Another aid flotilla has left Turkey for Gaza. Armenians in Jerusalem face an uncertain future. Israeli Amb. Oren denounces the Palestinian national unity deal. Most Israeli leaders continue to support Pres. Assad remaining in power in Syria. Pres. Obama is likely to give a major speech on the Middle East next week, but one focusing mainly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will probably be delayed until August. Sources say Pres. Abbas may become PM as well, possibly with acting-PM Fayyad and a Hamas leader as his deputies. Other accounts see a push for Fayyad to remain PM. Settlers stone cars near Nablus. Israel is accused of exploiting Jordan Valley water supplies. Israeli sources speculate Netanyahu will not make any major concessions in an upcoming US speech, but Ari Shavit says he must acknowledge the 1967 borders. Fayyad urges Arab aid to the PA. Hamas is skeptical about planned PLO moves in the UN in September. A Fatah official says without negotiations the PA might not be able to stop another intifada. Larry Derfner says because of the occupation, there is no analogy between Israeli actions and the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The UK ambassador to Israel says the international community should be ready to take advantage of any opening from the Palestinian unity agreement. Gideon Levy says Israel continues to be guided by the spirit of ethnic cleansing. Amira Hass looks at arbitrary arrests of Palestinians by occupation forces. The Forward looks at Fayyad’s future. George Hishmeh looks at obstacles facing Obama from Netanyahu. Daoud Kuttab says Abbas’ consistency should be acknowledged.

Israel 'exploiting Jordan Valley resources'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel has systematically exploited the resources of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, favoring settlers over Palestinians, an Israeli rights group said on Thursday. A report by B'Tselem said Israel dominated the land, water resources and even tourist sites along the strip of land which runs along the eastern flank of the West Bank, in what appeared to be a prelude to a de facto annexation of territory.

Nablus checkpoint closed as settler stone cars
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli forces closed the Nablus-area Huwwara military checkpoint Thursday afternoon, following incidents of rock-throwing that hit Palestinian cars, that local officials said was done by local settlers. Ghassan Doughlas, the Fatah official charged with monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said dozens of settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement threw rocks at Palestinian cars causing damages, but no injuries.

Source: Abbas new PM, Fayyad, Haniyeh deputies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas will hold the post of prime minister in the coming technocrat transitional government, sources close to the matter have told Ma'an. Current caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh - or an alternate Hamas figure chosen by the party - will both act as deputies to Abbas, the source revealed Wednesday night, adding that Fayyad will also assume the role of Minister of Finance.

Acknowledging Abbas’ consistency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Say what you may about the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, but supporters and opponents agree on one thing: he is consistent. Abbas might lack of charisma and the ability to drastically change public opinion or the direction of world leaders, but everyone today can attest to the man’s consistency. He is consistently against violence, in favour of the two-state solution and generally a democrat at heart. His word is his honour. What he says he fulfills and his political philosophy and methodology do not include the typical game politicians play: saying one thing and meaning another.

Can Obama convince Netanyahu?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced last Monday that Palestinian civil servants, numbering about 150,000, were not paid their salaries "on time". The reason: Israel has failed to transfer some $100 million (Dh367 million) it collects in customs and other taxes on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

In Fatah-Hamas Deal, What Role for Salam Fayyad?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - (Opinion) May 11, 2011 - 12:00am

It may turn out to be one of the strangest political revivals on record — a comeback without the protagonist having gone anywhere.

The unbearable Israeli lightness of arresting Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - May 11, 2011 - 12:00am

It began with what dozens of Palestinians experience every month: In the middle of the night, there are kicks on the door or shouts behind it and the house is inundated with soldiers aiming rifles. This time the rifles were aimed at a girl of 14 and her 67-year-old grandmother who are visiting an aunt of 53 and her 22-year-old daughter at their home in El Bireh. Afterwards the young women related that the soldiers “barked” orders, questions and threats.

Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, or, democratic Israel at work
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

It happened on the day after Independence Day, when Israel was immersed in praise of itself and its democracy almost ad nauseam, and on the eve of (virtually outlawed ) Nakba Day, when the Palestinian people mark the "catastrophe" - the anniversary of the creation of Israel. My colleague Akiva Eldar published what we have always known but for which we lacked the shocking figures he revealed: By the time of the Oslo Accords, Israel had revoked the residency of 140,000 Palestinians from the West Bank.

All Netanyahu needs is to say one magic number: 1967
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) May 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The international community is tensely waiting to hear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's words to the U.S. Congress in 12 days' time. Yet it will not be words that determine how the speech is received, but rather a number. If Netanyahu does not specifically mention the number 1967, the world will reject his speech from the outset. Israel's future hangs today on the prime minister's ability to utter the four digits he has not yet uttered - one, nine, six, seven: 1967.

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