Michael Weiss looks at lessons Egypt can learn from PM Fayyad. Israel deploys an anti-rocket system. Pres. Abbas meets with Hamas officials in the West Bank. Jackson Diehl says PM Netanyahu is headed for a showdown with Pres. Obama. An Israeli Labor Party leader says the party may have deserved its fate. Israel is wary about getting into another Gaza war. Occupation forces continue to block off the West Bank town of Beit Ummar. Israel again bulldozes the Palestinian “freedom road” in “Area C.” Israel seeks clarifications from Argentina about a bombing in 1994. Impatient Palestinians look towards Arab change. The PLO executive committee pushes for drafting a constitution. Netanyahu seems popular among Israelis. Two Palestinians are killed in another Israeli air raid on Gaza. Akiva Eldar says Israel is missing an opportunity with the Arab Peace Initiative. Israel is attempting to quash Palestinian popular protests. Carlo Strenger says Israel’s problem is settlements, not J Street. The Israeli right continues to push legislation aimed at left-wing NGOs. A settler is jailed for assaulting a Palestinian minor. Hamas men attack women journalists. Jonathan Schachter and Yoram Schweitzer say the Jerusalem bus attack may not be directly connected to Gaza border violence. Jeff Barak says the last thing Israel needs is another Gaza war. Congress is divided over how to support Israel. Many Gazans think rocket attacks on Israel are way out for Hamas from pressure for national unity with Fatah. A Gaza family finds itself caught between Hamas and Israeli attacks. The Arab News says the plight of the Palestinians remains central to Arab consciousness. Uri Avnery says the Knesset has adopted two obnoxious and racist laws. European diplomats press for a new Middle East peace plan.

Israel’s problem is the settlements, not J Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) March 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The Netanyahu government’s refusal to meet with the leadership of J Street during its visit this week reflects a deep and truly worrying process, in which Israel’s government and the Knesset are progressively locked into a deep bunker with no communication with the outside world. The assumption is that J Street creates a problem for Israel, and that if Israel delegitimizes J Street, the problem will go away.

Mighty Israel and its quest to quash Palestinian popular protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) March 28, 2011 - 12:00am

"Now that Abdullah Abu Rahma has been released from jail, the Israeli soldiers and the honorable military tribunal judges will have time for Bassem Tamimi." Thus Tamimi, the coordinator of Nabi Saleh's Popular Committee, was introduced to guests who came to congratulate Bil'in resident Abu Rahma on his release after serving 16 months on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. Twenty-four hours later, late Thursday morning, Tamimi was arrested.

New bill takes aim at leftist groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - March 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Right-wing MKs launched a new attack against leftist organizations Monday with a bill limiting their right to petition the High Court of Justice. MKs Danny Danon and Yariv Levin from the Likud Party explain that the bill, which is aimed at preventing court rulings from exacting influence in the name of organizations that have no direct connection to the matters at hand, government policy, or the Knesset.

Arab peace initiative is another missed opportunity for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) March 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Once again, Jerusalem is "closely monitoring" the squabble at the neighbors' - this time, in the form of the bloody clashes in Syria. Is the fall of President Bashar Assad good for the Jews? Could religious extremists replace the minority Alawite regime? What will happen to the separation of forces agreement on the Golan Heights? What will be the new regime's policy concerning a negotiated end to the Arab-Israeli conflict? How will the political furor affect Syria's intimate relations with Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah?

Settler jailed for assaulting Palestinian teen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Aviad Glickman - March 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced Zvi Struck, a 28-year-old resident of the Shilo settlement, to 18 months in prison for kidnapping and abusing a 15-year-old Palestinian boy. Struck was convicted on the charges of aggravated battery, kidnapping with intention to injure, causing damage and three counts of assault. In addition to the prison term, the court sentenced him to one year of probation, and ordered him to pay the victim NIS 50,000 ($14,100) in compensation.

Two Palestinians killed in Israeli strike in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Another Palestinian died on Sunday hours after being wounded in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza Strip, which had killed one of his colleagues and injured two others, witnesses and medical sources said. The 26-year-old Palestinian had spent half an hour at the hospital's morgue before people found he was still breathing and took him back to the operation room. He died shortly afterwards. Israeli pilotless drones had fired a missile at a car carrying activists, killing one on the spot, wounding one seriously and two others moderately.

News Analysis: Israeli public views Netanyahu doing well halfway through his term
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - March 27, 2011 - 12:00am

A new poll published in the Israel daily Ha'aretz over the weekend says that Israelis are lukewarm about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's performance as he approaches the halfway mark of his second term. However, while the United States and the international community might be looking for progress in the peace talks with the Palestinians as a metric of Netanyahu's success, Israelis have other priorities. Analysts told Xinhua that Israelis feel the most important factors are security and the economic situation, both of which are relatively good at the moment.

PLO urges to draft Palestinian constitution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Sunday pushed for activating a committee to draw up a constitution for a future Palestinian state. The executive committee of the PLO, which met in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, said in a statement that the constitution should be ready during the coming six months. "This is in order to put the draft constitutions before the Palestinian legislative sides in the suitable time," the statement added.

Gaza cops use ‘beatings, stun guns’ on women reporters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - March 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas policemen used force to disperse the protesters, who were calling for an end to the dispute between the Islamist movement and Fatah. The rallies were part of a Facebook campaign organized by Palestinian youth on March 15. At least eight journalists were beaten by the Hamas police officers during the rallies. Some had their cameras and laptops confiscated, while others were taken into custody and made to sign a document pledging to refrain from covering such events in the future.

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