ATFP Praises Obama Administration Intervention on Jerusalem Evictions
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington DC, August 5 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today welcomed the firm stance taken by the Obama administration against Israel's eviction of 58 Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem in which they have been living for many decades. The homes were immediately occupied by Israeli settlers.

As Fatah convenes its first general congress in 20 years, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calls for nonviolent resistance and continued commitment to peace negotiations. Thomas Friedman praises the new approach of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Mounting concern over the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem leads the US to summon the Israeli ambassador to receive an official US government objection. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers cutting off foreign financial support for Israeli human rights organizations. The Palestinian Authority announces that it will stop sending funds to the Gaza Strip. Settlers in the West Bank claim that an effective settlement freeze has been in place since the beginning of Netanyahu’s government and that no actual construction has been taking place.

Netanyahu’s proposed ban on NGO funding raises questions for U.S. groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Larry Garber remembers the last time he was living in Israel and someone wanted to cut off foreign government funds to human rights groups that discomfited the political establishment. It was 2000 and Garber, who then ran the U.S. Agency for International Development mission in the West Bank and Gaza, was meeting with Hasan Asfour, a Cabinet minister in Yasser Arafat’s notoriously corrupt Palestinian Authority government.

Barak: New U.S. peace plan in the works
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Reyham Abdel Kareem - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama will soon unveil a new Middle East peace initiative, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. Speaking Tuesday at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Barak said the initiative's details were still in the works.

Settlers: Construction has been frozen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The Americans might be waiting for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to declare a freeze on new Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, but according to the settlers, such a moratorium has been in place since Netanyahu took office at the end of March. "Everything is frozen already," Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shaul Goldstein told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Jordan backs US effort on Arab concessions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Jordan's foreign minister strongly backed the Obama administration's efforts to garner confidence-building measures toward Israel from Arab states Tuesday, bolstering the US approach in the face of public opposition from other Arab leaders. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh stressed that Jordan is "committed to creating the right atmosphere" and supporting the "vision" of the US, which wants to see conditions for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward a two-state solution set by gestures from Arab states and Israel.

US complains to Oren over eviction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The US State Department once again expressed its disapproval Tuesday night over Israel's eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The American officials made a phone call to Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren and protested the move. Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem stressed Wednesday that the call was not a reprimand. On Monday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the eviction "deeply regrettable" and "provocative."

Hamas Split Is Focus of Fatah Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Dina Kraft - August 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Silver-haired Fatah Party members in dark, pinstriped suits draped with kaffiyeh scarves bearing the colors of the Palestinian flag greeted each other with kisses as they converged in Bethlehem for the movement’s first congress in 20 years. On Tuesday, more than 2,000 delegates from all over the Arab world came to the conference, which was held in the hall of a private Christian school near the Church of the Nativity. The last time Fatah convened a congress was in Tunis in 1989, when the movement’s leadership was living in exile.

Obama and the three nos
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama's first encounter with Middle Eastern realities ended in great disappointment. His effort to restart the peace process, which was supposed to offer revivifying hope to the peoples of the region after George W. Bush's diplomatic freeze and war on terror, hit a wall of stubbornness and rejectionism. Instead of Obama's suggestions being received with cries of joy, they were answered with three nos: Israel will not freeze the settlements, the Palestinians will not resume negotiations and the Arab states will not take any steps toward normalization with Israel.

Palestinian Authority to Stop Financing Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Authoritative sources in the Fatah movement have asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinian leadership has decided to stop all the funds it pays to the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority's [PA] budget apart from the salaries of its own employees.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017