January 19th

Israeli army digging in to protect wartime assets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday it plans to implement comprehensive measures in order to better protect missiles, munitions and other crucial military hardware from rocket attacks in any future conflict, according to The Jerusalem Post. In addition, the Home Front Command has shortened the estimated time civilians would have to take cover from incoming missiles. The army will not have the medium-range "Iron Dome" anti- missile system, which is said to protect areas in a 70-km radius, up and running until 2013.

Palestinian, Russian leaders urge settlement freeze to resume negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Fares Akram - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called on Israel to stop building settlements in order to resume stalled peace talks. "There are two options: negotiations and peace, or violence and terrorism," Abbas told a news conference after his talks with Medvedev in the West Bank city of Jericho, "The Palestinian side will never choose the second option."

Mideast quartet to hold Munich talks in Feb-Germany
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

The quartet of Middle East mediators will meet at the annual Munich Security conference next month to mull how to resuscitate peace talks between Israel and Palestinians, a German government official said on Friday. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany hoped an "urgently needed boost" could be given to the talks when representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and the United States come together in Munich.

Fayyad: Taxes must rise to reduce aid dependency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Sunday that taxes must rise to reduce dependence on donors. Fayyad, a former World Bank economist, faced a barrage of questions on the state of the economy during a meeting with journalists in Ramallah. Reporters asked Fayyad what support his government would offer to assist struggling families and the unemployed, and whether taxes would rise. The PA premier said in order to provide support for citizens, Palestinians faced a choice between aid dependency and increased taxes.

1 killed as Israeli troops raid Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and injured two others on Tuesday in the northern Gaza Strip. Medics and witnesses said the three men were civilians, and that soldiers in an Israeli military post launched five shells towards the mainly agricultural area. Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya identified the slain as Amjad Sami Az-Za’aneen, 20, and said two others were moderately injured and transported to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for treatment. An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces opened fire at a group of men who were handling a detonation device.

Arab League praises PA's diplomatic efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Arab League chief Amr Mussa on Tuesday praised the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic efforts to secure international recognition of a Palestinian state. PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Malki updated Arab foreign ministers on diplomatic developments in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh, where leaders gathered ahead of an Arab League summit on Wednesday. Foreign ministers praised Palestinian diplomatic achievements, and promised to support President Mahmoud Abbas' political strategy.

ISRAEL: Israeli citizen suspected of involvement in Bosnia war crimes arrested
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

An Israeli citizen was arrested Tuesday in connection with a 1995 massacre in Bosnia, and Israel’s Justice Ministry launched extradition proceedings against him. A Sarajevo court issued a warrant for Alexandar Cvetkovic's arrest in April, stating that he was wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity. In August, Bosnia-Herzegovina filed a formal request to Israel for his extradition to stand trial at a war-crimes tribunal.

Medvedev Visits West Bank, Lifting Palestinian Spirits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia met on Tuesday with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank oasis town of Jericho and reaffirmed his country’s support for a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders hailed the visit as historic, noting that this was the first time such a high-profile international figure had gone to Palestinian territory independently of a visit to Israel.

January 18th

DM Barak shakes up Israeli politics by leaving the Labor Party but stays in the government, and visit soldiers in Nablus. Upheavals in Tunisia spur Palestinian officials to issue reassurances about the Palestinian economy. Russia confirms its commitment to an independent Palestinian state. Israeli authorities approve 122 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinians are expected to submit a Security Council resolution condemning settlements this week. A Hamas operative dies in a tunnel collapse. Uriel Reichman says if Israel does not come up with a peace strategy of it own, the US or UN will act alone. Carlo Strenger says the Israeli right has caused the country’s international isolation. PM Netanyahu says he is determined to go forward with peace talks. Israeli women are harassed by the Israeli authorities for consistent outreach to the Palestinians. John Ging leaves his position as head of UNRWA. Tony Karon says Russian immigrants have pushed Israeli politics to the aggressive nationalist right.

Israel finds no rebuttal to Russian immigrant rhetoric
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Snap quiz: Which was the first country to recognise Israel at the United Nations? No, not the United States, nor any other western country. It was, in fact, the Soviet Union.

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