Asali addresses The Israel Project
Speech by Ziad Asali at National Press Club - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Dear Jennifer, Thank you and the board and staff of The Israel Project for inviting me to address this distinguished audience. For those of us working here in the United States towards a reasonable and final end of conflict agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, the challenge is more daunting than in most contexts, and the stakes are higher. Those of us who care deeply about peace, Israel, the Palestinians and, above all, our own country, understand that it is our historic mission at this time to spare no effort and to work together towards achieving this crucial goal.

The US Administration and the Quartet welcome Israel's decision to ease the blockade of Gaza and Palestinian President Abbas calls for a full lifting of the siege. Prime Minister Netanyahu defends the decision domestically, as ships are set to leave from Lebanon and Iran. Ze'ev Segal examines the mandate of the committee appointed by the Israeli government to investigate the flotilla raid. President Obama is set to meet PM Netanyahu in Washington on July 6 amid reported plans to demolish Palestinian homes and build new settlement units in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post examines tensions between Hamas and Fatah while Ma’an News Agency report on an upcoming meeting between Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran in Damascus. Khairallah Khairallah examines how the Arabs' illusive search for the ideal hero leaves them vulnerable to external manipulation.

Gaza still off limits to dignitaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Despite Sunday’s government decision to significantly increase the goods and materials to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, Israel’s policy of not opening the door to foreign politicians is still in place. Jerusalem recently turned down a request by Dirk Niebel, Germany’s minister of economic cooperation and development, to go to Gaza from Israel. Niebel, who has asked permission on numerous occasions, both before and since the Mavi Marmara incident, is scheduled to meet Monday with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

Hizbullah, Hamas, Iran to meet in Damascus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian opposition factions, Hizbullah officials and a delegation of Iranians, will soon meet in Damascus, the Kuwaiti Al-Anba daily newspaper reported on Monday. The meeting, according to the anonymous source quoted in the paper, will take place in late June, under official Syrian patronage, in an effort to activate resistance in the region in light of an expected Israeli offensive against Iran or against Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Clipped wings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ze'ev Segal - (Opinion) June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

The Turkel Committee that is investigating the handling of last month's Gaza-bound flotilla - otherwise known as the "independent public committee" - convened last week for a preparatory meeting. The committee is a kind of Israeli council of sages whose purposes are to examine whether the naval blockade and the way it was enforced were compatible with international law, and to placate the world, especially the United States.

Ground broken for 600 J'lem settler homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli construction vehicles and bulldozers began digging in Jerusalem on Monday morning, in what is believed to be ground work for the building of some 600 new settlement units. The homes were announced in late February, and are set to be built near the illegal Pisgat Ze'ev settlement and the Palestinian neighborhood of Shu'fat. The number was reduced from 1,100 to 600, when it was revealed that much of the land was owned privately by Palestinians, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported at the time.

Abbas asks int'l community to press Israel to end Gaza siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called for international pressure on Israel to lift its three-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, a statement by his office said. Abbas made his call during a meeting with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who is serving as an envoy to the Quartet committee of Middle East peace players. "Mr. Abbas requested obliging Israel to lift the Gaza siege completely according to international resolutions," the statement said.

Noam Shalit slams Netanyahu over ease of Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Noam Shalit, father of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, lashed out Monday at the government over its decision to ease the land siege on the Gaza Strip and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of surrendering to international pressure. "Yesterday, in a confident voice and without compromise Netanyahu announced the change in policy on the Gaza siege," said Noam Shalit. "In other words, he announced, 'I surrendered to international pressure that was applied to us' and we are asking where Gilad stands in this equation. We are asking where is Gilad, our son?"

Israel drafting new list of goods banned from Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mark Lavie - June 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel pledged Sunday it will immediately allow all goods into Gaza except weapons and items deemed to have a military use under its decision to ease its three-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory. The list of banned goods replaces an old list of allowed items that permitted only basic humanitarian supplies for the 1.5 million Gazans. Under the new system, the government said practically all non-military items can enter Gaza freely.

The challenges of a one-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

In a recent op-ed ("Is there another option?" June 2 ), Moshe Arens suggested that the option of one state west of the Jordan with full citizenship for all Palestinians should be given serious consideration.

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