February 1st

No relief for the Palestinians while Israel enjoys impunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Andrew Phillips - (Opinion) February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

To visit Gaza for a third time in five years still induces a gut reaction of pity, depression and anger – pity at the hopeless, helpless plight of the Palestinians; depression about their future and, ironically, that of Israel too; and anger at the latter's cynical policies – and impunity.

In the West Bank's stony hills, Palestine is slowly dying
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Robert Fisk - January 30, 2010 - 1:00am

Area C doesn't sound very ominous. A land of stone-sprinkled grey hills and soft green valleys, it's part of the wreckage of the equally wrecked Oslo Agreement, accounting for 60 per cent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that was eventually supposed to be handed over to its Palestinian inhabitants.

False hopes for Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ben White - (Analysis) February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Over the last six months, there have been numerous reports on the apparent signs of hope in West Bank cities such as Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin. The Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, has also enjoyed flattering coverage in the likes of Newsweek and the New York Times, with his unilateral state-building strategy praised by a variety of commentators. The Israeli government, for its part, has trumpeted improvements in Palestinians' daily lives – from the easing of restrictions on movement, to a boosted economy.

Mahmoud Abbas: Israel's West Bank occupation leading to one-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seumas Milne - (Interview) January 31, 2010 - 1:00am

srael's continuing colonisation of the West Bank is leading to a "one-state solution", the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has told the Guardian, while indicating that he may be poised this week to accept a US proposal for "proximity talks" with Israel through American mediators.

Landau denies links to Hamas terrorist’s death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ehud Zion Waldoks - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau on Sunday dismissed allegations that a member of his delegation to the United Arab Emirates in late January assassinated a Hamas military commander in Dubai as “wild.” Landau led a delegation to Abu Dhabi to attend an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) conference. He vehemently denied the Hamas allegations that members of his entourage were responsible for the assassination of top operative Mahmoud Mabhouh.

'Talks to start with 2-state visions'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gives his nod, the “proximity” talks that US Mideast envoy George Mitchell will mediate will start with a basic question – how each side perceives a two-state solution – then move from there, Marc Otte, the European Union’s Mideast envoy, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

IDF to return to strategic hilltop
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The IDF has agreed to erect a watchtower on a strategic Gush Etzion hilltop called Shdema, thereby handing a partial victory to settlers who have campaigned for two years to ensure that it remains under Israeli control. Nadia Matar of Women in Green, who has organized weekly Friday protest events at the site for the last two years, said that an IDF commander told of them of the move late last week. On Sunday security sources told The Jerusalem Post that a watchtower would be placed there to increase area security.

Israeli left needs to wake up before it's too late
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) January 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Looking at the way the right acts makes one go green with envy and want to learn from them. Four hundred criminal cases opened against opponents of the 2005 Gaza Strip disengagement, people who threw oil, acid, garbage and stones at soldiers and police, were closed last week and their criminal record expunged. Fifty-one MKs voted in favor of the closure, nine against. That is the true map of Israeli politics (and society). Only about seven percent of the lawmakers believed that this was a worthless and dangerous decision.

Palestinians get first private equity fund at $15m start up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 31, 2010 - 1:00am

Two Arab investment companies on Sunday announced the launch of the first private equity fund designed to boost the Palestinian economy. The semi-official Palestine Investment Fund and Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital will provide an initial $15 million, they said in a statement, hoping to raise the total to $50 million this year. The investments would target small- and medium-sized businesses in the Palestinian territories.

IDF denies disciplining top officers over white phosphorous use in Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - February 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday denied that two of its senior officers had been summoned for disciplinary action after headquarters staff found that the men exceeded their authority in approving the use of phosphorus shells during last year's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government wrote in a recent report.

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