Netanyahu's schemes won't work
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took the right step in condemning in strong terms the massacre of a five-member Israeli family, including two children and an infant, living in an illegal Israeli colony in the West Bank. No one in his right mind would not abhor this callous event, whose perpetrators are still unknown. "A human being is not capable of something like that," Abbas told Israel Radio. "Scenes like these — the murder of infants and children and a woman slaughtered — cause any person endowed with humanity to hurt and to cry."

Gaza groups call on Hamas to probe attacks on peaceful rallies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Gaza-based rights groups on Wednesday called on Islamic Hamas movement's government that rules the Gaza Strip to probe its police's violent attacks against peaceful rallies in Gaza on Tuesday. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank had witnessed on Tuesday massive popular rallies that called on Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah party to end their internal division and reach a reconciliation agreement.

Jordan says Israeli settlements threaten Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Jordan's foreign minister said Wednesday that demographic and geographic changes in the Palestinian territories resulting from Israeli settlement activities have threatened the Middle East peace process, the state-run Petra news agency reported. During his meeting with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said the unilateral Israeli measures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal.

Wanting an end to the split
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

March 15 marked the launch of yet another Arab youth movement, following those in Egypt on January 25 and in Libya on February 17. The aim of this youth-led movement appears simple: end the split between Gaza and the West Bank and between the PLO and Hamas. Popular uprisings are not new to Palestinians who introduced the term Intifada to the world in 1987. In fact many in Palestine feel that they broke the barrier of fear - a prerequisite for going out in the streets against brutal, violent crackdowns - long before the youth in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain.

Israeli army renews order to distance Gazans from border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli army on Thursday renewed warning to the Palestinian residents in the Gaza Strip to stay away from northern and eastern borders with Israel. The warning was carried by hundreds of flyers Israeli airplanes dropped in the coastal enclave, especially in areas near the borders, residents said. The Palestinians have to stay 300 meters away from the security fence, the flyers read. "Anybody approaching puts himself in danger, as the Israeli Defense Forces will take the necessary procedures to distance him, including opening fire when necessary. "

Palestinian man attacked in Israeli settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

A Palestinian man says he was attacked by masked men inside a Jewish West Bank settlement. Palestinian laborer Sami Snobar says at least eight Hebrew-speaking men approached him at a construction site where he was working Thursday and asked him what he was doing there. He says he was hit on the head and body with a construction tool and a cinder block, and also sprayed. Snobar spoke from a Palestinian hospital. The incident took place in the Shiloh settlement.

Killings in Itamar not acceptable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The brutal and inhumane killings of the Fogel family in Itamar is unacceptable and indefensible. No matter what anyone might say about the illegality of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, murder is murder and murder of civilians irrespective of the circumstances must be denounced and rejected at all levels. Palestinians do want an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza. Jewish settlement activity is a major hurdle to Palestinian national aspirations. But all Palestinians fighting for freedom and independence should denounce this barbaric act against an Israeli family.

Independents pave way for Abbas in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

A group of independent Palestinian political figures announced Thursday that preparations were going forward to receive President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza for what could be the turning point in Palestinian unity efforts. Coalition leader Yasser Al-Wadieh said urgent consultations had been made to prepare the ground for Abbas' arrival, though officials in Ramallah have yet to confirm a date for the trip.

Egypt resumes natural gas flow to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Egypt resumed natural gas shipments to Israel on Wednesday for the first time since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak. But many here remain worried about the long-term prospects for the $2.5-billion export deal, which when signed in 2005 was touted as an indication of warming bilateral relations, but could soon turn into an uncomfortable diplomatic dispute with Egypt's new government.

Rival Leaders Agree to Hold Gaza Meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The rival Palestinian leaderships of the West Bank and Gaza appeared to be taking practical steps on Wednesday toward ending their schism, in a rare response to public pressure for national unity after years of deep division. The new talk of unity came as Israel displayed weaponry it seized after intercepting a merchant ship on Tuesday. Israeli leaders said the weapons, including six advanced antiship missiles, originated in Iran, were loaded aboard the ship in Syria and were bound for Gaza.

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