Secretary of State Clinton rejects Israeli claims that the Bush administration secretly agreed to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank (1) (7), as tension continues over U.S. insistence on a full settlement freeze (2) (8) (13). Four Palestinian militants are killed in a clash with Israeli forces near the Gaza-Israel border (5). Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell says President Obama wants 'immediate' peace talks between Israel and Palestine (6). Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to deliver a 'major diplomatic speech' soon (10) (14). On, Hussein Ibish argues that now is the time for a real, effective and mainstream coalition for peace in the Middle East (11).

US Envoy Calls for 'Immediate' Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - June 7, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama wants "immediate" talks between the Palestinians and Israel to forge a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement, US envoy George Mitchell was quoted by Reuters as saying on Monday. En route to the Middle East, Mitchell said such talks were aimed at reaching "a comprehensive peace and normalization of relations" between Israel and its neighbors, which would also serve "the security interests of the United States."

Poll: Obama's Policies Bad for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - (Analysis) June 8, 2009 - 12:00am

A majority of Israelis believe that the Middle East policies of US President Barack Obama are not good for the Jewish state, according to a Dahaf Institute poll taken ahead of Obama's speech to the Muslim world. The poll of 501 Israelis, sponsored by Yediot Aharonot and representing a statistical sample of the population, found that 53 percent believed Obama's policies were not good for Israel and just 26% said they were good. The rest did not respond.

Netanyahu 'determined to show world he is not against peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - June 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lay out his political stance on peace with the Palestinians in a speech at Bar Ilan University next week. The speech comes as a response to the historic address delivered by US President Barack Obama in Egypt last week, officials close to the prime minister said on Sunday.

ANALYSIS-Settlements row with U.S. may cloud Israeli economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
(Analysis) June 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's economy, unscathed by costly wars in Lebanon and Gaza, faces a new challenge, this time from an ally -- the United States. Differences with U.S. President Barack Obama over Jewish settlement of occupied West Bank land that Palestinians want for a state has some experts predicting a price in terms of U.S. fiscal support and investment for Israel. Some diplomats say Washington could eventually reconsider Israel's receipt of hefty U.S. loan guarantees or $3 billion in annual defence aid. That would scare off foreign investors seeking a buffer against Middle East instability.

Israel Ministry Wages Settlement War Against U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Mazal Mualem - June 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Interior Minister Eli Yishai has begun to make good on a pledge to exploit all the resources of his ministry, "its branches and its influences over local government" to expand settlements in the territories. Yishai, who is also chairman of Shas, made the promise last Thursday to the heads of the Yesha Council of settlements. His party is concerned by the freeze on construction that has been in effect since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office, which Yishai said is "drying out" the settlements.

Clinton: No proof Bush administration approved settlement growth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
June 6, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed on Friday reports that administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush had an understanding under which Israel could keep expanding settlements on the West Bank. Dov Weisglass, chief of staff to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in an op-ed piece published this week in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily that the Bush administration had secretly agreed to expanding Jewish settlements on the West Bank within their existing boundaries.

U.S. envoy: Obama wants 'immediate' Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 8, 2009 - 12:00am

United States President Barack Obama wants "immediate" talks between the Palestinians and Israel to forge a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement, U.S. envoy George Mitchell said on Monday. "The President has told me to exert all efforts to create the circumstance when the parties can begin immediate discussions," Mitchell told reporters at the start of a Palestinian donors' conference in the Norwegian capital.

It is in the Interest of Arabs and Muslims to Forge a Partnership with the United States and Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

In order for Arab and Muslim leaderships and populations to benefit from the momentum of the new tone in US-Israeli relations, the depth and the meaning of the distance crossed by President Barack Obama, in defining a new framework for this relationship and in promoting this framework before US public opinion, must be carefully examined.

'Militants die' in Israel-Gaza border clash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
June 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Four Palestinian militants have died in a clash with Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Gaza border, medics and officials in the Hamas-run Strip say. Up to 10 Palestinian gunmen tried to cross the heavily fortified border into Israel, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli military says troops opened fire after being shot at by the gunmen. It is one of the most serious outbreaks of violence between Israel and militants from Gaza since the end of a three-week conflict in January.

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