September 28th

Gaza's troubled tunnel trade swings into reverse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Business has become so bad for Gaza's smuggler barons since Israel relaxed its blockade that tunnel traders have given up spiriting goods into the enclave, and some have even turned underground exporters. Smugglers had made fortunes hauling all manner of goods from Egypt through tunnels into Gaza, supplying 1.5 million Palestinians badly hurt by Israel's clampdown imposed in 2007 after the Islamist Hamas group took over the tiny territory.

Israel navy halts Gaza-bound boat without violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Aisha Mohammed - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli naval forces on Tuesday intercepted a catamaran carrying nine Jewish activists toward the Gaza Strip, encountering no resistance as they took control of the sailboat and escorted it to shore, the military said. The incident occurred four months after a deadly Israeli raid on an international flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists, one of them a dual Turkish-American citizen, were killed in clashes with naval commandos. The Irene, like the earlier flotilla, had been trying to breach Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

US 'disappointed' after settlement freeze ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- US envoy George Mitchell will hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week to discuss the consequences of Israel's decision not to extend a temporary moratorium on settlement building. The US administration is "disappointed" at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. Crowley praised the "restraint" of the Palestinian response to resumed building.

Why Palestinian refugees in Lebanon support violence rather than peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nicholas Blanford - (Analysis) September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, Lebanon — Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations hung in the balance Monday as Israel ignored international pressure to extend a 10-month freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, under pressure from the United States to stick with the talks, is expected to consult with his partners in the 22-member Arab League next week before announcing a decision. But Mr. Abbas said Sunday, hours before the freeze expired, that Israel had only one choice: "either peace or settlements.”

Settlement freeze? It was barely a slowdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Dror Etkes - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The official statistics supplied by the Central Bureau of Statistics describe the story behind the 10-month construction moratorium in the West Bank. The story can be called many things but "freeze" is certainly not one of them. What took place in the past few months is, in the best case scenario, not more than a negligible decrease in the number of housing units that were built in settlements.

Dozens of Arab families may be evicted from East Jerusalem neighborhood under court ruling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

A Supreme Court ruling Sunday may allow settler groups to move into dozens more homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Justices Yoram Danziger, Esther Hayut and Miriam Naor unanimously rejected an appeal by Palestinians claiming to own a large plot in the western portion of the neighborhood. The court ruled that the custodian general, and other owners, including settler representatives, succeeded in proving they owned the property.

World leaders criticize Israel for refusing to extend West Bank construction moratorium
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem — World leaders Monday criticized Israel's refusal to extend its construction moratorium on the West Bank even after Palestinians threatened to quit Mideast peace talks, but they vowed to prevent the stalled negotiations from collapsing.

U.S. envoy speeds to Mideast in effort salvage peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington's special Mideast envoy, using a slim lifeline from the Palestinians, rushed to the region on Tuesday on an emergency mission to keep peace talks from collapsing just weeks after they began. Israel's decision to resume new West Bank settlement construction after a 10-month moratorium expired on midnight Sunday has provoked Palestinian threats to walk out of the talks. It has also caused new friction between Israel and its powerful U.S. patron, which said it was disappointed with Israel's refusal to relent.

Encountering Peace: Declare victory and stop building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Let’s face it, the leaders of the settlement movement did not oppose the building moratorium because some young couples couldn’t afford their mortgage. They did not oppose it because a new classroom or nursery school could not be added even if needed as a result of natural growth. They did not oppose it because of the compassion they felt for real-estate developers whose profits were falling.

Fighting radicalism with reform in Lebanon refugee camps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

In the sprawling streets of the Burj Brajneh refugee camp, in the heart of Beirut, almost 20,000 people struggle to make a living. Mothers try to feed their children with food vouchers from the United Nations, and families live in ramshackle buildings with few of the basic facilities enjoyed by people in wider Lebanese society. Mohammed Al Shuli's grandfather fled to Lebanon in 1948 from his home in what is now the Israeli city of Acco.

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