A rocket, probably aimed at Israel, lands in Jordan killing one man and injuring several. Efraim Karsh argues that Palestinians should forget about Arab support. Some analysts say recent rocket attacks are an effort by Hamas to derail peace talks, but others say it has an interest in keeping Gaza quiet. An Israeli airstrike in Gaza injures 42 Palestinians. PLO officials deny claiming the US threatened to cut ties. The World Bank appoints a new official to Palestine. Israel says officers will be assigned to protect civilians in future conflicts. Pres. Abbas meets US officials and proposes a trilateral meeting before direct talks. A building boom in Ramallah indicates economic growth in the West Bank. Israel agrees in principle to a UN investigation into the Gaza flotilla attack. Israelis and Palestinians use theater to promote peace. Robert Fisk says Israel has become a de facto member of the EU without anyone realizing it. US companies may have been involved in financing the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai. The Arab News questions Pres. Obama's policy of pressuring the PLO. PM Fayyad vows no unilateral declaration of statehood and rejects calls to abandon the fight for Palestinian independence.

Fruitless talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Suddenly the mood music for a resumption of direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis has changed key and grown louder. The Arab League Thursday endorsed such negotiations subject to Palestinian judgment on timing. It would seem Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s speculation that direct talks could be under way by the middle of this month, was not merely diplomatic window-dressing.

U.S. companies helped finance Dubai slaying
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Money transfers made through U.S. companies may have used to help finance the January assassination of a senior Hamas leader, the Wall Street Journal reported. The transfers were discovered by American investigators cooperating with the probe into the Jan. 20 assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel room in Dubai.

Robert Fisk: Israel has crept into the EU without anyone noticing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Robert Fisk - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The death of five Israeli servicemen in a helicopter crash in Romania this week raised scarcely a headline.

Israelis and Palestinians unite for peace - and theatre
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Sarfraz Manzoor - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Nour Shehadah and Chen Alon are both shaven-headed fathers in their forties. Shehadah is Palestinian and he spent five years in an Israeli prison for his activities as a leader of his local Fatah military. Alon is a former combat soldier and major in the Israeli army.

Israel agrees in principle to UN inquiry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has agreed in principle to the establishment of a UN flotilla probe committee to investigate the incidents surrounding the IDF raid on a Turkish aid ship in May, Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Israel Radio reported Monday that Barak made the announcement during his recent trip to New York. Former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer was expected to head the committee along with representatives from the US, the UN, Israel and Turkey.

Ramallah building boom symbolizes West Bank growth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The din of earth-movers leveling the hilly terrain of Ramallah for construction is unremitting as modern buildings shoot up all over the West Bank city. Once a mere village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Ramallah has seen its population double in the last 10 years and land prices surge, in part due to the fact it falls within the 40 percent of the West Bank where Palestinians can build without Israeli permission.

Abbas wants a trilateral meeting between aides before direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration is attempting to win Israel's agreement to a Palestinian effort to hold a trilateral meeting next week to set the terms of reference, agenda and timetable for direct negotiations with the Palestinians. The Palestinians also want to discuss the future of Israel's freeze on settlement construction, which is scheduled to expire on September 26. If Israel agrees to the meeting, it will be the first significant direct talks with the Palestinian Authority since Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister last year.

What will Hamas do if direct Mideast peace talks take off?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The impression from the weekend's events was that neither Israel nor Hamas was interested in escalating the situation, and both are looking for ways to lower the flame and restore the unofficial cease-fire on the Gaza Strip border since the end of Operation Cast Lead about a year and a half ago. On Friday a Grad Katyusha rocket fired from Gaza landed in Ashkelon, causing no injuries. It is not clear who was behind the firing. It is reasonable to assume it was not Hamas but one of the rogue organizations in the Gaza Strip identified with World Jihad or Al-Qaida.

Abbas, Mitchell's deputy discuss peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Monday with David Hale, deputy of U.S. special Middle East envoy George Mitchell, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, state-run Palestinian Wafa news agency reported. During the meeting, Abbas updated the U.S. official with the latest political developments in the region and efforts aiming to push the peace process forward, the report said.

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