The Arab League approves proximity talks, which are expected to start soon. Dubai police call for the arrest of PM Netanyahu. Hamas bans men from women's hair salons. UN officials call for easing the Gaza blockade. Israel's High Court approves protests in occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Peres says PM Netanyahu is being held back on peace by the right wing. The PA consults map experts. Settlers in Sheikh Jarrah sing songs of praise for Baruch Goldstein. Part two of a YNet commentary on prospects for another intifada. A Facebook posting stymies a planned israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. A new organization of Palestinians overseas is formed. Adam Ingram says Hamas must disarm before it can be a partner in peace. Support for Palestinians grows at the UN. Daoud Kuttab critiques Israel's "heritage sites" claim. Osama al-Sharif looks at challenges facing Pres. Abbas.

Abbas' consequential choices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Ask Mahmoud Abbas, the beleaguered Palestinian president, about the law of diminishing returns and he would probably explain it far better than an experienced economist! And he should. The past year has seen his political fortunes dip in value faster than the world's ailing money markets. And yet he holds on, trying to reverse the trend and looking for ways to point his dilapidated leadership into a new horizon.

Israeli heritage, Jewish heritage or both?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) March 4, 2010 - 1:00am

The most worrisome aspect of the decision by the Israeli government to recognise various West Bank-based sites as part of Israel’s heritage is the continuous mix and duplicity between the state of Israel and the Jewish religion. Many Arab and international media outlets mistakenly referred to the Israeli Cabinet's decision as a declaration to consider the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb outside Bethlehem part of "Jewish heritage". No such declaration was made. The Israeli declaration on February 21 called these sites part of the state's "national heritage".

Support for Palestinians grows in UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Sharmila Devi - March 4, 2010 - 1:00am

Two unrelated diplomatic upsets have underlined growing impatience with the behaviour of the Israeli government among western countries that are traditionally supportive. Backing from the European Union and Australia in the United Nations to sustain the issue of Israel’s alleged war crimes in Gaza more than a year ago has coincided with controversy over Israel’s apparent use of western passports in the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a Hamas official, in Dubai.

How to handle Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Adam Ingram - (Opinion) March 4, 2010 - 1:00am

The recent assassination of a founder of Hamas' armed wing, allegedly involved in the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, has strained relations between Britain and Israel, but is also a sad reminder of the wider repercussions of Hamas' control of the Gaza Strip. If Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab world are to find a way to resolve the Middle East conflict, it must be on the basis of politics, diplomacy and a respect for human life.

Jewish-Agency-style ‘Palestine Network’ launched in Bethlehem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson, Arieh O'Sullivan - March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

When Hanny Elqutub, the son of Palestinian refugees, arrived in America 30 years ago he was focused on carving out a life for himself in Houston. Palestinian identity was a frame of mind but never something he engaged personally. “Sometimes people who went to the US or Europe or South America were running away from bad economics, running away from occupation, running away from political circumstances,” Elqutub says.

Facebook details cancel IDF raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - March 4, 2010 - 1:00am

The IDF was forced to cancel a recent arrest operation in the West Bank after a soldier posted information about the upcoming raid on his Facebook page. The operation was scheduled to take place several weeks ago in the Binyamin region. The soldier, from an elite unit of the Artillery Corps, posted on his Facebook page: “On Wednesday, we are cleaning out [the name of the village] – today an arrest operation, tomorrow an arrest operation and then, please God, home by Thursday.”

On brink of next intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shaul Mishal - (Opinion) March 3, 2010 - 1:00am

Part 1 of article There are fears that Jerusalem will be turning into the focal point of an outburst that would prompt the next intifada. It will be a civilian rather than armed intifada, although it may certainly escalate into a bloody uprising. This intifada may spread like wildfire across the rest of the West Bank and its main centers of activity will be protests around the settlements and mostly near the security fence. Bilin will turn into a focal point that will spread along the fence area.

Sheikh Jarrah Jews praise Baruch Goldstein on Purim
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - March 4, 2010 - 1:00am

A video obtained by Ynet depicts Jewish residents of east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood during their Purim celebrations singing songs of praise for Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish terrorist who murdered 29 Palestinians 16 years ago at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

PA map experts called up ahead of talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - March 4, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority is engaging in consultations ahead of the resumption of indirect peace talks with Israel, a senior Palestinian source told Ynet on Thursday. According to the source, the indirect negotiations are expected to be launched in the coming days, during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden and Special Envoy George Mitchell to the region. The Palestinian experts slated to deal with the issue have already been summoned to Ramallah, including map experts, as the Palestinians plan to raise the issue of the permanent agreement borders in their talks with Israel.

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