May 27th

Activists say bound for Gaza despite Israel warning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Michele Kambas - May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Pro-Palestinian activists vowed to press ahead and break an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip on Thursday by sending in a convoy of relief aid ships despite Israeli warnings it will be stopped. Eight ships, including four cargo vessels, were heading towards Gaza in defiance of a three-year Israeli closure on the sliver of desert territory, home to 1.5 million Palestinians. "We are planning on going. This is not going to stop us. The boats are already on their way," said Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement.

Jihadists challenge Hamas western approach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Bandleader Jamal Al-Bayouk said he and his musicians would not risk performing in the southern Gaza Strip any more after militant Islamists threatened to kill them at a wedding party. They had just finished performing east of Khan Younis when armed militants burst in, set fire to $40,000 worth of instruments and fired shots between the legs of band members. "One gunman told another: Don't shoot between the legs. Shoot at the legs!" Bayouk told Reuters.

Amnesty: U.S., Europe shielding Israel over Gaza war crimes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Amnesty International complained in its annual report released Thursday that the U.S. and members of the European Union had obstructed international justice by using their positions on the UN Security Council to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes allegedly committed during last year's Gaza war. The rights group also accused Israel of continually violating human rights in the Gaza Strip. It cited Israel's ongoing economic blockade as violating international law, leaving Gaza residents without adequate food or water supplies

Far-rightists greet Rahm Emanuel in Jerusalem with cries of 'anti-Semite'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yair Ettinger - May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and his family toured the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday for a celebratory tour to mark his son's bar mitzvah. The family, surrounded by heavy security, was met during the visit by a crowd of angry far-rightists who accused him of being an "anti-Semite" and "hating Israel". Police forces were on hand to dispel the demonstrators and to arrest their leaders, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Maezel.

Construction materials continue to enter Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli crossings officials allowed the entry of limited construction materials into Gaza for the fourth day on Thursday, a Palestinian liaison officer said, noting the goods were for UNRWA re-building projects. The official, Raed Fattouh, said between 100 to 110 truckloads of aid would enter Gaza through the southernmost Kerem Shalom crossing, noting three of the trucks were loaded with 120 tons of cement, and one truck with iron rebar.

Top Israeli judge slams state for building West Bank road against court order
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's Supreme Court president on Wednesday condemned the government's failure to enforce an order to stop building a West Bank road on private Palestinian land. In talks with state lawyers, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch gave the government 45 days to explain why illegal construction was continuing and justify damage to private property. Beinisch, who ordered the state to back up its explanation with aerial photographs, spoke out in response to a petition by the human rights organization Yesh Din.

Sha'ath: Obama preparing to put real pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath called US President Barack Obama's sudden invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu part of the American framework to put pressure on Israel. Netanyahu will be "satisfied with gifts" from the American administration, Sha'ath told Ma'an radio on Wednesday, referring to a recent promise to fund an anti-missile defense system in Israel for some 250 million dollars.

Makhoul's defense: Harsh interrogation methods used
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Sharon Roffe-ofir - May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Following the indictment against Arab-Israeli author Ameer Makhoul, chairman of Ittijah (the Union of Arab Community-Based Associations), his defense counsel claimed he is innocent and accused the Shin Bet of using particularly violent methods against his client. According to the lawyer, the violence led Makhoul to 'admit' to acts he did not in fact commit. A senior Shin Bet source said the accusations are groundless. Makhoul is accused of espionage, assisting an enemy at a time of war and maintaining contact with an enemy agent.

Why Rahm Emanuel is a lightning rod in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - May 26, 2010 - 12:00am

In a move seen in Israel as a bid to smooth ties after recent sharp differences over Israeli building in East Jerusalem, Rahm Emanuel paid a rare visit as White House chief of staff to Israel, delivering in person an invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with President Barack Obama next week.

Palestinians complain of 'tree massacre'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 27, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces and Civil Administration uprooted 500 Palestinian trees in the village of Nahlin in the Gush Etzion region. The Palestinians sarcastically said this must be part of the easements the IDF announced hours earlier, but the Civil Administration said an evacuation order was issued to the Palestinians over two months ago for illegally trespassing on the land.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017