Israeli extremists stage a provocative rally in occupied East Jerusalem. Indirect negotiations may begin soon. Israel is continuing to impede Palestinian access to a West Bank highway. Efforts are underway to preserve Gaza's antiquities. A Hamas fighter is killed by Israeli forces. Hamas issues an animated video of a captured Israeli soldier. Israeli officials say that despite claims to the contrary PM Netanyahu has ordered a settlement freeze in Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas will meet Pres. Obama soon. Sen. Schumer and ADL leader Foxman join the chorus of condemnation against the administration's Israel policies. The Guardian says Netanyahu may be counting on a Republican victory in November. The US military is united in its conviction that lack of peace is major strategic problem. The National is skeptical about proximity talks. The Arab News and Abdullah Al Shayji call for major changes in US policy. Ghassan Khatib Says the occupation is the ultimate incitement.

Desperate plea
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Since Obama has declared that Middle East peace is a strategic priority for the United States, Abbas now wants Obama to put his money where his mouth is and do something about his priorities.

US is shooting itself in the foot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Abdullah Al Shayji - (Opinion) April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

When Barack Obama came to power there was optimism that there could be a breakthrough in the stagnant Middle East peace process, especially after his appointment of George Mitchell as his special envoy, his support for a two-state solution and his Cairo speech.

Will proximity talks bring us closer to peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The news that the Obama administration is calling for US-mediated proximity talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel next month is reason for more of a groan than a cheer. Under current conditions, we fail to see how the much discredited and maligned “peace process” is served by such talks; it seems that they give us more of a process without putting us any closer to peace.

Top Military Brass Concur: Mideast Conflict Affects All
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - April 21, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. Army general David Petraeus might have shocked some pro-Israel activists when he openly spelled out the difficulties caused to American military efforts by the lack of progress in the Middle East, but fellow generals were not taken by surprise. “CENTCOM commanders had always said this was the No. 1 issue that affects everything that goes on in the region,” said Anthony Zinni, who headed the U.S. Central Command, known as CENTCOM, a decade before Petraeus.

White House says Schumer attacks unfounded
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Sen. Charles Schumer's criticism of the Obama administration's Israeli policy drew a rebuke from the White House. In a radio interview last week on the "Nachum Segal Show" in New Jersey, Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the administration's Israeli-Palestinian policy "counterproductive."

Israel-Palestine conflict: Imposing solutions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Editorial) April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Peace talks in the Middle East could be about to resume this week after a gap of 16 months. The optimism, if such a concept applies to this moribund lifeform, is contained in hints last week that Palestinian negotiators were considering inducements to start talking: the release of 1,000 prisoners, the lifting of some roadblocks, the easing of the Gaza blockade.

Foxman: US shift in Israel policy "deeply distressing"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Rebecca Anna Stoil - April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The Anti-Defamation League’s National Director Abe Foxman over the weekend joined the growing tide of American Jewish leaders criticizing US President Barack Obama’s policy toward Israel. In a statement, Foxman described as “deeply distressing,” the “significant shift in US policy toward Israel and the peace process, which has been evident in comments from various members of the Obama Administration and has now been confirmed by the president himself in his press conference at the Nuclear Security Summit.”

Erekat: Abbas to meet with Obama soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Aides to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas say the Palestinian leader could meet with US President Barack Obama soon. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinians requested such a meeting and were told by Obama's envoy that the US leader would see Abbas in the near future. Erekat said Sunday that no date was set. Another aide, Yasser Abed Rabbo, told Palestinian radio that "there is talk about an invitation for President Abbas to visit Washington," possibly next month.

Netanyahu must stop East Jerusalem construction if he wants peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

After the latest round of talks with Special U.S. Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, a cautious hope is emerging that indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with American mediation, will begin in the first half of May. As reported by Haaretz on Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the talks, although he has not been able to secure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a public and explicit commitment to a total freeze on construction for Jews in East Jerusalem for the duration of the negotiations.

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