April 27th

Israel razes 10 settlement houses built after freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson, Chaim Levinson - April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel Defense Forces troops on Tuesday destroyed at least 10 structures built by Israeli nationalists in the West Bank following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration of a temporary settlement freeze last year. As security forces and Civil Administration officials arrived in the various outposts - which included East Ba'al Hatzor, Maoz Esther and Ramat Migron - settlers youths barricaded themselves in the structures to protest their demolition. Some of the teenagers also hurled burning tires at the security forces, leading to two arrests.

Fatah okays cabinet reshuffle in exchange for more key portfolios
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party agreed that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad reshuffles his government but said that Fatah should enjoy more presentation in the cabinet, an official said on Tuesday. Fatah's Revolutionary Council, which convened for three days in Ramallah, "agreed that amendments should be applied on the structure of the government in a way giving the movement (Fatah) more sovereign roles," Ameen Maqboul, a council member, told Voice of Palestine radio.

APNewsBreak: Israel halts east Jerusalem building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's prime minister has effectively frozen new Jewish construction in east Jerusalem, municipal officials said Monday, reflecting the need to mend a serious rift with the U.S. and get Mideast peace talks back on track. The move comes despite Benjamin Netanyahu's repeated assertion he would never halt construction in east Jerusalem and risks angering hard-liners in his government. One lawmaker from Netanyahu's Likud Party warned the governing coalition could collapse over the issue.

Palestinian girls get ticket to Intel science fair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Grant Slater - April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Watching her blind aunt and uncle struggle to navigate the steep slopes and scant sidewalks of this hilly city, one Palestinian girl decided to reinvent the stick. Armed with spare parts that are hard to find in the West Bank, Asil Abu Lil and two classmates patched together an obstacle-detecting cane that has won them a trip to San Jose, California, for Intel Corp.'s international youth science fair. The three girls are the first Palestinians to participate in the prestigious event.

Israel commanders reprimanded for W.Bank shootings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's army chief has reprimanded two senior officers over the killing of four Palestinians in two separate shooting incidents in the West Bank last month, the military said on Tuesday. Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi determined after military investigations of the incidents that commanders and soldiers could have behaved differently to avoid the killings. In the first incident, two teenagers were shot dead in the village of Iraq Burin on March 20 as troops moved in to protect Jewish settlers from Palestinians protesting against Israeli settlement policy.

Abbas signs anti-settlement legislation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday signed into law a ban on Israeli settlement goods in Palestinian markets. The move officially makes trade in settlement goods a criminal offense, and follows weeks of deliberations and declarations. Abbas legal advisor Hasan Al-Ouri was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA as saying the regulations would target "the cancers found in the Palestinian body, which target the Palestinian people's humanity, soil, and fate."

Children stand trial for stone throwing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Fourteen and 15-year-old brothers stood trial at Ofer's military court on Monday, facing charges of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. The boys, Nadim and Jihad Basim Kawazba from Bethlehem's Al-Minya neighborhood, were recommended for sentences of three and four months detention but the judge's decision was delayed when lawyers Eyhab Al-Ghaleith and Iyad Misk requested that the hearing be postponed until Thursday.

Beating the Mideast’s Black Hole
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The U.S. Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, has come and gone, again, with peace talks still on hold and one Israeli commentator, Yossi Sarid, musing that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a black hole that swallows up goodwill ambassadors through the ages.” I can’t argue with that. Cold wars come and go, new technologies transform the world, but the clash of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism in the Holy Land defeats resolution.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Jewish housing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Interview) April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

When Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat took office 18 months ago, he was heralded as a secular, progressive high-tech entrepreneur who would apply his business savvy to modernizing the ancient city, particularly after five years under an ultra-Orthodox leader. Barkat hired the same consultants as Disney for advice about crowd management and stood up to ultra-Orthodox demonstrators who demanded that he close city parking lots on the Sabbath.

Israel: Abbas Signals Readiness for Indirect Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, signaled Monday that he was ready to start indirect peace talks with Israel. Mr. Abbas, left, told Israeli television that he would present the American proposal for talks to the Arab League this week, and “we hope that the reply will be positive.” The talks were derailed last month after Israel announced a new housing development in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital. Jerusalem officials have said the government has effectively frozen new Jewish construction in East Jerusalem.

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