U.S tensions put Jerusalem construction on hold
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Construction requiring the approval of Jerusalem's district planning committee has been on hold for more than a month in all parts of the city due to concerns about a new crisis in ties with the United States. Staff members of the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee have been instructed to halt their work in an effort to spare Israel further embarrassing incidents like the March announcement, during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel, of plans to expand the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem.

Fatah to move unilaterally to end rift with Hamas: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party will try unilaterally to end political split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a member of Fatah central committee said Monday. Abbas headed a meeting of the central committee in Ramallah Sunday, during which the members "agreed to exert more efforts in the Fatah side to speed up the Palestinian internal reconciliation, " Fatah official Mahmoud al-Aloul told Xinhua.

Palestinians in Gaza face new challenge -- taxes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas has begun taxing Gaza street vendors and shopkeepers, raising speculation the ruling Islamist group is in a financial crisis fuelled partly by Egypt's building of a border wall to stop smuggling tunnels. Experts said on Monday that perhaps only a few dozen of the hundreds of tunnels are still functional as a result of the steel wall being pounded deep into the ground along the 14-km (8-mile)-long frontier.

Israel threatens to shut off taps for West Bank water
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau threatened to restrict the West Bank water supply if no sewage treatment plants were installed in the area, a UN alert warned on Wednesday. The official reportedly told Israel's Army Radio that "They get clean water from us, and in return they give us sewage. This destroys nature, and I would also say that this is the way that wicked people behave."

Islamic Jihad: Hamas has secret ceasefire deal with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

De facto government police in Gaza released on Sunday a group of resistance fighters affiliated with the militant wings of Islamic Jihad and Fatah following a four-hour detention, sources within the movements said. The release was conditional, sources said, and the men were asked to promise to abstain from any resistance activity in the near future. According to a second source, the group was planning a "qualitative operation" against Israeli forces somewhere in Gaza.

U.S. acts as though it seeks regime change in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Regime change. Generally it's a term and tactic reserved for America's enemies. But what if the Obama administration is developing a more nuanced version for one of the United States' closest allies -- Israel?

To achieve Mideast peace, Obama must make a bold Mideast trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Stephen Solarz - (Opinion) April 11, 2010 - 12:00am

More than three decades ago, Israeli statesman Moshe Dayan, speaking about an Egyptian town that controlled Israel's only outlet to the Red Sea, declared that he would rather have Sharm el-Sheikh without peace than peace without Sharm el-Sheikh. Had his views prevailed, Israel and Egypt would still be in a state of war. Today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with his pronouncements about the eternal and undivided capital of Israel, is conveying an updated version of Dayan's credo -- that he would rather have all of Jerusalem without peace than peace without all of Jerusalem.

Jews support Obama despite tensions with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Despite recent friction with Israel, a majority of America's Jews still support their president. The Jewish community continues to be a strong support base for President Obama. Some 57% of US Jews support Obama versus 38% who are opposed to his policies. However, these figures reflect the downward trend in overall American support for the president. In the past presidential elections, some 80% of American Jews voted for Obama.

Human Rights Groups Warn of New Powers for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - April 11, 2010 - 12:00am

A recently amended military order that allows Israel to remove people from the West Bank if it does not recognize their legal status could lead to the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians, Israeli human rights groups warned Sunday. The amendment — to a 1969 order on dealings with those judged to be infiltrators of the West Bank — was signed by military officials last October and is due to take effect on Tuesday.

Salam Fayyad's big gamble
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Opinion) April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

I met Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, two weeks ago, and was again impressed by the calm and modesty he radiates. Generally, I meet him at demonstrations, such as those at the Bil'in fence. This time, too, there was no opportunity for more than a perfunctory handshake and a few polite words.

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