Israeli army orders officers to protect civilians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli military says it will assign officers to protect civilians in combat zones during wartime. The move appears to be a response to international criticism of Israel for high civilian death tolls in recent wars in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. The military says an officer in each battalion will be responsible for planning and marking evacuation corridors for civilians in combat areas. Lt. Col. Shuki Shine says the officer will specify where soldiers cannot shoot and will also ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.

World Bank group appoints new Palestine rep
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, a member of the World Bank Group, announced the appointment a new local representative for the agency in the West Bank and Gaza on Thursday. Layali Abdeen will be the point of contact for MIGA’s West Bank Gaza Guarantee Trust Fund. She will also focus on business development and work with local and foreign investors to assist them in managing the political risks associated with their projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

Ashrawi denies saying US threatened PA ties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi on Sunday denied saying the US had threatened to sever ties with the Palestinian Authority unless it resumed talks with Israel. Ashrawi described a report by the Israeli daily Haaretz quoting an interview she gave an Arabic newspaper as "totally baseless" and said she never made the remark to the press. She called the Haaretz report a "malicious" fabrication.

Medics: Israeli airstrike injures 42 in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli warplanes targeted the home of a senior Hamas military leader in the central Gaza Strip early Monday leaving 42 civilians injured, medics said. Al-Qassam Brigades leader Alla Ad-Danaf's home in Deir Al-Balah was destroyed along with five others by a missile from an Israeli F16 fighter jet, military medical services coordinator Adham Abu Salmiyya told Ma'an. At least 42 civilians were injured as a result, he added, with wounds ranging from slight to moderate.

Rocket attacks on Israel: Why Hamas has an interest in keeping Gaza quiet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The most significant volley of Gaza attacks and Israeli reprisals since last year's Operation Cast Lead raised concern over the weekend that tensions could escalate between Israel and Hamas. Meanwhile, additional rocket attacks on Monday apparently aimed toward the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat raised speculation of Hamas involvement there as well.

Hamas attacks: A bid to scuttle direct talks?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Liam Stack - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel and forces loyal to the militant Hamas government that controls Gaza exchanged fire this weekend, with Palestinian rockets hitting southern Israel and Israel responding with multiple airstrikes across the territory. On Friday, Palestinian rockets damaged a building in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Israel retaliated with airstrikes against densely populated areas of Gaza City and Rafah, injuring scores and killing Hamas military commander Eissa al Batran.

The Palestinians, Alone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Efraim Karsh - (Opinion) August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

It has long been conventional wisdom that the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a prerequisite to peace and stability in the Middle East. Since Arabs and Muslims are so passionate about the Palestine problem, this argument runs, the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate feeds regional anger and despair, gives a larger rationale to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and to the insurgency in Iraq and obstructs the formation of a regional coalition that will help block Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.

Rocket, Probably Aimed at Israel, Hits Jordan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Stephen Farrell, Isabel Kershner - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

A rocket that was probably aimed at the southern Israeli resort of Eilat slammed into the neighboring Jordanian resort of Aqaba on Monday, Jordanian and Israeli officials said. Israeli police inspected the site where a rocket landed on the outskirts of the Red Sea resort Eilat. Jordan’s information minister, Ali Ayed, said one rocket struck a main street in Aqaba, killing one person and injuring four, all of whom were Jordanian.

Palestinian Prime Minister: Unilateral Declaration of Statehood a Pipedream
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson, Benjamin Joffe-Walt - August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Faya’d has ruled out any unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. “There is not going to be a unilateral declaration of statehood,” Faya’d told The Media Line during a private meeting in his office. “What’s the point? We did that in 1988, and what did it get us?” The statement was a public rejection of increasing calls from minority Palestinian factions to recalibrate the Palestinian struggle away from a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and towards a shared, bi-national, secular and democratic state.

Ramallah building boom symbolizes West Bank growth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
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.

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