April 12th

Settler council: Netanyahu's West Bank pullout plan radiates panic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The Yesha Council of Settlers reacted angrily Tuesday to a Haaretz report detailing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan for a West Bank withdrawal as part of a diplomatic initiative to counter an impending unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. Netanyahu is weighing a withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops from the West Bank and a series of other measures to block the "diplomatic tsunami" that may follow international recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Encountering Peace: The bombs bursting in air
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Yes, it’s difficult to think about peace when missiles are flying from Gaza into Israel, and when innocent civilians on both sides are regularly forced to take cover. Yes, it’s true that Hamas and its proxies in Gaza intentionally shoot at Israeli civilians, but it’s also true that many innocent civilians inside Gaza end up paying with their lives – killed by Israeli bombs. Go and explain to their families that their deaths were not intentional.

Palestinian Road Warriors Give Jerusalem Streets New Names
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

A group of Palestinian activists erected nine street signs in Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukabber neighborhood last Saturday, assigning the anonymous thoroughfares road names in Arabic and English. One was named Farouk Street, a popular nick name for Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the Muslim general who conquered Jerusalem in 637 A.D.

Palestinian leadership questions Israeli PM's pullout plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership on Tuesday questioned the possibility of further Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank. Reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering withdrawing troops from the West Bank "were no more than plays," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee. "Don't believe what the Israeli media said... these are trial balloons and plays by the Israeli governments to avoid their international obligations," Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio.

Hamas denies report of Syria sponsoring inter-Palestinian dialogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Damascus-based Palestinian Hamas ' politburo member Izzat al-Rishq said here on Tuesday that reports about Egypt's proposal for Syria to sponsor inter-Palestinian dialogue are not true. Al-Rishq told Xinhua via the phone that Egypt remains the official custodian of the reconciliation talks between the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah organizations. London-based Arab daily al-Hayat reported earlier the day that Egypt has suggested Syria to sponsor the reconciliation rounds between Fatah and Hamas.

Gaza farmers suffer severe loss due to crossing shut down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The closure of the only commercial crossing point in the Gaza Strip may cause severe losses to Gaza farmers, a farming society warned Tuesday. The Society of Palestinian Flower and Strawberry Farmers said that more than two million flowers are reserved in refrigerators and cannot be delivered to the European markets because Kerem Shaloom crossing has been closed since Wednesday by Israel authorities due to security concerns. "The flowers and those still not harvested would shrivel," the society warned in a statement.

Congressional Legislation Calls on U.N. To Rescind Goldstone Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Legislation calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report is circulating in both houses of Congress. A Senate resolution, introduced April 8 by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), calls on the U.N. Human Rights Council to “reflect the author’s repudiation of the Goldstone report’s central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report’s findings.”

War Clouds Back Over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykber - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

After several days of intense violence, during which 19 Palestinians were killed and one Israeli wounded, a fragile calm has returned to Gaza. But political commentators argue that this could well be a precursor to Israel’s next war on the coastal territory. During the last week the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) launched a series of attacks following a rocket attack from Gaza which hit an Israeli school bus, seriously injuring a 16-year-old pupil.

Israel to arm combat soldiers with cameras
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The next time Israel goes to war, its combat soldiers will likely be carrying cameras in addition to more conventional weapons. Reeling from war crimes accusations during a major offensive against Hamas-ruled Gaza more than two years ago, the Israeli military is studying the wide distribution of cameras as a tool to make its case to the world. The plan would appear to put Israel at the vanguard of such efforts around the world — and reflects the intense and growing scrutiny of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

Total blockade of Gaza hits seventh day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

With a truce holding and calm restored in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces informed Gaza crossings officials that terminals would remain closed, citing only "security reasons." Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh said he was not told when goods transport would resume for Gaza, adding that the closure meant no goods had entered Gaza for a week. Crossings were closed two days ahead of an escalation in confrontations along the Gaza border area, cutting off access to supplies including aid and humanitarian goods.

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