Ghaith al-Omari and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz on the Prospects for a Two State Solution
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - March 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington, DC, Mar 20 -- ATFP Advocacy Director Ghaith Al-Omari participated in a panel at the Center for American Progress along with Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz on March 20 entitled "Prospects for a Two-State Solution". Mr. Al-Omari focused on the need for the new US Administration to take the lead in pushing the peace process forward.

Benjamin Netanyahu is to be sworn in as Israel’s prime minister today (1), prompting speculation about how the new Israeli government will interact with the Obama administration in Washington (3) (5) (6) (7) (15). The Israeli military closes their investigation into allegations of misconduct by soldiers in the Gaza war (2). In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Peace Now urges an end to settlement construction (4). Palestinian Authority officials announce that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will stay on until a new government is formed (8), as national accord government talks resume in Cairo (9) (10). Two Palestinians are killed in a clash with the IDF on the Gaza border (11).

Draw the Line on Israel's Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Lara Friedman, Hagit Ofran - (Opinion) March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

From the earliest days of the peace process, it was clear that Israel's settlements would be one of the most contentious issues on the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli domestic agendas. Conventional wisdom has held that serious Israeli action on settlements must be put off until a deal is ready to be signed. This is based on the logic that given the huge amount of political capital it will cost any Israeli government either to freeze settlements or to pursue peace, no Israeli government can do both at the same time.

Worries over Netanyahu team
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Layelle Saad - March 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu will present his right wing government tonight to the Israeli Knesset sparking international worries over the possibility of a future peace process. With over 30 ministerial positions, Netanyahu's shaky coalition government between the right-wing Likud party and the Centre-Left Labour Party will be among the largest cabinets in Israeli history.

Leave East Jerusalem alone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

On the eve of the new government's swearing-in, right-wing elements in the new coalition and among the settlers are preparing to heighten Israeli control in East Jerusalem. In the coalition negotiations, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to promise to carry out the large (E1) plan to create Jewish urban contiguity between Ma'aleh Adumim and the capital.

Settlers step up construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have stepped up the illegal construction of roads and housing in the past three months, taking advantage of the government’s distraction by the recent onslaught in Gaza and the national elections, an Israeli human rights group said yesterday. Yesh Din, based in Tel Aviv, claimed that the projects were probably funded by the government.

Abbas to Arab summit: Israel chose settlement instead of peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

"Our experience in the aftermath of the Annapolis conference has proven that Israel is still a ways off from abandoning its settlement policy and choosing the path of peace," Mahmoud Abbas said Monday. Speaking at the Arab summit in Doha, Qatar the Palestinian president said that at the same time it was conducting negotiations on a permanent peace agreement Israel "continued to establish facts on the ground in accordance with its ambitions of expansion."

Two Palestinian gunmen said killed by IDF in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed two Palestinian militants and wounded three in violence along the Gaza-Israel border, a Gaza health official said, in one of the worst flare-ups since Israel's ended its offensive in the territory more than two months ago. An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the fighting, the military said. Palestinian witnesses reported hearing two explosions from the border area in the central Gaza Strip, after which Israeli helicopters hovered over the fence and fired at targets inside Gaza.

Hamas leader hopes unity talks will be fruitful
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

There is a strong chance talks resuming this week can help heal a rift between the Hamas group and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, a senior Hamas leader said on Sunday. "We stress our interest in reaching an agreement to end the internal Palestinian division under Arab and Egyptian sponsorship," Ismail Haniyeh said on Hamas television in the Gaza Strip before an Arab summit convening in Qatar on Monday.

Palestinian factions return to Cairo for unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Representatives of rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah returned to Cairo on Tuesday to resume talks on forming a "national unity" government, representatives of the groups said. Egyptian-mediated talks between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, which controls the West Bank, were scheduled to resume on Tuesday, ahead of a broader meeting including more factions on Wednesday. "The talks will focus on the issues that were not solved in the last round of talks," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Tuesday.

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