hamas murder of Israeli civilians' by dancing in the streets and firing weapons into the air.

3. The US and Afghanistan are trying to stem a run on the country's largest bank and prevent collapse. The bank was run by family members of President Karzai, under fire for massive and institutionalized corruption. SecDef Gates said that the threat from within Pakistan remains, while Gen. Petraeus said that "special missions" in Afghanistan are out-pacing the levels in Iraq during its surge.

4. The Pakistani Taliban (TTP), finally designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department this week, claimed responsibility for another bombing in Lahore, killing dozens of marching Shi'a protesters in Lahore. Meanwhile, Pakistan's prime minister said the epic floods have caused irreparable damage to the national economy and infrastructure. The IMF has extended $450 million in emergency aid.

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ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATIONS
Israel President Peres Says Peace Talks Had 'Promising Start' - BusinessWeek
Israelis, Palestinians to work out framework agreement - Jerusalem Post
Behind the scenes at the Washington peace summit - Ha'aretz (Israel)
EU trade chief apologizes for Jewish comments: Blamed "Jewish Lobby" for derailing peace - AP
West Bank animosity kills mood for peace - Sydney Morning Herald

HAMAS: THE MISSING ELEMENT IN 'PEACE NEGOTIATIONS'
Hamas leader rejects compromise, peace with Israel - Jerusalem Post
Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah praises Hamas for West Bank shooting attacks - Ha'aretz (Israel)
Photos: Gaza Residents Celebrate Hamas Murder of 4 Israelis - Tom Gross ME Media Analysis
Hamas threatens to step up attacks on Israel - Financial Times
Hamas Looms as Spoiler in Middle East Peace Talks - FOX News
Analysis: Hamas has more cards to play - Jerusalem Post

AFGHANISTAN
Depositors Panic Over Bank Crisis in Afghanistan - New York Times
Kabul Bank run may pose more immediate threat than Afghan Taliban - CS Monitor
US Bailout? Karzai Kin Asks U.S. to Bolster His Bank - Wall Street Journal
During visit, Gates says Pakistan havens still threaten Afghanistan - Reuters
Petraeus Says Afghan Special Missions at Four Times Iraq Pace - BusinessWeek
Poll: Optimism Holds in Afghanistan; Support Grows for Talks with Taliban - The Numbers (ABC Blog)

IRAN
Hard-Liners Attack Opposition Leader's Home - RFE/RL
Iranian opposition leader kept from al-Quds Day anti-Israel rallies - CNN
World urged to keep pressure on Iran on woman's stoning sentence - The Australian
Concerns for Iran's Nuclear Program Continue to Mount - Uranium Investing News
US lauds Japan for new Iran sanctions - AFP

PAKISTAN
Explosion at Shiite Protest Kills at Least 40 in Pakistan - New York Times
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility for Lahore attacks - One India News
State Dept. Designates Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan as Terrorist Group US State Department
PM Gilani says "national economy, infrastructure irreparably damaged" by floods - Daily Times (Pakistan)
IMF Agrees to $450 Million in Emergency Financing for Pakistan - Bloomberg

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