Clashes occur in occupied East Jerusalem as Jewish settlers continue to evict Palestinian families, and a new report finds that Israel canceled Jerusalem residency for thousands of Palestinians in 2008. The EU has proposed recognizing East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and strengthening Palestinian institutions in the occupied city. Bethlehem shopkeepers are hoping for a more prosperous Christmas. Israel's consul general to the Pacific Northwest says his country wants peace. Israeli settlers continue to vow to defy the building moratorium and scuffle with building inspectors and Palestinians. Public building in the West Bank has dropped 60% since Netanyahu took office. Speculation continues about the potential inclusion of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in a possible Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange, with the possibility that he also may be exiled. Hamas says one of its fighters has been killed. Foreign Policy magazine has included PM Salam Fayyad in its list of 100 leading global thinkers. David Makovsky argues that both Netanyahu and Abbas need to be strengthened in order for peace to proceed. The JTA profiles the "Islamic Movement" organization among Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Israel stripped thousands of Jerusalem Arabs of residency in 2008
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - December 2, 2009 - 1:00am

Last year set an all-time record for the number of Arab residents of East Jerusalem who were stripped of residency rights by the Interior Ministry. Altogether, the ministry revoked the residency of 4,577 East Jerusalemites in 2008 - 21 times the average of the previous 40 years.

Peres accuses Hamas of holding up Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 2, 2009 - 1:00am

President Shimon Peres accused Hamas on Wednesday of holding up a deal for the release of Gilad Shalit, amid reports that talks have hit a snag over 50 prisoners whom Israel refuses to free in return for the abducted Israeli soldier. "The delay is not caused by the Israeli government but rather by the other side - there are internal disagreements within Hamas," Army Radio quoted Peres as saying in speech to students at Kibbutz Yotveta.

David Makovsky / Obama and Netanyahu: Lessons of 2009
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by David Makovsky - (Opinion) December 1, 2009 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON - The announcement of a moratorium on building in the settlements ends the first chapter of U.S.-Israel relations during the Obama era. There are lessons for all. The move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clearly a bid to improve U.S.-Israel relations as much as it is an effort to restart negotiations with the Palestinians. It may also be a counterbalance toward Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, against a potential prisoner swap with Hamas for Gilad Shalit.

Magazine names Fayyad one of 100 top global thinkers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 2, 2009 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was ranked 61 on the American magazine Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list published this week. Fayyad earned his spot, the report said, "for showing how to govern effectively in the middle of a conflict." Summing up his contribution to global leadership, the magazine wrote:

UN expresses solidarity with Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 2, 2009 - 1:00am

Members of the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People discussed the status of Palestinians and the ongoing Israeli occupation on Monday as the UN observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his concerns over the failure to resume peace talks based on a two state solution for over a year and further called on Israel and Palestinian authorities to conduct immediate investigations into allegations of grave human rights violations committed in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Cast Led last year.

Israel settlers obstruct building curbs inspectors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
December 1, 2009 - 1:00am

Groups of settlers, who have vowed to ignore the curbs, gathered at the entrance to one settlement and said they had forced inspectors to leave. A government official said there had been some "low level friction". The Palestinians say Israel's 10-month building pause is not enough and are refusing to restart peace talks. The building restrictions do not apply to East Jerusalem, where the Palestinians want to locate the capital of their future state. 'Without violence'

Hamas fighter dies in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 2, 2009 - 1:00am

Hamas’ armed wing said one of its members died early Wednesday during what it described as a “Jihad mission” in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. In a statement, the Al-Qassam Brigades said 37-year-old Yasser Sabri Radi, a resident of the An-Nuseirat Refugee Camp, died during the mission. The statement did not disclose further details. On Monday night a member of Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, was killed when a car exploded in the Ash-Shati Refugee Camp near Gaza City. The Israeli military said it had no connection to the blast.

Islamic Movement gathers steam in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Dina Kraft - November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

It's time for noon prayers in this Israeli Arab city, and a jumble of sneakers piles up outside the doors of a mosque on the top floor of a private high school for the sciences. Inside, the boys, led in prayer by a math teacher, stand in two rows on a soft green-and-beige carpet and then kneel in unison. The $5.8 million tab to construct the high school, considered one of the top Arab schools in Israel with its state-of-the art physics and chemistry labs, was picked up by the Islamic Movement.

One Palestinian Prisoner Could Change the Balance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jerrold Kessel, Pierre Klochendler - (Analysis) November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

The political timing is definitely ripe. This week a major residual source of tension between Israelis and Palestinians may just be about to be resolved - if German mediation finally overcomes last-minute hitches to the long-awaited exchange - a thousand Palestinian prisoners for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It's not yet certain that the prisoner exchange will go through. Nor is it clear who among the 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails will be part of the deal.

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