April 7th

A state in progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Moshe Elad - (Opinion) April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad said a while ago that they intend to declare Palestine’s independence at the end of 2011. In the past, such statements would anger the Americans, who would rush to reprimand the PA, noting that a Palestinian state will only be established following negotiations with Israel. Yet this time around, even if we heard a response from the White House or the State Department, it was rather meek.

The race is on for next IDF chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Tuesday that Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's term will not be extended for a fifth year. Ashkenazi will thus step down at the end of his term in February 2011. The race is now open for the next man to take up the job. Front-runners for the moment are GOC Southern Command Yoav Gallant, deputy chief of staff Benny Gantz, GOC Northern Command Gadi Eizenkot and Maj. Gen. (res.) Moshe Kaplinsky.

Israel seizing hundreds of millions of shekels meant for Palestinian services
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

For the past 15 years, Israel has been channeling hundreds of millions of shekels it had collected in the West Bank into its state coffers. The move is considered illegal, since international law prohibits an occupying power from appropriating the fruit of economic activity in an occupied territory. Following protests by military lawyers, the deputy attorney general has ruled that the practice should be stopped and ordered an inquiry into whether the Civil Administration in the West Bank should be compensated retroactively.

Settlers push to evict two more East Jerusalem families
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Settler groups are pushing to evict two more Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, part of a wider program to demolish Palestinian homes in the area to make way for 200 housing units designated solely for Jews. Over the past six months, Sheikh Jarrah has become a focus of leftist protest and a flash point for clashes between Jews and Arabs claiming ownership of property there.

Palestinian PM stresses local elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday stressed that municipal elections would be carried out to pave the way for legislative and presidency elections. "The local municipal and village councils must be elected and their authority should be rotating," Fayyad said during an inauguration ceremony in Ramallah. He added that elections are a key part of his two-year plan to upgrade national institutions to be ready for a possible declaration of a Palestinian statehood next year.

Israeli FM warns Palestinians not to declare state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - April 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's hard-line foreign minister warned Palestinians against plans to unilaterally declare independence next year, saying in an interview Tuesday that such a move could prompt Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and annul past peace agreements. Avigdor Lieberman also made harsh comments about Turkey, Israel's increasingly alienated ally, saying the Turkish prime minister was coming to resemble Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. Lieberman, who heads an ultranationalist party, has become known for a belligerent tone that has earned him critics abroad and inside Israel.

Palestinian fears U.S. Mideast push in trouble
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The United States appears to have hit a dead end in its attempts to revive Middle East peace talks, a senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday, urging Israel to halt settlement building on occupied land to give U.S. diplomacy a chance of success. The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has demanded a full halt to Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank before any resumption of negotiations suspended since December 2008.

OCHA: Land requisitioned for new checkpoint on 443
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli forces will confiscate 173.2 dunums of Palestinian land to construct a military checkpoint on highway 443, ordered open for Palestinian traffic by an Israeli court judge in December 2009. Previously a Jewish-only road, highway 443 extends 25 kilometers north from Jerusalem through the West Bank's Ramallah district and exits the area south of Ni'lin.

PA: Third mobile provider in works
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

A third mobile provider will be licensed to operate in Palestinian areas by 2013, Palestinian Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Mashhur Abu Daka announced Wednesday. The minister said the initiative was out of the "interest of the ministry to free Palestinian frequencies and mobile users from the control of the Israeli occupation," and came only days after the ministry announced a ban on the sale of Israeli phone cards and SIM chips in the West Bank under a government ban on settlement goods.

Misfired projectile injures 5 in north Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Five Palestinians were injured when a misfired projectile landed in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, witnesses said Tuesday. The misfiring proceeded after Israeli officials announced six projectiles landing in open areas of the western Negev, with no injuries reported. Eyewitnesses said projectiles were being launched from areas in the north of the Strip, when a sudden explosion was heard in the Beit Hanoun area. Neighbors said it hit a residential area and injured five.

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