July 29th

J'lem expects Arab gestures soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell left his Israeli interlocutors with the impression Tuesday that he would be able to extract some normalization gestures towards Israel from the Arab world within a month. Mitchell, currently on a regional tour that has so far taken him to the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, met one-on-one for two-and-a half hours Tuesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

UN Calls on Israel to Allow Gaza Schools to rebuild
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

UN agencies called on Israel on Tuesday to allow construction materials into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip so that schools damaged in this year's war can be rebuilt in time for the new academic year. "We call on the government of Israel to urgently facilitate entry of construction materials and supplies for schools in the coming weeks, and to ensure that students, teachers and trainers can freely exit and enter Gaza to continue learning," they said in a statement.

'Occupation will destroy Third Temple'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

"The occupation will lead to the destruction of the Third Temple"– a Peace Now poster to be hung all over Jerusalem on Wednesday, the eve of Tisha B'Av, reads. "The goal is to stress that continued construction in settlements and the occupation of the (West Bank) will lead to the destruction of Zionism and, for us, the destruction of the Third Temple," said Peace Now Secretary General, Yariv Oppenheimer.

Yes indeed, the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tzvia Greenfield - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Of all the strange things that have happened this peculiar summer, the strangest is the way that oddly assorted elements have lined up to explain to U.S. President Barack Obama why pressure regarding freezing the Jewish settlements in the territories is not the best way to deal with Israel's evasion of implementing the two-state solution.

The world smiles on Obama, but not Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Raphael Ahren - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel alone in a poll of 25 nations has decreased its approval of the United States since President Barack Obama took office earlier this year, according to a recent survey.

Obama begins pressuring Arab leaders on deal with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nathan Guttman - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Freezing the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was once seen as a unilateral Israeli obligation. But the Obama administration is now treating this as part of a package that will require concessions from Arab states as well. An intensified and more public focus on this idea appears to be one of the byproducts of U.S. President Barack Obama's July 13 pledge to American Jewish communal representatives to address perceptions that he is pressuring only Israel.

In Israel, no settlement deal for US envoy – just more settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

US Mideast envoy George Mitchell wrapped up three days of talks here on Tuesday, heralding "good progress" in his meetings with Israeli officials. But he made no mention of a much anticipated agreement on the most visible point of contention in recent weeks and a key issue for Arabs: freezing settlement construction in the West Bank.

Telling Israel No: Obama's Bold Move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Celestine Bohlen - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama, who vowed to revive the Arab-Israeli peace process at the start of his term, has begun with a direct and public challenge to Israel’s latest plan to build new settlements in East Jerusalem. It’s a risky move that has already provoked a sharp rebuke from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But it is hard to see how the peace process could move forward if Washington had remained silent.

July 28th

Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits Jerusalem in an effort to diffuse tensions over Israel’s policies toward Iran. Meanwhile, US envoy George Mitchell meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, then with Palestinian President Abbas, to discuss the peace process, declaring that “everyone must take steps, some of them difficult, some of them controversial.” Prominent American Jewish leaders speak out about their July 13 meeting with President Obama. In Congress, Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ed Royce (D-Calif.)are soliciting signatories to a letter to the Saudi king asking him to “step forward with a dramatic gesture toward Israel.” As the IDF refutes claims that it is planning to evacuate outposts in the West Bank, settler activists announce their intent to build 11 more.

US-Israeli talks make 'progress'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu say talks about reviving the regional peace process have made "good progress". There was no mention of Israel agreeing to halt settlement construction, a key demand the US has made of its ally. Mr Netanyahu has previously rejected such a freeze, saying "natural growth" of settlements must be allowed. Mr Mitchell is one of several senior US officials in the region pushing for a comprehensive Middle East peace deal.

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