September 25th

Quartet supports Obama efforts, asks that settlement construction halt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The Middle East Quartet urged Israel to “freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth; and to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem” in a joint statement Thursday. The statement asked the Palestinian Authority to “continue to make every effort to improve law and order, to fight violent extremism, and to end incitement,” and fully backed the tenuous re-start of talks initiated by US President Barack Obama.

Tunnel collapse in Gaza claims life of youth, injures two
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

A Palestinian youth died and two others were injured in a tunnel collapse on Friday morning beneath the Egypt-Gaza border, medical sources confirmed. Medics at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah identified the youth as 21-year-old Bassam Adel Mubarak from the An-Nuseirat area in the central the Gaza Strip. They said his body was brought to the hospital after it was dug out of a collapsed tunnel south of the Al-Brazili neighborhood in Rafah city. Two others were brought to the hospital with injuries, they were not identified.

Israel blocks rights groups from advocating for Gazans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

While the Israeli army's crossings into Gaza have gone into near-lockdown mode since Hamas wrested control of the coastal strip more than two years ago, Israeli human rights organizations have regularly stepped in to intervene, with some success. That is, until last week. On Sunday, a group of the most active human rights groups here were informed that the government-run body that controls access to and from Gaza will no longer deal with them.

Think Again: Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Zahi Khouri - (Opinion) September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

"Economic Peace Is Possible." No. Neither sustainable economic development nor peace is possible without political freedom.

Toward peace in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Aaron David Miller - (Analysis) September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Watching Tuesday's three-way meeting in New York between President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas -- and the administration's effort to spin it into a success -- reminded me that when breakthroughs in Arab-Israeli peacemaking come, they come with unforeseen and unpredictable urgency driven by big men and big events.

Palestinians rule out talks until total settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Harvey Morris - September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership yesterday ruled out a future meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, unless he met demands for a total freeze on Jewish settlements, in a setback for President Barack Obama's troubled efforts to relaunch peace negotiations. Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister, told reporters: "No one is talking about a new meeting" between Mr Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president.

U.S. officials: Middle East talks on track
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen, Ben Smith - September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Reacting to the tepid response to this week's attempt by President Obama to jumpstart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, two senior U.S. officials made the case Thursday that critics are obsessing over marginal obstacles while the sides move slowly but surely toward the negotiating table.

Palestinians want peace deal but don't reject Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Most Palestinians who want a state of their own would like to achieve it through a peace deal with Israel but there is still substantial support for the Islamist Hamas group which favors resistance, according to a new opinion poll. The survey by New York pollsters Charney research for the New York-based International Peace Institute (IPI) was carried out over the summer in Gaza, where Hamas rules, and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, under the authority of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.

IPI Poll: Palestinians Support 2-State Peace Plan, Fatah, Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Peace Institute
September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The poll reveals major changes in attitudes since 2000, when Palestinians rejected compromises proposed at the Camp David summit with Israel, and the 2006 Palestinian elections, when Fatah was defeated by the Islamist Hamas party.

September 24th

American, Israeli and Arab commentators continue to analyze the tripartite meeting at the UN on Tuesday, with most evaluations being largely negative. The Washington Post highlights the difficulties in framing permanent status talks between Israel and the Palestinians. There are contradictory reports as to whether Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will speak directly next week or only to their American counterparts, and whether or not the US will seek to block implementation of the Goldstone report into the Gaza war. Israeli and Palestinian officials continue to blame each other for lack of progress. The Globe and Mail examines recently released Geneva Accord documents. Right-wing MKs say Prime Minister Netanyahu "celebrated prematurely" before President Obama's UN speech. Hussein Ibish makes the case that the speech significantly strengthens the Palestinian hand going into negotiations.

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