Israel enjoys a somber 62nd Independence Day. Richard Cohen says Pres. Obama should reach out to the Israeli people. Hamas leaders say they will never recognize Israel, vow more executions and threaten to capture more Israeli soldiers. Gaza merchants complain of unreasonable Hamas taxes. PM Fayyad prepares to reshuffle his cabinet. Israel seeks to cut off funding for Palestinian nonviolent protests. Avishai Margalit urges lifting the siege of Gaza. The PA prepares to fight West Bank deportations. DM Barak says Palestinians will rule themselves "whether you like it or not." Bilal Hassen says Pres. Obama has backed down. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad. Linda Heard says Israel may start a war in Lebanon for political reasons. Murad Bustami says violence is counterproductive for Palestinians. Foreign Policy seeks a variety of views on why Middle East peace has failed thus far. Aaron David Miller says peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not possible under current circumstances.

Fatah Behind Bid to Reshuffle the PA Cabinet?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Rachelle Kliger - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Conflicting views over participation of high-ranking Fatah members in the Ramallah-based government. Rumors of an imminent reshuffle in the Palestinian cabinet have ignited debate over expanding Fatah Party presence under the independent Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is planning a cabinet re-shuffle to include more members of Fatah’s Central Committee.

Violence will only end up harming the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Murad Bustami - (Opinion) April 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Covered faces, stones and tear gas: This was the scene on the streets of East Jerusalem in the “day of rage” last month, which was declared in response to the opening of a synagogue in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

War would take the heat off Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda S. Heard - (Opinion) April 20, 2010 - 12:00am

As clouds of volcanic ash loom high over Europe, clouds of war are once again lurking over Lebanon. In recent days, Israel's President Shimon Peres has accused Syria of supplying Hezbollah with Scud ballistic missiles that can reach Israeli cities. Damascus has denied the charge while Hezbollah has refused to deny or confirm it, saying it's nobody's business. US officials remain doubtful due to an absence of proof. However, a spokesman for the US State Department has said his government is "increasingly concerned about the sophisticated weaponry that is allegedly being transferred."

Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali El-saleh - (Interview) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority [PA] through more than one of its officials has called on Israel to rescind its decision to deport what it described as "infiltrators" into the Palestinian territories. Azzam al-Ahmad, member of Fatah Central Committee and leader of its parliamentary bloc, interprets the Israeli decision as a return to the military orders and military rule that existed before the Oslo Accord in 1993. According to Al-Ahmad, this means "relinquishing the Oslo accord and wriggling out of it, which in its turn means that the occupation still exists."

Israel Attacks and Obama Backs Down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Bilal Hassen - April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli announcement about deporting the Palestinian "infiltrators" from Gaza to the Gaza Strip or to Jordan is the beginning of a new stage in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Abbas to fight Israeli orders on West Bank deportations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
April 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Last week it was revealed the Israeli Defence Force changed their orders broadening the definition of people they could remove from the West Bank. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he was prepared to take the issue to the UN Security Council, reports say. He said the order that would affect West bank residents without Israel-approved IDs was "a provocation". "Israel has no right to deport any Palestinian," Mr Abbas said after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Denied

Avishai Margalit: Lift the siege!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Steve Linde - (Interview) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Prof. Avishai Margalit is considered to be the country’s foremost philosopher. In granting him this year’s Israel Prize for Philosophy, the prize committee described Margalit as “one of the most important philosophers in the State of Israel and one of the most valued in the world today.” Known as a clear thinker, eloquent speaker and incisive writer, he is on the left of the political spectrum and advocates what he calls a return to “the little Israel” of 1948.

Mashaal vows to capture more soldiers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 20, 2010 - 12:00am

The leader of Hamas has vowed to capture more Israeli soldiers to use in bargaining for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Khaled Mashaal accused Israel of obstructing a deal to trade captured soldier Gilad Schalit for hundreds of jailed terrorists. Gaza militants captured Schalit in a 2006 cross-border raid. A deal brokered by Egypt and Germany for his release had appeared close in November.

In its 62nd year, Israel is in a diplomatic, security and moral limbo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Editorial) April 20, 2010 - 12:00am

The joy attendant on Israel's Independence Day traditionally focused on emphasizing the growing list of the young state's achievements and the sense that the country was progressing toward a better future - one of peace, enhanced physical and existential security, integration into the family of nations and the region, and a normalized existence. But the country's lifespan, which was considered a great virtue in and of itself during the first few decades, has become secondary to a far more important question: Within what dynamic is Israel operating? Is time on Israel's side?

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