Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that the U.S. will not recognize a Palestinian government that includes Hamas until it meets three international conditions (1). A poll released today shows that a majority of both Palestinians and Israelis are willing to accept a two-state solution (2). President Obama invites leaders of Israel, Egypt, and Palestine to Washington for talks in early June (3). The Economist assesses the state of the U.S. – Israeli relationship under new administrations (4). The first Hamas-licensed bank opens in Gaza (8). Israel demolishes a house in Arab East Jerusalem (9). President Obama meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah and reaffirms his commitment to the two-state solution (14).

Egypt spy chief to visit Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Egypt's chief of intelligence is to meet Israeli officials in what will be the first high-level talks between an Egyptian official and members of the Israeli government. Omar Suleiman will meet Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, on Wednesday in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Suleiman's meeting with Barak will address Egyptian-Israeli policy on the two countries' border with Gaza, as well as Cairo's recent arrests of men alleged to have acted as agents for Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia group.

Jordan, US reiterate commitment to two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Interview) April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Following are remarks made by His Majesty King Abdull and US President Barack Obama in their joint press availability following their meeting at the White House on Tuesday:

Israel Razes Palestinian House In East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Joseph Nasr - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel demolished a Palestinian house in Arab East Jerusalem on Wednesday, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take measures to promote peacemaking. Ammar Hudeidoun, 35, said Israeli bulldozers flattened his home in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood after Israel's Jerusalem municipality said he did not have building permits. Palestinians say such authorization is almost impossible to obtain. A Jerusalem municipality spokeswoman declined comment.

First Hamas-licensed bank opens in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The first Hamas-licensed bank in the Gaza Strip has opened for business, a move that could help Palestinians in the territory bypass a financial blockade imposed by Israel and its Western allies. Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, has said it would not control the Islamic National Bank, an assertion disputed by its rivals in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority is based.

The killing goes on in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The young man asked us not to identify him. He had "made a mistake", he said, when someone apparently overheard him criticising a Hamas leader in a street conversation with friends. "We call them 'drones' – people Hamas pays to listen for them." This was during Israel's recent three-week military offensive in Gaza. That evening more than a dozen armed men with black facemasks came to his home and took him to an isolated area, where they shot him three times in his legs and ankles.

Most Palestinians and Israelis willing to accept two-state solution, poll finds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

A majority of both Palestinians and Israelis are willing to accept a two-state solution, according to a poll from the international grassroots movement One Voice. Based on public opinion research methods used in Northern Ireland, 500 interviews were completed in Israel and 600 in the West Bank and Gaza immediately following the Gaza war and the Israeli elections. Each side was asked which problems they thought were "very significant" and what the solutions might be.

Obama invites Middle East heads
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
April 21, 2009 - 12:00am

US officials say the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians have been invited for talks in Washington in a new push for Middle East peace. PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have been asked to the White House for talks likely by early June. The peace process has been beset by conflict and adversity which President Barack Obama has pledged to address. There is no indication the Arab and Israeli leaders will meet directly.

Both Lebanon and Jordan need a solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The region's diplomatic agenda for this week contains an intriguing juxtaposition of state visits, for those interested in monitoring the developments under way in political realignments and efforts to solve long-standing disputes. Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman is in Ankara to meet top Turkish officials, while Jordan's King Abdullah is the first Arab leader to meet Barack Obama in the White House.

Ties that bind
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

AVOID a confrontation with the new American administration. That is what Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, sought to persuade his prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, on Sunday April 19th. Rather, said Mr Barak, turn up in Washington, DC, next month with your own Israeli peace plan. This should recognise the Palestinians’ right to an independent state but only subject to stringent limitations and qualifications in the interests of Israel’s security.

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