January 20th

PA to Stop Court-Martialing Civilians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian human rights organization have saluted a decision by the Palestinian Authority to halt political arrests in the West Bank, but expressed concern security forces would continue their crackdown on opponents on criminal grounds.

UN met only 52% of target for Palestinian aid in 2010
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

First time such large gap exists between initial aid request, amount of money donated since UN began humanitarian appeal to member states, international organizations in 2003. The UN was only able to fund 52 percent of the humanitarian aid it wanted to provide to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in 2010, according to statistics it released on Wednesday at a press conference in Jerusalem.

Teens protest against racism in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Hundreds of members of the left-wing HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (Working and Studying Youth) movement protested in downtown Jerusalem Wednesday evening against the growing racism in Israel. The rally was organized by 11th and 12th graders who recently returned from a trip to Poland. "As teenagers who love this country we fear the racism that is seeping into people's hearts and the indifference displayed by the public and its leaders," youth movement member Tal Kedmi said. "We've decided not to stand by and watch as darkness threatens to take over," she said.

IDF discharges soldier involved in Hamas raid which left Palestinian civilian dead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday that they have discharged a soldier who was involved in a raid on a West Bank Hamas cell, during which an elderly Palestinian civilian was killed. The IDF raided Hebron earlier this month in order to re-arrest five Hamas members that the Palestinian Authority had released only the day before.

Israel establishes homeland security ministry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday that the newly-formed Knesset Independence faction member Matan Vilna'i will head a newly- established homeland security ministry. Vilna'i will also continue in his current role as deputy defense minister. "No one is more fit than Vilna'i for this post because he has so much experience dealing with this subject," Netanyahu told the assembled ministers and reporters. "The idea is to upgrade protection of the Home Front" in case of attack, Prime Minister Office Spokesman Mark Regev told Xinhua of the step.

Media: Palestinian died from medicine, not gas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's military contends that a woman who died after a Palestinian protest was the victim of a medical error and was not killed by tear gas, Israeli media reported late Thursday. A Palestinian group disagreed. The Israeli reports said that according to Palestinian medical records, the woman was mistakenly given a dose of medicine 10 times the accepted amount, causing her death. The woman, Jawaher Abu Rahmeh, 36, took part in a weekly demonstration against Israel's West Bank separation barrier on Dec. 31, when soldiers fired tear gas to control the crowd. She died the next day.

US push for Israeli,Palestinian intelligence-Leaks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

The United States instructed its Middle East diplomats in 2008 to gather data on encrypted Israeli communications and build financial and "biometric" profiles of Palestinian leaders, a leaked embassy cable shows. The secret memorandum, signed by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and published by Wikileaks, suggests the Bush administration fretted about lacking intelligence despite warm ties to Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA).

Palestinian faults Arabs over Jerusalem support
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Arab states are failing to help the Palestinians in Jerusalem, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday, criticising them for paying only a fraction of funds pledged to sustain Palestinian life there. Foreign Minister Riad Malki's comments reflected the Palestinians' frustration over the Arab failure to support them in the face of what they see as an Israeli campaign to "Judaize" Jerusalem, the city at the heart of the Middle East conflict.

In search of scrap, Gaza children risk lives in border zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Katie Nguyen - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Children in Gaza risk regular gunfire from Israeli troops while looking for construction material in destroyed buildings close to the blockaded enclave's border with Israel, Save the Children said on Tuesday. Citing a report by a UNICEF-led group on children caught up in conflict, it said 26 children were shot by Israeli soldiers near the border last year, including 16 outside the buffer zone which extends 300 metres (yards) from the border security wall and fence.

Palestinians hoist flag in Washington for first time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Tuesday hoisted its national flag for the first time, a highly symbolic gesture that drew an angry response from a senior US lawmaker. The US State Department, enmeshed in an uphill struggle to revive stalled Middle East peace talks, said that the ceremony was approved several months ago and did not change the status of the Palestinian representation in Washington.

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