Settlement monitors report that Israel built or issued bids for 9,000 Israeli homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank under Ehud Olmert’s administration (1), while construction begins on 60 new housing units in East Jerusalem settlements (4). A Palestinian teenager is shot by a settler in the northern West Bank (2). In The Guardian, Ben White examines the uncertain future of the Fatah party (3). Continued political infighting has trapped hundreds of Palestinian patients in Gaza, unable to travel for medical treatments (6). Mohammed Assadi profiles Nabi Elyas, a Palestinian West Bank village catering to Israeli consumers (7). An aide to Prime Minister Netanyahu says that his Middle East policy should be completed by the time he visits Washington next month (11). Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says a written plan for long-term peace was submitted to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just before the Gaza war (12).

Fatah is turning into a footnote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ben White - (Opinion) April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The future of Fatah is up in the air. Internal divisions and a confused political programme – problems that arguably date back decades – have led this historic Palestinian party to a moment of truth. It is no exaggeration to say that the crisis is of sufficient proportions that Fatah's continued existence as a political force to be reckoned with is under threat.

Israel building 60 new homes for Orthodox Jews in Occupied Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel has begun construction on some 60 new housing units in Jewish settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem, anti-settlement Peace Now group said Monday. "The works aim to build 60 housing units for Orthodox religious Jewish families right next to the Palestinian neighborhood of Arab al-Sawahra," Peace Now spokeswoman Hagit Ofran told AFP. "The works began two months ago as part of development of East Talpiot," one of a dozen Jewish settlements that Israel has built in Occupied East Jerusalem since capturing that part of the city in 1967, she said.

Assad redraws line land for peace with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Monday there could be no progress towards peace with Israel unless the Jewish state recognised the right of Damascus to get back the Golan Heights. Assad reasserted the bedrock Syrian condition for an end to decades of conflict a day after Israel’s new ultranationalist foreign minister said it would talk peace with Syria only if it stopped demanding an Israeli commitment to return the Golan.

Palestinian village welcomes Israeli shoppers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Linoy, a five-year-old Israeli girl, happily nibbled some chocolate as she accompanied her parents on a shopping spree on a busy street with storefront signs written in Hebrew. Nabi Elyas, a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank catering to the Israeli consumer, has raised hopes on both sides of a divide that peaceful co-existence is possible. Just a short drive from central Israel, the community of 1,500 residents is profiting from an influx of Jewish shoppers drawn by cheap prices and still kept out of the main Palestinian cities by Israeli security regulations.

‘All roads lead to Jerusalem'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

His Majesty King Abdullah once again called for American leadership in bringing about serious negotiations to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press”, aired Sunday at the conclusion of his visit to the US, King Abdullah said that, historically, both sides have always come to the negotiating table with an excuse not to go the last mile.

PA: Olmert received an offer, then bombed Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority representatives accused former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of blocking the peace process between Israel and the PA, despite the latter's claims that he had put an offer to the Palestinians on the table that was too good to refuse. According to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, and as reported by the Palestinian journal al-Ayyam, not only had the prime minister avoided responding to an excellent peace offer, but shortly afterward had bombed Gaza.

PM aide: Netanyahu's Mideast policy likely by time of U.S. visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gidi Weitz - April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's review of Israel's policy on the Middle East is expected to be completed by the time he visits the United States next month, an aide to the premier said Tuesday. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Haaretz on Monday that he believes Netanyahu will present the U.S. administration a diplomatic plan in line with the principle of "two states for two nations" during his upcoming visit to Washington.

Sick Gazans victims of Hamas-Fatah power struggle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Hundreds of Palestinian patients have been trapped in the Gaza Strip, unable to travel abroad for crucial treatment for cancer and other diseases, because of political infighting between Gaza's Hamas rulers and their Palestinian rivals. Eight Gazans who were waiting to travel abroad have died since the crisis began in March, when the dispute shut down a medical referral committee that helps sick residents find treatment outside of Gaza, according to the World Health Organization.

Israel worried over US move on PA gov't
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger, Haviv Rettig - April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Senior Israeli officials said Monday they were "concerned" at the prospect that the US may approve funding for a Palestinian Authority government that includes Hamas. The concern arose after it became known that the Obama administration had asked Congress for minor changes in US law that would allow the continued provision of funds to the PA even if Hamas officials became part of a Palestinian unity government. The Jerusalem Post has learned from a highly placed source that Israeli officials are very troubled by the possibility of US funds going to a government that includes Hamas.

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