Fatah extends its party congress for at least another day, as rival factions remain divided over the issue of a new voting process. While several articles address the challenges facing Fatah's efforts to conciliate the 'old guard' of the party with the reform camp. The Christian Science Monitor looks at how control over East Jerusalem has evolved over time. A former Israeli military commander tells the BBC that Palestinian youths are routinely ill-treated by the IDF while in custody. Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell reportedly asks the Israeli leadership for commitment to a one year freeze on settlement construction. Controversy continues over the recent evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. Columnists in Israeli and Arab newspapers exchange accusations that the Arab states and Israel respectively are not willing to take steps needed for movement on Middle East peace.

New guard replaces old in Fateh
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) August 6, 2009 - 12:00am

It has taken 20 years, but the Palestinian Liberation Movement (Fateh) has finally held its sixth general conference allowing for a much-needed influx of new blood into the movement. The conference, which opened in Bethlehem on August 4, registers many historic firsts. It is the first conference of a liberation movement to be held within an area it is hoping to liberate from a foreign occupying force. It is also the first time that Fateh holds a conference on Palestinian territory.

No normalisation without withdrawal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Opinion) August 6, 2009 - 12:00am

The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday that the Obama administration would be tabling its Middle East peace plan “in a matter of weeks,” quoting State Department spokesman Philip Crowley. The paper said the US is “seeking a complete freeze on Israeli settlements in exchange for Palestinian security reforms and Arab [normalisation] gestures towards Israel.” Once these items have been agreed, Washington will convene an international peace conference.

Fatah must reinvent itself for Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

In the 20 years since Fatah last held its general congress, much has changed about the Palestinian question. The 1993 Olso Agreement was an undeniable achievement but it failed to bring either good governance or statehood to the Palestinian people. The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority has obtained too few concessions from Israel, which perpetuates the violent and oppresive occupation of the Palestinian territories. As a result, it finds itself weakened and embattled in a civil war with its Islamist rival Hamas.

US stands to lose if peace process stalls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Barack Obama is in a bit of a bind. Unlike any of his predecessors, this American president chose, admirably, to attempt to tackle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict shortly after taking office, realising that this long-festering issue has seriously damaged the US image in the Middle East. His first step, his choice of former Senate leader George J. Mitchell as his special envoy to manage the peace negotiations, was widely hailed as Mitchell played a key role in settling the Irish conflict.

Fatah needs new political options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Francis Matthew - (Opinion) August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

This week's Fatah Congress was based on the hope that the Palestinians can find a successful political way forward, but there is the all-too-real dreadful possibility that the Palestinians will fail and the Israelis will continue their decades of occupation and domination. At the Congress, Fatah did not debate what political and social alternatives there might be for the Palestinians if the two-state solution turns out to be unworkable. And it is all too easy to see Israel refusing to withdraw from its colonies and safe corridors on the West Bank.

From ‘Jew Boy’ To ‘Self-Hater’: U.S. Jewish Officials Hear From Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

A report stating that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had denounced two top aides to President Obama as “self-hating Jews” brought back less-than-fond memories to veteran Jewish officials from previous administrations — even as Netanyahu belatedly denied the latest alleged instance of this long tradition of targeting Jewish administration officials. For Martin Indyk, former ambassador to Israel, it was the image of the late Cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi calling him “Yehudon” — translated loosely to “Jew boy” — that came to mind.

Israeli troops 'ill-treat kids'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
August 6, 2009 - 12:00am

A former Israeli military commander has told the BBC that Palestinian youngsters are routinely ill-treated by Israeli soldiers while in custody, reports the BBC' s Katya Adler from Jerusalem and the West Bank. "You take the kid, you blindfold him, you handcuff him, he's really shaking... Sometimes you cuff his legs too. Sometimes it cuts off the circulation. "He doesn't understand a word of what's going on around him. He doesn't know what you're going to do with him. He just knows we are soldiers with guns. That we kill people. Maybe they think we're going to kill him.

Sheikh Jarrah really says it all
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

If the Obama administration goes all the way in its demand for a total settlement freeze, if it stands firm against Israeli emotional blackmail, we may have this week's debacle in Sheikh Jarrah to thank. The eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in Arab east Jerusalem where they'd lived for over 50 years, and the takeover of the houses by Israeli zealots intent on "re-Judaizing" the neighborhood, revealed our settlement policy in all its glory. It reminded everyone that the issue isn't houses and zoning, it's justice and decency - or, rather, injustice and indecency.

American and Israeli delusions of peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

No wonder the State Department is known as the Fudge Factory. Not once but twice in three days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood by smiling while getting verbal slaps in the face from two of our closest Arab allies. The Jordanian and Saudi foreign ministers publicly declared they have no intention of offering the administration more than gratuitous advice on resuscitating the Arab-Israeli peace process.

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