Benjamin Netanyahu is sworn in as Israel’s new Prime Minister, (1) (6) along with his coalition government (10) (13), while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urges international pressure on Netanyahu to continue negotiations towards a peace agreement and a Palestinian state (9). A study released by the United Nations Development Program shows that 70% of Palestinian youth oppose violence as a solution to the conflict with Israel (3). An op-ed in The National stresses the importance of Arab unity in moving peace talks forward (8). Israel’s Knesset heatedly debates alleged misconduct by IDF soldiers (11), while an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle accuses Israel of flouting international law (5).

Poll: most Palestinians want gov't to observe peace deals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

A majority of Palestinians want any upcoming government to conform to all deals the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has signed, according to a poll released on Wednesday. According to the poll, which involved 900 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, 63 percent said they want the government to adhere to the agreements the PNA signed, while the rest believe the agreements are not binding to the upcoming government.

Netanyahu vague on peace talks with Palestinians: PNA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) said on Wednesday new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his inauguration speech "offered nothing" concerning the peace talks with the Palestinians. Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator, said, "Netanyahu failed to endorse the two-state solution. He failed to explicitly support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. He made only vague commitments to continuing negotiations."

Changing the rules of war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The San Francisco Chronicle
by George Bisharat - April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The extent of Israel's brutality against Palestinian civilians in its 22-day pounding of the Gaza Strip is gradually surfacing. Israeli soldiers are testifying to lax rules of engagement tantamount to a license to kill. One soldier commented: "That's what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn't have to be with a weapon, you don't have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him." What is less appreciated is how Israel is also brutalizing international law, in ways that may long outlast the demolition of Gaza.

Palestinian unity talks resume in Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas resumed reconciliation talks in Cairo on Wednesday aimed at agreeing a government of national unity acceptable to the international community. The Egyptian-mediated talks between the Islamist Hamas and the Western-backed Fatah of Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas were adjourned on March 19 after failing to agree on a new government. The two factions met on Wednesday in the presence of Egypt's intelligence chief and pointman for Israeli-Palestinian affairs Omar Suleiman, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

Israel not bound by Annapolis understandings: Lieberman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous, Jeffrey Heller - April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's new ultranationalist foreign minister said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-leaning government would not be bound by U.S.-backed understandings on a Palestinian state reached in 2007. Avigdor Lieberman's dismissal of the Annapolis conference declaration could swiftly steer Israel and Netanyahu onto a collision course with U.S. President Barack Obama, who last week reaffirmed Washington's commitment to Palestinian statehood.

Analysis: Israel's new coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
March 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's centre-left Labor party has voted at a conference to join a coalition government led by Benyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister-designate and Likud leader. The move provides the parliamentary majority necessary for government, which will include the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister-designate, and the orthodox Jewish Shas party. Ehud Barak, the Labor leader, says that his party will provide balance to a right-wing government, while others argue that Labor itself is moving to the right.

A step away from reality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) March 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Leaders often speak out on certain issues in order to communicate what they are doing for the country, but they sometimes do so simply to remind the public that they exist. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat both spoke of the peace process this past week and seem to have expressed their basic desire to remain relevant in the political sphere.

MKs spar over Gaza testimonials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Sharon Roffe-ofir - April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The controversy surrounding testimonials of conduct unbecoming by the Israeli Defense Forces during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was the focus of a heated Knesset discussion Wednesday, demonstrating once more the polarity within the Israeli parliament. The military launched an official inquiry into allegations made by soldiers who claimed that innocent people were targeted during the Israeli offensive, but Judge Advocate General Brigadier-General Avi Mandelblit later determined that the accusation had no merit and closed the case.

Netanyahu government / Who's who in the new cabinet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 1, 2009 - 12:00am

An introduction to the faces - some old and some new - who make up Israel's new coalition government.

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