April 1st

Defense Ministry ordered to release internal documents on Gaza policies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The Tel Aviv District Court last week ordered the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to release internal documents that detail the minimum nutritional requirements and calorie calculations needed to sustain the residents of the Gaza Strip. In addition, the court ordered the agency, also called COGAT and which operates under the auspices of the Defense Ministry, to reveal the names of the officials who helped implement the policy of limiting the entry of goods and foodstuffs into the Gaza Strip.

As Israel perpetuates occupation, its youth sees little value in peace and freedom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Blog) April 1, 2011 - 12:00am

A recent survey of the political opinion of Israeli youth shows a significant move to the right. More than sixty percent of 15 to 18 year olds and 21 to 24 year olds define themselves as rightwing; 60 percent of the first group prefers strong leaders to the rule of law; an overwhelming majority of the respondents do not believe that negotiations will lead to peace with Palestinians and prefer the status quo. The picture that emerges is of a profoundly pessimistic group that sees little reason for optimism – a group that prefers power over freedom and whose values are nationalistic.

Israel holds secret talks with Russia in bid to thwart recognition of Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Isaac Molho, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s senior adviser and top negotiator on the Palestinian channel, made a secret trip to Moscow on Wednesday and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The purpose of the visit was to dissuade Russia from supporting the European Union’s intention to present in two weeks’ time a plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Israel Warns Against Recognition of Independent Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykber - March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli government has warned the U.N. Security Council and the EU that it will resort to unilateral countermeasures if the international community recognises Palestine as an independent state at the U.N. General Assembly session next September. The warning is in response to what the Israeli government perceives as attempts by critics, local and international, to "de-legitimise" the Jewish state.

Palestinian president calls for settlement freeze to resume talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called on Israel to stop Jewish settlement construction in order to resume peace talks. In a meeting with visiting Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, Abbas added that he was hopeful that "the independent Palestinian statehood with its capital in East Jerusalem would be created "very soon." The peace talks have stalled since September due to a dispute on the resumption of Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.

Gazan abducted in Ukraine not Hamas member: spokesman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas on Thursday said the Palestinian engineer kidnapped by Israel in Ukraine in February was not a member of the Islamic movement which controls the Gaza Strip. Dirar Abu Sisi, who appeared in an Israeli court, "has no relation with Hamas," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman. Israel said that Abu Sisi, the operating manager of Gaza's only power plant, had information about Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas near Gaza in 2006.

Envoy urges Ukraine to act over disappeared Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian ambassador in Ukraine on Thursday denied that a Palestinian man who went missing in Ukraine and is now being held in an Israeli jail was a member of Hamas. The family of engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, who managed the main power plant in Hamas-ruled Gaza, says he was abducted by Israeli agents on board a train last month and spirited away to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Abu Sisi was a Hamas member who had given "valuable information". [ID:nLDE72T29J]

Committee: Israel to allow more Gaza exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel has opened registration for manufacturers in Gaza to export goods to Europe, officials said Thursday. Registration is open for clothing and furniture merchants prepared to export, an official from the goods coordination committee said. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave. The state has defied calls that it lift the siege to allow for rebuilding structures destroyed in a three-week assault that began in late 2008, citing Hamas' continued detention of an Israeli soldier.

Source: Al-Jazeera journalists freed, with help from Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

A diplomatic source told Ma'an Thursday night that four Al-Jazeera journalists captured in Libya on 7 March were released this afternoon, following intervention from President Mahmoud Abbas. The journalists will leave the Libyan city of Tripoli for Tunis in the coming hours, the official said, adding the journalists had met with the Palestinian ambassadors to Mauritania and Tunis at Libya's Ministry of the Interior offices.

Telhami Hopeful For Israeli-Palestinian Progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
(Interview) March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

NEAL CONAN, host: While much of the world attention focuses on anti-government uprisings across the Middle East, new violence has broken out across the Israeli-Gaza border. And Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank remains a flashpoint.

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