First Palestinian Venture Fund Bets on West Bank's Tech Potential
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Rosenberg - April 5, 2011 - 12:00am

The first-ever venture capital fund to invest in Palestinian high technology opened for business on Tuesday with almost $29 million in capital and the backing of some of the world's leading technology companies. Sadara Ventures/The Middle East Venture Capital Fund will invest in Palestinian companies developing innovative, new technology in mobile, Internet content and technologies, social networks and software outsourcing, Yadin Kauffman and Saed Nashef, the fund's two managers, told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Sadara's investors include Google and Cisco.

IMF gives thumbs up to Palestinian financial policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

The International Monetary Fund has given the Palestinian Authority a strong vote of confidence, saying it is capable of running a national economy just as it pushes for U.N. recognition. The Washington-based body said the Western-backed PA, which governs in the occupied West Bank, had a solid track record of financial reforms enabling it to be less dependent on donor aid. "(It) is now able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state," said the IMF staff report released this week.

In Sheikh Jarrah, Israelis and Palestinians Are Neighbors in Name Only
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - April 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Sheikh Raed Salah stood up, wiping his hands from the earth that stuck to them after planting an olive sapling in the backyard of the Al-Kurd family in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Head of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Salah had come to the neighborhood to show solidarity with the Al-Kurds, who have been forced to share their home with a group of eight Israeli Jews.

Israel uneasy over Syrian unrest in Golan Heights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Bethany Bell - April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel is watching the unrest in its northern neighbour Syria with concern. Syria has fought several wars with Israel and has close ties with Iran, and the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas. The occupied Golan Heights are now seeing ripples from the protest wave sweeping the Arab world and many people are wondering what the uprising could mean for Israel. Recently around 1,000 Syrian Druze, who live under Israeli occupation, took to the streets in the village of Boqata. But they were not calling for change in Syria. They were out to back the Syrian president.

Goldstone report: the unanswered questions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Editorial) April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

It is difficult, in this digital world of instant claim and rebuttal, to say that you were wrong. But Richard Goldstone's retraction of one of the claims of the report that he chaired – that Israel targeted civilians in the war on Gaza as a matter of policy – is one such instance. Mr Goldstone deserves credit for honesty. It is another matter altogether to decide whether all the other claims of a 575-page report are now invalidated. The Goldstone report was a fact-finding mission, not a judicial inquiry. It was not a document of verdict, but put forward evidence for further investigation.

Shock in Jenin after theater director's murder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Jenin refugee camp was in shock on Tuesday after the brutal murder of its theater director, with co-workers refusing to believe he was killed for his work. Juliano Mer-Khamis, a well-known actor and theater director born of Jewish and Palestinian parents, died on Monday when a gunman opened fire on his car as he was driving home with his infant son and the babysitter.

UN jurist to review Gaza war criticism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

South African jurist Richard Goldstone has accepted an invitation to visit Israel and work to nullify his UN report accusing Israel of targeting civilians during its offensive in the Gaza Strip two years ago, Israel's interior minister said yesterday. The Israeli invitation follows Goldstone's comments that he no longer believes Israel intentionally fired at civilians. Israel had shunned the Jewish jurist since his 2009 report, ordered by the UN Human Rights Commission into the actions of Israel and Hamas in the three-week war of 2008-09.

IMF: Palestinian institutions ready for state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian financial institutions are ready for statehood, an International Monetary Fund report praising Palestinian fiscal reform said Tuesday. "The PA is now able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state,'' the report said. Acting Prime Minister in Ramallah, Salam Fayyad, has embarked on a program of institutional reform since his appointment in 2007, building the confidence of the international community and preparing for the establishment of a Palestinian state, to be announced in September 2011, according to his latest plan.

Medics: 4 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli aircraft attacked two targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, wounding four people, Palestinian medics and witnesses said. They said the targets were a group of militants and a plastics factory, both east of Gaza City. All of the wounded were at the factory, they added. A Ma'an correspondent said two of those injured were women, and that one of them was pregnant. An Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP that aircraft hit "two terror tunnels," a phrase the army uses to refer to tunnels being prepared by Gaza militants to launch cross-border raids.

Peres urges Obama to stay with peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 5, 2011 - 12:00am

It is critical for the United States to remain committed to the peace process, Israeli President Shimon Peres told President Obama. “I told him we would not want the Middle East peace process to continue without the United States,” Peres told reporters after his lunchtime meeting with Obama. A Peres aide later told reporters that this was the “critical message” Peres came to Washington to convey to the White House, suggesting that there is an impression in the Israeli government that the Obama administration is washing its hands of the peace process.

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