As the Fatah party holds its first general congress in 20 years, several articles speculate on the possible consequences. Meanwhile, Fatah members not permitted to leave Gaza by Hamas are relegated to watching the congress on television. The Christian Science Monitor assesses the possibility of resignation by Israel's controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. An op-ed in The Guardian discusses how the recent evictions in Jerusalem have added to international opposition to Israeli settlement activity. In Haaretz, Akiva Eldar argues that the recent growth of the Palestinian economy in the West Bank is despite Israel's actions, not because of them. The Obama administration is reportedly anticipating that it may be able to formally re-launch peace negotiations in the coming weeks.

The continuing Nakba
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The San Francisco Chronicle
by Timothy Crawley - August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Walk down what was formerly Al-Borj Street in Haifa, Israel, and you might catch sight of an old Jerusalem-stone building with arched doorways and windows cemented-over and a large Re/Max (an international real estate franchise) banner draped across the front. The house belongs to the Kanafani family, most of whom are living in exile in Lebanon but some of whom are now living as far away from home as San Francisco.

Backgrounder: Palestinian Fatah General Assembly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from China View
August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party launches its sixth convention Tuesday for the first time in 20 years to renew its leadership. During the sixth conference since its foundation in 1965, Fatah would elect members for the movement's central committee and the revolutionary council, the highest decision-making bodies. THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

US Mideast plan anticipated 'in matter of weeks'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - August 3, 2009 - 12:00am

Despite recent Arab statements opposing US demands for confidence-building steps towards Israel, the US anticipates it will have the pieces in place to formally re-launch the Arab-Israel peace process in the coming weeks.

Obama wants peace, but will Congress pressure Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ghassan Rubeiz - August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama is investing a good measure of his political capital in the Middle East without receiving, so far, much support from the United States Congress. Last week, the president’s special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, was in Israel to work toward reaching a better understanding over limiting Israeli settlements. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Advisor James Jones were also in Israel to offer assurances of continued American loyalty. But will Obama be pressured to slow down peace promotion by Israel’s supporters in the Congress?

Hamas goes to the movies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

The audience in the Gaza Strip clapped and cheered as the actor delivered the movie's most memorable line – "To kill Israeli soldiers is to worship God". Imad Aqel, which premiered at the weekend, is the first feature film produced by the Islamist Hamas movement and the title is the name of a Palestinian militant whom Israel held accountable for the deaths of 13 soldiers and settlers.

'Continue talks while there's hope'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

At the opening of Fatah's sixth general assembly Tuesday morning, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that his people must persist with peace negotiations with Israel "as long as there is a tiny bit of hope." He added that Palestinians must not mar their "legitimate struggle with terror."

Make way, Fatah young guns tell Arafat generation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah, the dominant Palestinian movement under Yasser Arafat that has gone from debacle to defeat since his death, begins its first leadership convention in 20 years today. The big question as more than 2,000 delegates gather in Bethlehem is whether the secular group on which the world pins any remaining hopes for a peace deal with Israel can cast off the taint of corruption, regain its legitimacy and put forward new faces who can take back the ground lost to the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement.

Stuck in Gaza, Fatah men watch congress on TV
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

A Fatah member stuck in the Gaza Strip while his Palestinian movement holds its first congress in 20 years said on Tuesday he hoped it emerges stronger, to meet challenges including Hamas Islamists who control the enclave. In a stark illustration of the deep split in Palestinian ranks, nearly 400 members of Fatah were barred by their rival Hamas from leaving Gaza to attend the convention, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The chutzpah of Obama's Jewish critics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Marc Stanley - (Opinion) August 3, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama and his administration are making an unprecedented effort to reach out to the Jewish community. The president has made moving the Middle East toward peace a priority and has spoken of the "unbreakable" bond we share with Israel. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons "futile," and last week Obama had some of his most senior foreign policy figures meet with top Israeli officials - in Israel.

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