June 30th

In the West Bank, Suburb or Settlement?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Chaim Hanfling knows a lot about this settlement's population boom. Six of his 11 siblings have moved here from Jerusalem in recent years to take advantage of the lower land prices, and at age 29, he has added four children of his own.

Israel's Man of Conscience
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Ezra Nawi - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

My name is Ezra Nawi. I am a Jewish citizen of Israel. I will be sentenced on the first of July after being found guilty of assaulting two police officers in 2007 while struggling against the demolition of a Palestinian house in Um El Hir, located in the southern part of the West Bank. Of course the policemen who accused me of assaulting them are lying. Indeed, lying has become common within the Israeli police force, military and among the Jewish settlers.

US 'optimistic' ahead of Barak-Mitchell meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Will the Barak-Mitchell meeting manage to relieve some of the tension between Israel and the United States? The White House has expressed its optimism over the chances of making progress during Tuesday's meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and special US envoy George Mitchell, which will be held in New York. Barak was sent by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with Mitchell in a bid to reach an understanding with the Obama administration about continuing construction in West Bank settlement for natural growth purposes.

Report Criticizes Israeli Drone Strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Christopher Drew - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Twenty-nine civilians, including eight children, were killed in several missile strikes by Israeli drones in Gaza in December and January, according to a report released on Tuesday by Human Rights Watch. The group questioned whether Israeli forces had taken “all feasible precautions” to avoid civilian casualties. Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military, said Israeli forces had gone to extraordinary lengths to warn civilians during the Gaza offensive, and she questioned the credibility of some of the Palestinian witnesses cited by the advocacy group.

The PA Financial Crisis: Causes and Implications
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
by Mohammed Yaghi - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Eighteen months have passed since the Paris donor conference, where members of the international community promised the Palestinian government $1.45 billion in assistance for its 2009 budget. The Palestinian Authority (PA), however, has received less than a quarter of this amount, and Arab governments in particular have fallen short, contributing only $78 million of the $600 million pledged.

Lieberman ally slams Netanyahu over Sarkozy remarks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's unusually blunt call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remove Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman from his post has sparked a political backlash among Lieberman's allies in Jerusalem. During the premier's visit to Paris last week, Sarkozy urged Netanyahu to "get rid" of hard-line Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Channel Two reported on Monday. The second-in-command of Lieberman's Yisrael Beteinu party said Netanyahu should have "banged on the table" in response to Sarkozy's attack on Lieberman.

Experts Voice New Hope for Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
by Mohamed Elshinnawi - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

In the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama's June 4th speech to the Muslim world and the Israeli prime minister's recent acceptance of a conditional Palestinian state, hopes have risen for a resumption of talks aimed at resolving the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Fatah deputy reports progress in unity talks with Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian parliament, Azzam al-Ahmed, said on Tuesday that significant progress has been made in Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks with Hamas. The Fatah deputy said that both sides have found common ground on key issues, including Hamas prisoners being held in Palestinian Authority prisons, Palestinian elections, as well as the make-up of the armed force that is likely to be deployed in the Gaza Strip.

Israel ministers divided on settlement halt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak will meet in New York today with U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell in an effort to agree on a compromise formula on settlement construction. The meeting takes place in light of a recent disagreement among the "forum of six" ministers over this issue. A political source in Jerusalem said Monday that a "temporary freeze" of construction in the settlements was met with objections by three of the six senior ministers in the forum.

PA: Hamas plotted attacks on West Bank officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas members planned attacks on Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in the West Bank on orders from Hamas leaders abroad and the group’s armed wing in Gaza, a senior official said on Monday. At-Tayib Abdul Rahim, secretary-general of the Palestinian Presidency reveled the alleged plot at a news conference in Ramallah. He said the PA learned of the plans from interrogations of Hamas prisoners. He said that a Hamas cell had planned the attack ahead of the 7 June deadline set by Egypt for an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has not yet responded to these charges.

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