Israel is blind to the Arab revolution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) March 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Even in its third month, the Arab revolution fails to resonate positively in Israel. The Israeli news media devote a lot of space to dramatic events in the region, but our self-centered political discourse remains the same. It cannot see beyond the recent escalation across the Gaza border, or the approaching possibility of a Palestinian declaration of statehood in September. Israel's leaders are missing the old order in the Arab world, sensing only trouble in the unfolding and perhaps inevitable change.

Netanyahu says Israel ‘regrets’ hitting Palestinian civilians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he regretted the accidental killing of four members of a Palestinian family in their Gaza home by Israeli tank fire. Netanyahu in a statement Tuesday from the Prime Minister's Office emphasized that the shooting was in response to fire by Hamas at Israeli citizens.

Israel passes laws that critics say are anti-Arab
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - March 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli parliament approved a pair of laws Wednesday that critics said were discriminatory and aimed against the country's Arab minority. The first law denies state funding to any municipality that commemorates Israel's 1948 creation as the "nakba," or "catastrophe." Palestinians use the term to describe their defeat and exile in the war that surrounded Israel's founding. The second law grants small communities the authority to reject admission to applicants that are perceived as not fitting into their social fabric.

U.S. praises PA security progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The Obama administration lauded the progress of Palestinian security services. "The program has witnessed increased coordination of activities amongst international donors, and is achieving notable progress on security, justice, corrections, and other new fronts," the U.S. State Department said in a statement issued Sunday. The statement marked last weekend's visit to the region by William Brownfield, the assistant secretary of state who is responsible for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which runs the training program for Palestinian Authority police.

Israel passes law against mourning its existence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's parliament passed a measure on Tuesday enabling the denial of state funding to institutions that question the country's existence as a Jewish state, in a move criticised as targetting an Arab minority. The so-called Nakba Law, using the Arabic word for "catastrophe" which is how many Palestinians regard the founding of Israel, passed by a vote of 37 to 25 after an angry debate among right and left-wing lawmakers.

Gaza border violence in March
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The following is a summary of reports on projectile fire, gunfights, air strikes and artillery fire in the Gaza border area since the beginning of March. 1 March Armed wings of Hamas and PFLP claim fire at Israeli forces in northern Strip. Witnesses say Israeli fire injures 22-year-old Gaza man in southern Strip. Israeli military says soldiers did not fire back at factions operating in south, AFP reports force used new "antitank" interception system. 2 March Witnesses say Israeli force enters southern Gaza under gunfire. No injuries reported. Israeli military denies fire.

UN's Serry condemns killing of civilians in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The UN's envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry on Tuesday condemned Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza. On Tuesday afternoon, an Israeli tank fired at a family playing football outside their home in the eastern part of the Ash-Shaja’iya neighborhood in Gaza City. The Israeli military said it regretted harm to innocent civilians, but blamed Hamas, who it said operated in civilian areas. In a statement issued by his spokesman, Serry condemned the attack and expressed concern at the escalating situation in Gaza and southern Israel.

Hamas calls day of mourning; Abbas demands end to fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Gaza government officials declared Wednesday a day of mourning, with a collective funeral in central Gaza City at midday, for the four civilians and four militants killed by Israeli fire a day earlier. Officials called on residents of Gaza to join the funeral procession. In Moscow, President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Russian foreign minister to exert pressure on Israel, and demand a halt to what he described as an "escalation" against Gaza.

WEST BANK: Fayyad’s five-week period to form government expires
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
March 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Five weeks after Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad dissolved his Cabinet, saying he needed to better prepare for upcoming elections and eventual statehood, he has yet to form a new government. Fayyad tendered his government resignation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Feb. 14. According to Palestinian law, Fayyad had three weeks to form a government. The three weeks passed and Fayyad had not formed one. So he asked for two more weeks and he got them. So far everything is legal.

4 Palestinian civilians and 4 militants killed by Israeli fire in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - March 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Eight Palestinians, including four civilians and four militants, were killed Tuesday in two separate Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian spokesmen said. Israeli officials said the strikes were a response to the most serious escalation in rocket and mortar fire from the coastal territory since the 2009 Israeli offensive that sought to end such attacks.

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