July 30th

The Arab League approves direct negotiations, but analysts believe Pres. Abbas will wait until September to initiate them. Jeffrey Robbins says some of Israel's critics are being unfair. UN officials criticize the seizure of Palestinian residential building in occupied East Jerusalem by settlers and police as “provocative.” A UN committee tells Israel to end the blockade of Gaza. A rocket fired from Gaza hits southern Israel. Palestinian security forces have created a new climate in the West Bank. Yossi Sarid says Palestinians have fulfilled most of their roadmap obligations but Israel hasn't. Daniel Seidemann says Palestinians in Jerusalem are a barely tolerated minority. UN summer camps in Gaza compete with those of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Financial Times interviews PM Fayyad. Ahmad Majdoubeh says security is essential for peace. George Giacaman doubts direct negotiations will change much.

Playing politics: summer camp for Gaza's children
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


The boys sitting in the shade of an awning erected on a Gaza beach are only half listening to the man addressing them through a megaphone. After all, school's out for the summer and there is football to be played and the sea to be swum in. Some of the 100 or so boys whisper among themselves, others are busy burying their own or a friend's legs in the hot sand. But when the man asks, "What is our slogan?" they snap to attention, responding in unison: "Resistance!"


Israeli settlers evict Palestinian family from their home of 70 years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israeli settlers took over a Palestinian home in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City today, evicting about 45 members of an extended family which has occupied the building for more than 70 years. The settlers claimed to have documentation to prove they had purchased the building from the owners. The Palestinian tenants, who have been fighting attempts to evict them for many years, were challenging the takeover in court. A police spokesman said the Israelis had entered the home "based on documents claiming that they owned the property".


'Abbas to give negotiations green light by September'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Even though the Arab League agreed in principle to direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continues to insist on conditions and guarantees before concluding the phase of indirect proximity talks. However, Western diplomats estimate that he will change his stance by the beginning of September. Western diplomatic sources quoted by British Telegraph newspaper on Thursday said Abbas would not withstand the pressure for a very long time, and "is preparing the ground for what could be the gamble of his political career."


Sincerity a must for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - (Opinion) July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Recent high-level meetings in Washington and the region, and talk about the need for direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis on final status issues, indicate that something is in the offing. Peace advocates in the region and abroad always find it positive when the parties to the conflict are moving in the direction of peace, or, at least, exchanging views on how to jump-start the process. Apathy and stalemate are extremely harmful to both peace and the parties involved. As long as the momentum of peace efforts is kept, there is always hope. And hope is essential.


A barely tolerated minority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Daniel Seidemann - July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Hamas-affiliated Palestinian parliament member Mohammed Abu Tir - renowned for his bright orange beard - is my neighbor in Jerusalem. We live about a mile apart. I've never met him, nor do I care to. I have no illusions about Hamas. Abu Tir has just been released after spending four years in Israeli jail in because of his membership of the Change and Reform Party, which is associated with Hamas (and which both Israel and the Palestinian Authority allowed to participate in the 2006 legislative elections ). He is now facing exile. Not new charges, not a new indictment, not a trial.


Is there really a difference?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by George Giacaman - (Opinion) July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Syria and Israel negotiated directly in the US in 2000 and indirectly in 2008. The PLO and Israel negotiated indirectly first in the late 1980s and directly since the start of the Oslo process. Negotiations so far have not led to a comprehensive peace on either track. What moral can be drawn about the modus operandi, direct or indirect? None. The problem lies elsewhere.


We shall be as dreamers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Sarid - (Opinion) July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


This column joins in the call: Let's have proximity talks. For the talks are close, but the proximity is far off. It is not by chance that Benjamin Netanyahu has so far refrained from responding to the questions of the mediator who, had he not identified himself as the representative of a great power, would be suspected of loitering. Why reply, as long as it is possible to put him off with empty verbiage, and every delay is for the best?


Israel believes Abbas will bide time on direct talks until settlement freeze nears end
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Officials in Jerusalem believe that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will attempt to delay at all cost the beginning of direct peace negotiations with Israel, even after the Arab League gave the green light for the process at a special session on Thursday. A senior source in Jerusalem said that Abbas will likely wait until September, when Israel's temporary settlement freeze expires, before declaring his own decision on the matter.


Gaza rocket ends quiet year for Ashkelon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - July 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket into Ashkelon on Israel's Mediterranean coast on Friday, blowing out the windows of an apartment block and damaging parked cars in a residential area of the city. No one was injured in the blast. But the attack ended over a year of calm for the city closest to the enclave ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement and it was likely to trigger a military response by Israel.



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