April 12th

UN: PA progress 'sufficient for functioning govt of a state'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

A UN report on progress by the Palestinian Authority in building institutions released Tuesday assessed that "in six areas where the UN is most engaged, government functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state." The report, prepared by UN officials for an upcoming meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels, reviews progress in the implementation of the PA's August 2009 plan to build state institutions, which was backed by the AHLC and Quartet.

An Israeli initiative worth watching
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) April 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The historic transformations under way in many Arab countries have temporarily overshadowed other major regional issues. Well, this period seems to be coming to an end, forcing us all to refocus on understanding the hard reality that we can no longer isolate a single issue or conflict in the Middle East – Palestine-Israel, Iran, democratization, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, terrorism, Anglo-American invaders, corruption, take your pick – and address it on its own.

Awarta raided overnight, 5 more detained
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Concern is mounting for the residents of Awarta, as 71 villagers including a teenage girl and two elderly women remain held in Israeli custody without charge, and official visits to ensure their well being were prevented by Israeli forces. Three Palestinians from the village who were living in Ramallah were detained from their homes there overnight, as their relatives in Awarta, including two brothers, were detained during an overnight raid. From Awarta, Hasan Awwad, deputy mayor of the village, and his brother Salah, a local journalist, were both detained.

What the “Israeli Peace Initiative” has to offer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

On April 6, a group of prominent Israelis released the “Israeli Peace Initiative,” an answer to the Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab League in 2002. The biggest difference between the two documents is that one is official, formally adopted by a large group of states, and the other is a civil society initiative. This puts the two documents on significantly unequal footing. However, the new Israeli private initiative bears serious consideration, given the paucity of any other Israeli response to the API and the lack of diplomatic activity generally.

April 11th

Israel and Hamas are considering a cease-fire, but divisions in Hamas are complicating factor. The CSM says time is no longer on the side of Israel or PM Netanyahu. FM Lieberman says Israel should topple Hamas rule in Gaza and a cease-fire is not in Israel’s interests. The PA says it will be ready for statehood in September. Israel is accused of targeting water facilities in Gaza. The Arab League may call for a no-fly zone over Gaza. Israel holds back on final approval for new settlement housing in occupied East Jerusalem. A new Israeli anti-rocket system, which the US is helping to fund, is having an impact, but Netanyahu says it cannot protect every house. Analysts predict a short-term cease-fire but long-term instability in Gaza. Israel closes a West Bank village and arrests 23 Palestinians. Israeli authorities predict a breakthrough in the investigation of the murder of a settler family. Niva Lanir predicts September will be a diplomatic disaster for Israel. Akiva Eldar says Israel must start evacuating West Bank settlements. David Horovitz says Netanyahu has no strategy and should consider recognizing Palestinian statehood. Both Israeli and Palestinian youth show signs of becoming politically apathetic. Raghida Dergham says the US must deal with the Palestinian issue to address broader Arab unrest. Uri Avnery says he feels sorry for Judge Goldstone. Hussein Ibish says most Arabs yearn for peace.

Black September is coming to Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Niva Lanir - (Opinion) April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The Hamas regime is a pain in the neck. If it drags Israel into another ground confrontation in the Gaza Strip, Hamas won't be the only one that is beaten for the second time. The equation was, and remains, bad news; the shooting, the escalation and the losses harm both sides with differing force and cyclicity. There is no "bang-and-it's-over" solution, as Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday morning on Israel Radio. Who knows better than he?

It's time for disengagement No. 2
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Every rocket launched from the Gaza Strip toward Sderot and Ashdod serves as "further proof" that the evacuation of the Gush Katif settlement bloc was a bad bargain. And once again we are being warned that "this is what will happen to Kfar Sava and Netanya if we withdraw from Judea and Samaria." And once again the settlers are able to pull the wool over people's eyes, turning themselves from a security burden into a strategic asset.

Israel on verge of breakthrough in probe into Itamar massacre
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson - April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli security forces believe that there will soon be a breakthrough in the investigation into the Itamar murders, in which five family members were stabbed to death in their home. On Sunday, Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrested more Palestinian suspects in Samarea in the West Bank, after dozens were already taken in for questioning regarding the Itamar murders. Earlier this month, terrorists entered the West Bank settlement of Itamar and murdered Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their young children, including their three-month-old baby, before fleeing the scene.

US to help pay for Iron Dome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The United States is slated to provide Israel with $430 million worth of security aid in the near future which will include $205 million allocated for the development of Iron Dome batteries. Democrats and republicans are slated to finalize the 2011 budget in the coming days. The delay in the approval of the funds was caused by foot-dragging in passing the budget in Congress. The budget was meant to pass five months ago but partisan conflicts delayed its approval.

Israeli army closes West Bank village, arrests 23 Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 10, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli army announced on Sunday the Awarta village in the West Bank as a closed military area and arrested 23 Palestinians, including three women. Qais Awwad, head of the village's council, said the Israeli army was conducting an operation in the village since early morning after closing all its entrances. The army forces arrested 20 youths and three women from the village after an investigation, Awwad said, adding that the forces stormed dozens of houses in the village and destroyed the furniture in four houses.

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