Human Rights Watch calls on Israel to investigate seven alleged incidents of IDF soldiers firing at Palestinian civilians flying white flags during the Gaza war. Two Israeli civilians are shot and wounded in the West Bank. Settlers in the West Bank outpost of Bnei Adam agree to voluntarily evacuate. Conflicting accounts are reported from the Hamas and Israeli leaderships on the progress of talks regarding the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel increases restrictions on foreigners entering the country with ties to the West Bank. Analysis of the Palestinian political scene continues in the wake of Fatah’s recently concluded party congress.

Reframing Obama’s Approach to Negotiating Middle East Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Joyce Karam - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

In addressing one of its most pivotal foreign policy challenges in the Middle East, the Obama administration needs to moderate its lexicon in framing the negotiations and expectations on the Peace Process. Using words such as “normalize” in addressing the responsibilities of Arab governments and sending mixed signals on its call for a “complete” settlement freeze from Israel, is creating misperceptions in the Arab Street of the administration’s efforts and undermining its objectives.

Division of Jerusalem has to be faced now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Jonathan Power - (Opinion) August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Poets as diverse as William Blake and Yehuda Amichai have sung the praises of the heavenly Jerusalem, a land without strife or rancor, war or bitterness, envy, acquisitiveness or hatred. Israel, Fatah and Hamas have the historic opportunity to take a giant step toward making the present day Jerusalem acquire, at least in some of its aspects, the earthly prototype of the heavenly Jerusalem. For once we can see whether the work of imams, rabbis and priests can bear fruit.

Closer to becoming a political party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Fateh, the key Palestinian guerilla movement within the Palestine Liberation Organisation, moved one step closer to becoming a political party. Having held its sixth congress for the first time in the occupied territories, it would be hard to continue pretending to be a liberation movement. Officially, however, the over 2,000 delegates, representing former Fateh fedayyin (guerillas) and Intifada activists, voted to continue the resistance and the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Resistance, however, was explained in a much wider perspective than the military struggle.

For how long with impunity?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Slowly, but surely, more and more evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza is beginning to surface. On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch - which has previously censored Israel for its use of white phosphorus shells over civilian areas, as well as Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza - issued a new report on the killing of civilians in Gaza after they had surrendered to Israeli forces.

New singers, but Fatah needs a new song too
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

After a week of contentious, sometimes raucous deliberations, Fatah, the foremost Palestinian nationalist movement, has managed to elect a new leadership committee. This is no small feat for an organisation that most Palestinians see as fractious, corrupt and without compass. Indeed, the Sixth General Congress was mired in controversy and infighting that threatened to erode further the credibility of a party arguably on the wane.

Israel starved Gaza of power and water
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel deliberately brought the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure to the brink of collapse before its military offensive in the enclave in December and January and has since blocked any efforts of its rehabilitation as part of a strategy to defy Hamas, a report by an Israeli rights group claimed this week.

Is Boston consul-general's assessment correct?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Boston Consul-General Nadav Tamir set off a media firestorm last week when he sent a diplomatic cable to the Foreign Ministry warning that the government's public opposition to the Obama administration's policies were diminishing US popular support for Israel and causing American Jews to feel torn between the two countries. Amid the brouhaha, which resulted in Tamir being summoned to Jerusalem, swirling questions of the propriety of drafting such a letter and rampant speculation on who was behind its leaking, a more fundamental issue arises: was Tamir's assessment correct?

Protecting human rights is never 'interference'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jeff Halper - (Opinion) August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

The article entitled Spain funds 'summer camp' for foreign volunteers to rebuild demolished illegal Palestinian homes, which merited the front page of The Jerusalem Post (August 10), would seem somewhat of a non-story. After all, Israel and the US funded NGOs assisting Jews in the Soviet Union.

Israelis help rebuild Palestinian homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from ABC News
by Anne Barker - August 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Some Israeli citizens are challenging the Jewish state over its practice of demolishing Palestinian houses. They have taken up trowels and buckets to rebuild two houses that were knocked down in a Palestinian town straddling East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Younes Sbaih says he has been moved by the generosity of about 20 volunteers who are rebuilding his house from a pile of rubble. The group - some who cart sand and cement while others work with saws and jackhammers - will take just two weeks to build the house from scratch.

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