August 27th

Trade revives as Palestinian cities reconnect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Businesses in normal countries take getting around for granted. They can distribute, export and attract workers and customers from wide areas. In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, access to more than half of the land is restricted. Israel has ultimate control of roads, energy, water, telecommunications and air space. The violent Palestinian intifada (uprising) of 2000 triggered an Israeli security crackdown, creating checkpoints on key routes, closing roads and putting 600 obstacles around Israel's West Bank settlements.

On the ground in Gaza, hopes for peace still flicker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Antony Loewenstein - August 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Kamal Awaja lost his son in the recent Gaza war. He claims that Israeli soldiers murdered his child in front of his eyes before shooting his wife and himself in the leg, chest and arm. Today he lives with his large family in a tent in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, trying to provide a sense of normality for his children by tending a vegetable patch and constructing a small, plastic swimming pool.

Fayyad’s brilliant two-year plan for Palestinian Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

There are so many ways in which the plan by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for the de facto creation of a Palestinian state can be seen as a brilliant idea that is hard to ignore or oppose it. Fayyad’s blueprint includes plans to end the Palestinian economy’s dependence on Israel, unify the legal system and downsize the government. The idea, submitted by him after weeks of meetings with his ministers and staff, also involves building infrastructure, harnessing natural energy sources and water, and improving housing, education and agriculture.

De-facto deliberations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alan Baker - (Opinion) August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The new aims and proposals enunciated by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad regarding the establishment of a de facto Palestinian state within two years, with or without Israeli cooperation, would appear at first sight to be interesting. To a certain extent it could even be refreshing, offering a more pragmatic and viable forecast for the political and economic development of the Palestinians than any previous visions - which were based mostly on threats and unrealistic, belligerent rhetoric.

PA wants piece of Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Reports of progress on a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas have led to high expectations in the Palestinian Authority as well, as sources say they hope this means past understandings between Israel and the PA will also be realized with the deal's execution. According to sources, Israel has in the past agreed to release a number of Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to President Mahmoud Abbas as the deal for the release of captive solder Gilad Shalit nears completion.

Palestinians uproot Hebrew road signs in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The US international aid agency says Palestinian authorities in the West Bank have started replacing Israeli-installed road signs bearing Hebrew script with new signs in just Arabic and English. The move is in preparation for a future Palestinian state. Howard Sumka, of USAID, says the American-funded project is expected to take up to four years and cost about $20 million. Israel seized the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war and built military camps and civilian settlements throughout the territory.

US shifting stance on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
by Mark Levine - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The US has long seen itself as playing a crucial role in bringing about Israeli-Palestinian peace. Yet, US policy toward Israeli actions in and around Jerusalem has shifted over time. Initially, the Johnson administration took a strong line, with UN representative Arthur Goldberg explaining a week after the 1967 war ended that "the United States does not accept or recognise these measures as altering the status of Jerusalem."

Petition: Raze 15 structures in Kiryat Netafim settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Aviad Glickman - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The Peace Now movement filed a petition with the High Court of Justice Thursday against Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Southern Command Chief MaJ.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, demanding that they halt the construction of 15 permanent structures in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim. The petition calls on Barak and Shamni to issue orders to demolish the buildings. According to the petition, the structures are being built illegally on public land and private land owned by Palestinians.

Israeli academics must pay price to end occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anat Matar - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Several days ago Dr. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev published an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times. In that article he explained why, after years of activity in the peace camp here, he has decided to pin his hopes on applying external pressure on Israel - including sanctions, divestment and an economic, cultural and academic boycott. He believes, and so do I, that only when the Israeli society's well-heeled strata pay a real price for the continuous occupation will they finally take genuine steps to put an end to it.

Analysis: History is not on the side of peace-makers in Israeli-Palestinian conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Robert Spencer - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

But then, it is not the first time his presence in London has heralded a supposed breakthrough in the Middle East peace process. Eleven years ago, it was no less a peacemaker than Tony Blair who claimed credit. In the warm aftermath of the Belfast Agreement, Mr Blair summoned Mr Netanyahu, during his first stint as Israel's leader, for talks with Yasser Arafat of the PLO. The success of that and subsequent summits can be easily described.

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