November 27th

Israel okays 28 new settlement buildings, despite freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson, Barak Ravid, Yanir Yagna - November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday ordered the IDF to issue a temporary freeze order, but at the same time allowed the construction of 28 new public buildings in settlements. Meanwhile, Haaretz has learned that the state is expected to ask the Supreme Court for more time to evacuate illegal outposts. The State Attorney's Office is expected to update the Supreme Court by next week on three court rulings that have not been carried out, for the evacuation of outposts at Eli, Horsha, and Netiv Ha'avot, as well as six other locations in the West Bank.

UPDATED list: Israel pardons 90 former Fatah fighters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel has agreed to remove 90 former Palestinian fighters from its list of “wanted” men on the eve of the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday, Palestinian sources said on Thursday. The sources indicated that on Wednesday night the Palestinian Authority (PA) handed Israeli officials a list of 93 people it wants removed from the wanted list during a meeting.

Israel: One killed, others injured in airstrike on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

The Israeli military confirmed an air attack on the northern Gaza Strip Friday morning which it said killed one Palestinian. Palestinian sources were quoted in Israeli media as confirming that four men were injured, two seriously. Military sources said a group of Palestinians in the Jabaliya region of northern Gaza were preparing to launch projectiles on southern Israel. An army spokeswoman said the slain Palestinian was a member of a group called "Jaljalat" which she described as a Salafist group in Gaza with "ties to Al-Qaeda." The group is not known to operate in Gaza.

For Gaza's homeless, holiday is time for despair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 26, 2009 - 1:00am

In the days leading up to Eid al-Adha, Zaid Khadar would usually be buying new clothes for his children and stocking up on traditional foods to celebrate one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. Instead, he struggles to shield them from the winter rain dripping through the roof of the shelter that has housed his family since they were made homeless by Israel's three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip almost a year ago. "My children are saying: 'Why aren't you bringing us clothes? Why don't you get a sheep to slaughter?'" said Khadar.

Israel settlement freeze: Benjamin Netanyahu promises 10-month halt, angering allies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

In an attempt to jump-start Middle East peace talks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Wednesday for a c. Israel's security cabinet, one of the gatekeeping bodies on major policy decisions, approved the freeze with an 11-1 vote.

Half-Truths Dim Chances for Renewing Mideast Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - November 26, 2009 - 1:00am

In recent years, the international community has made one central demand of Israel and one of the Palestinians to create conditions for a two-state solution: Israel must stop building settlements on land the Palestinians want for their state, and the Palestinians must dismantle terrorist networks and end violent attacks on Israelis.

November 25th

ATFP Reiterates the Centrality of Jerusalem to Negotiations
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Nov. 25, Washington, DC – The American Task Force on Palestine today reiterated its long-standing support for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian permanent status negotiations on the basis outlined by President Barack Obama in his speech before the UN General Assembly addressing, “the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem.”

Today's news again focuses on a possible Hamas-Israel prisoner swap, and the LA Times argues that an agreement would harm Pres. Abbas. Xinhua claims that Israel is rejecting the release of 40 prisoners, while Asharq Al-Awsat says the deal now hinges on a single prisoner. Hamas leaders say the next 24 hours are crucial and accuse Israel of manipulating the process. Speculation grows that the deal might include senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell reportedly visits an Israeli settlement, and Libya is planning to introduce a Security Council resolution on the settlements. Abbas reiterates complaints that the US is not doing enough to promote peace. A commentary in the Guardian says Israeli-Syrian peace talks are a distraction. The Financial Times argues that Obama still has leverage over Israel, while Al-Hayat claims he has been outmaneuvered by "neoconservatives." The New York Times reviews a controversial new book on Jewish history by Israeli professor Shlomo Sand. An original ATFP translation of an Al-Ayyam article by Hassan Al-Batal analyzes Israeli reactions to the PA government state building plan.

Abbas: Obama doing nothing for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused US President Barack Obama of doing "nothing" to achieve peace in the Middle East. Speaking to Argentinian newspaper Clarin, Abbas said he hoped that Obama would "take a more important role in the future." He went on to say that the Palestinian people were awaiting US pressure on Israel, "so that it respects international law and takes up the Road Map," stressing that the peace process could not be restarted without a halt to settlement construction.

Israel's pro-settlement soldiers worry leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

In Israel, most men and women do military service. As a result, the public's attitude towards their military is rather familial and criticism is mostly expressed in private. But, suddenly, an increasing number of soldiers are openly protesting against their involvement in the evacuation of Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank, reports the BBC's Katya Adler.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017