February 2nd

Iran blames Israel for Hamas commander killing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Fredrik Dahl, Reza Derakhshi - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Iran blamed Israel on Tuesday for the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai last month. Israel's government has declined official comment on the Jan. 20 death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, which the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Friday announced as an assassination. But Israeli security sources linked him to rockets and other arms that reach Gaza from Iran. "This is another indication of the existence of state terrorism by the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.

Explosive devices float onto Israeli beaches
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

At least two explosive devices have washed up on Israeli beaches in what security officials described on Tuesday as an attempt by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip to attack Israel. On Monday, sappers detonated one such device on a Mediterranean beach in the southern city of Ashkelon a few kilometres (miles) north of the Gaza Strip, police said. Another was discovered further north on a beach in the port city of Ashdod.

Haniyeh: Hamas isn't afraid of elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Monday that Hamas seeks national reconciliation and is not afraid of elections "because we came to move forward and take responsibility and we will not back down under any circumstances." His remarks came during a ceremony honoring Gaza Transportation Minister Usama Al-Isawy. Haniyeh pointed out that the transportation sector has developed in a variety of ways, including new parking standards and the removal of unregistered cars, which he said once threatened residents' safety.

Swap talks over, Hamas official says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 2, 2010 - 1:00am

Prisoner swap negotiations with Israel will be stopped for an undetermined period of time, a Hamas official said, blaming the alleged assassination of a military wing co-founder, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh. A senior official in Hamas, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Saudi daily Ukath that the 20 January assassination, allegedly carried out by agents of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, thwarted talks aimed at securing the release of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one captured Israeli soldier.

Palestinian parliament expires four years after Hamas electoral upset
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Four years after Hamas won an upset victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, prompting swift international sanctions and a Western-led diplomatic boycott, the mandate for the parliament it dominated officially expired on Monday. According to the Palestinian Constitution, new parliamentary elections should have been held Sunday, Jan. 24, in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But continued political division between the West Bank, governed by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, has delayed the elections indefinitely.

Israel admission on white phosphorus doesn't settle larger debate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The revelation by Israel that two senior military officers have been reprimanded for using white phosphorus in last year’s Gaza war has been met with both criticism and measured applause; Haaretz columnist Amos Harel welcomed it under the headline, “At Last, A Real Response.”

No charges to be filed in case of American injured in protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli officials have said they will not file charges against police involved in injuring Tristan Anderson, a U.S. resident who suffered brain damage when he was struck in the head with a tear gas canister during a West Bank protest in March. Anderson, 38, remains hospitalized in Israel. Officials said there was no criminal intent on the part of the police.

February 1st

The Washington Post looks at Israel's ties to Pacific islands. Israel claims the senior Hamas official murdered in Dubai was a key figure in arms smuggling, but an Israeli minister denies any responsibility. Pres. Abbas says he is not looking for US guarantees, calls for a three month settlement freeze and warns Israel is creating a single state. The governor of Hebron warns against increased settlement activity. Israel denies reports it disciplined officers over white phosphorus use in Gaza. Palestinians launch their first private equity fund. A Ha'aretz commentary says the Israeli left must wake up before it's too late. The Israeli army seizes a hilltop in the occupied West Bank. An EU official says proximity talks will begin soon. A Guardian commentary says Israel's opposition to Palestinian state building is leading to a new intifada. The Independent says Palestine is slowly dying in the West Bank, and Lord Phillips of Sudbury calls for sanctions to save Israel from itself. A Gulf News commentary says Israeli leaders must evolve, and the Arab News defends the Goldstone report.

War crimes in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The Feb. 5 deadline for the Palestine Authority and Israel to respond to allegations in the Goldstone Report that Israel committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during last year’s Gaza war will most likely come and pass. Israel roundly rejected the Goldstone Report; Gaza’s authorities accepted its findings in full.

Israel should evolve
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Stuart Reigeluth - (Opinion) February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

In case there is any doubt: Israel really needs to change its discourse. What we hear from Israeli leaders, what we see in the mass media, it's all distraction, the noxious kind that blinds even those who propagate such a discourse from seeing another reality. On Wednesday, Israeli President Shimon Peres, a slippery politician who follows the flows of power like a parasite, stood at the podium in the German Bundestag (parliament) and adjusted his glasses and thick wad of papers.

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