Israel launches a major civil defense exercise. The LA Times interviews Palestinian MK Tibi. The Wall Street Journal interviews Israeli Pres. Peres. Hamas' financial crisis worsens. Edward Djerejian says borders are the key to peace. Israel says it will ease West Bank checkpoints. Australia expels an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai assassination. Italian grocery chains ban settlement goods. Gaza extremists torch a UN children's camp. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agree to the principle, but not the scope, of a land swap. Palestinian nonviolent protesters are injured by the Israeli military. Ha'aretz highlights Palestinian villagers trapped by Israeli restrictions. Israel denies offering nuclear weapons to apartheid-era South Africa. Israel is retroactively "authorizing" both Palestinian and settler buildings. Hamas claims to have captured an Egyptian "spy." The PA promises to find alternative employment for Palestinian settlement workers. Hussein Shobokshi accuses Israel of preparing a mass expulsion of Palestinians in a coming conflict. ATFP presents a set of resources illustrating US support for a two state solution and its centrality to the American national interest.

Resources on the American National Security Interest in Israeli-Palestinian Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Ziad Asali - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

My colleagues and I founded the American Task Force on Palestine in 2003 with a clear, focused mission: to advocate that a negotiated end of conflict agreement that allows for two states, Israel and Palestine, to live side-by-side in peace and security is in the American national interest. Over the past seven years, we have been gratified by the development of the understanding that this is a vital national interest for our country into a clear policy focus for our government and a growing consensus within the foreign policy establishment.

Israel's Transfer Scheme
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

The eyes of the Arab world are intensely focused on fears of a possible Israeli strike against Lebanon or Syria or even Iran. But the biggest fear lies in the secret scheme that is being whispered against the West Bank. Israel continues to believe that the biggest obstacle to its expansionist policy and settlement construction activities is the Palestinian human "numbers" on the lands of the West Bank. This intense and major Palestinian presence is the "truth" that is facing and delaying Israel's expansionist designs.

PA minister promises employment for settlement workers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Social Affairs Minister Majida al-Masri said Sunday that her ministry has begun preparations to absorb 6,000 female Palestinian workers currently employed in the settlements as the ban on Israeli settlement produce progresses. Al-Masri invited the workers to fill out forms in branches of the Social Affairs Ministry in order to find new jobs inside Palestinian Authority territory.

Hamas: We caught Egyptian spy in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas' Interior Minister Fathi Hamad on Monday revealed that security forces recently arrested a senior Egyptian officer that infiltrated into the Gaza Strip in order to collect information on its residents and the Hamas government. Hamad added that the officer "was intending to perform other tasks," on which he did not elaborate.

Report: Israel legalized over 1,600 unauthorized Palestinian homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

The Civil Administration retroactively legalized 1,611 Palestinian structures built without the necessary permits all over the territories in recent years, according to internal documents obtained by Haaretz. Meanwhile, the High Court of Justice is deliberating over a number of petitions filed by Israeli settlers demanding that the Civil Administration, which deals with non-military issues in the West Bank, retroactively legalize homes built without permits in Jewish towns there.

Israel denies offering nuclear weapons to Apartheid South Africa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel on Monday vehemently rejected claims in a British newspaper that it offered to sell nuclear warheads to Apartheid-era South Africa in 1975. "There exists no basis in reality for the claims published this morning by The Guardian that in 1975 Israel negotiated with South Africa the exchange of nuclear weapons," the president's office said in a statement.

MESS Report / Palestinian villagers trapped by permanent red light
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's defense establishment is not permitting residents of the Palestinian village of Sheikh Sa'ad, southeast of Jerusalem, to leave the town in their cars. There are even restrictions on walking out of the village, a privilege reserved for residents with Israeli identity cards.

3 wounded during West Bank weekly anti-wall demonstration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Three Palestinians were injured and five others detained during the weekly protests against the separation wall that Israel is building in the West Bank, witnesses and medical sources said Friday. The witnesses said that the Israeli army dispersed by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters a demonstration near the village of Bel'ein, west of Ramallah, in the West Bank.

Palestinians, Israelis dispute size of land swap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - May 23, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinians and Israelis have agreed to the principle of swapping land in any peace deal, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Ramallah on Saturday. This is the one concrete advance made public following the launch of indirect peace talks between the two neighbors that took place last week. U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is heading the proximity talks, which at this stage are between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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