April 25th

President Obama and the Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Editorial) April 24, 2011 - 12:00am

President Obama began his presidency vowing to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. He backed off in the face of both sides’ obstinacy and after a series of diplomatic missteps. Since then, the stalemate, and the mistrust, have only deepened, and it is clear that nothing good will happen until the United States fully engages.

Intolerant streak continues to afflict Palestinian society
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Fawaz Turki - (Opinion) April 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Let's not allow the brazen murder of Juliano Mer Khamis, 52, and Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, two engaged idealists who were gunned down respectively in the West Bank and Gaza within two weeks of each other earlier this month, to pass largely unnoticed, relegated to a mere footnote in the narrative of the Palestinian struggle.

Fayyad: We’ll soon celebrate Easter in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The prime minister in Ramallah gave holiday greetings at an event with Christian clergymen and other officials Saturday, the day before Easter. "This holiday brings with it joy and the promise of a better future," Salam Fayyad said. "It is a religious and national holiday for Muslim and Christian Palestinians," he said. "We will celebrate this holiday at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in East Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Palestinian state, at a time when our aspirations for freedom and independence are realized."

Fayyad: National unity urgent for statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 25, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Saturday that a national unity government must be formed urgently as the last stages of the national project are completed. Fayyad's comments were made during a tour of villages near Ramallah, where the premier helped farmers to plant tree saplings. The prime minister's two-year state-building initiative is scheduled to be completed in September, when the PA is expected to seek international recognition of its statehood at the UN.

Palestinian membership in the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Musa Keilani - (Opinion) April 24, 2011 - 12:00am

The debate over the Palestinians’ quest for international recognition of their statehood got into high gear last week. The administration of US President Barack Obama offered the golden advice, saying it did not think that it was a “good idea” for the Palestinians to unilaterally seek recognition for independent statehood from the United Nations before reaching a peace agreement with Israel.

Egypt closes Rafah crossing for holiday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 25, 2011 - 12:00am

Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing on Monday as the country marked Sinai Liberation Day and Sham Al-Nessim, officials announced. Crossing director Ayyoub Abu Sha’ar told Ma'an that the terminal would be closed for one day as citizens marked the national holiday denoting the beginning of spring. The holiday always falls the day after the Eastern Orthodox Christian Easter. On Tuesday, the crossing will resume its five-day-a-week schedule, Abu Sha'ar said.

Tech diplomacy: Israeli CEO hires Palestinian programmers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - April 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The last time chief executive officer Eyal Waldman had been to the Israeli-occupied West Bank was as a soldier. But when he needed to outsource some work for his fast-growing Israeli technology company, he chose an unconventional solution: hiring Palestinian programmers from Ramallah.

Israel's wall cements psychological divide between Arab, Jew
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - April 22, 2011 - 12:00am

shad Zeid, a Palestinian farmer who lives not far from the bustle of Tel Aviv, once sold his crops to Israeli acquaintances – chatting with them in Hebrew as they paid for cabbage or cauliflower. But now Mr. Zeid's world ends abruptly at a high wall of gray concrete erected by Israel to protect its citizens against Palestinian suicide bombers. Just beyond the wall bordering his fields lies Kfar Saba, a Tel Aviv suburb of 85,000 that was once part of his customer base.

Palestinian Police Kill Israeli Visiting West Bank Holy Site
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - April 24, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian police shot and killed one Israeli and wounded four others early Sunday after the Israelis surreptitiously visited a Jewish holy site inside a Palestinian-controlled area, officials on both sides said. The shooting occurred outside Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus after three carloads of religious Israeli Jews visited the site to pray, without coordinating their plans through the Israeli Army. Twice-monthly trips to the tomb have been organized with army escorts for the past four years without incident.

April 22nd

Competing Tel Aviv protests show Israelis divided over Palestinian statehood. George Moffett looks at tensions in Jerusalem. Yossi Beilin says the Geneva Accord was a breakthrough model for peace. Sandy Tolan says a change of heart on both sides is necessary. Aaron David Miller says speeches alone cannot change the strategic equation. French and other European leaders reportedly say they are considering recognizing Palestine. The Egyptian government announces plans to ease restrictions on Gaza. Pres. Abbas says UN rejection of Palestinian statehood would be dangerous, and that France backs his unity proposal to Hamas. The UN urges bold steps for peace. Palestinian leaders are deciding where to house the archives of the late Pres. Arafat. Israeli forces destroy warehouses in a Gaza industrial zone. Sefi Rachlevsky accuses PM Netanyahu of turning Israel into “another South frica.” Ha’aretz reviews a new CD by a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Pres. Peres says Israel needs a peace plan. Palestinian officials reassert the importance of the right of return for refugees. The US says the UN should stop actions based on the Goldstone Report, and Richard Falk looks at its future. Several are wounded in mortar fire in Gaza. Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister says Israel should annex what it wants in the West Bank if Palestine is recognized by the UN. The PA complains Israel is slowing mail deliveries to the West Bank. A new housing plan aims to keep Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem. Abbas urges EU to play a more prominent role in Mideast peae

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