NEWS: A growing economic crisis is coloring all Palestinian policies. Pres. Abbas says he’s not deterred by US threats over a UN statehood bid, and calls for Palestinian rallies in support. Palestinian security forces raid the home of former Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan. Palestinian electoral officials say municipal voting will only be held in the West Bank in October because Hamas refuses to cooperate in Gaza. Palestinians say Israel is destroying ancient cisterns in the occupied territories. Israeli-Palestinian commerce is continuing but may be threatened. A US government report recommends ending loan guarantees to Israel. Palestinian citizens of Israel debate National Service. The terrorist outrage in Norway focuses attention on outreach to Israel by extreme right-wing elements in the West. An appropriations bill pending in Congress might shut down the PLO mission in Washington. Gaza filmmakers denounce Hamas censorship. COMMENTARY: D. Bloomfield asks if Abbas’ policies are setting up a third intifada. Tariq Alhomayed says Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has effectively recognized Israel. George Hishmeh says Israel is facing international isolation. Daoud Kuttab says the Palestinian march towards the UN may be unstoppable, although what form it will take remains undecided. Michael Jansen looks at the history of the American Colony Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem. MK Ahmad Tibi says the new Israeli boycott law is antidemocratic. Allison Hoffman says the US budget impasse is reminiscent of the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic deadlock. Natasha Mozgovaya says Israel and the Palestinians are still the focus of great attention in Washington. Olga Gershenson looks at a new film questioning Israel’s legal structures in the occupied territories. Hussein Ibish traces the evolution of Syrian policy towards Palestine and the Palestinians.

Israeli-Palestinian commerce works against the clock
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Dave Bender - July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, July 27 (Xinhua) -- On a media tour on Tuesday featuring commercial, health and hi-tech cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, representatives sought to project a " business-as-usual" mien, while, half a world away both sides sparred at the United Nations Security Council over a possible Palestinian National Authority (PNA) bid for statehood at the UN General Assembly in September.

U.S. report recommends ending loan guarantees to Israel at end of 2011
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

An internal report of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State recommends terminating the U.S. loan guarantee program to Israel at the end of 2011. The report, which deals with the performance of the U.S. embassy in Israel, says American diplomats have difficulty mustering support for the Obama administration's policies and implies the embassy failed completely in its PR efforts during the Obama administration.

Israel’s Arabs Debate National Service
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Hanin Zoabi, a member of Israel’s parliament, was in the Galilee village of Musmus last week to address a group of teenagers about the importance of national service. But she wasn’t there to encourage them to take a year or two after high school to serve in schools and hospitals. One of 14 Arab lawmakers in the Knesset, Zoabi is a determined fighter for the national rights of Palestinians who live inside the country’s 1967 borders against those in the West Bank. She was invited by the youth leadership of her Balad Party to urge young people not to volunteer.

Norway attacks spotlight far-right outreach to Jews, Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Uriel Heilman - July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

For decades after World War II, far-right political movements in Europe stirred up for Jews images of skinheads and Nazi storm troopers marching across the continent. But in recent years, as European xenophobia has focused on the exploding growth of Muslims on the continent, right-wing anti-Semitism has been replaced in some corners by outreach to Jews and Israel. It’s part of an effort in far-right movements to gain broader, mainstream support for an anti-Muslim alliance opposed to the notion of a multicultural Europe.

Bill would shut down PLO office for statehood action
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

An appropriations bill would shut down the PLO office in Washington if Palestinians pursue statehood recognition absent talks with Israel and fail to take steps to stop incitement. The bill, referred Wednesday by the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee to the full committee, for the first time restricts the broad presidential waiver that applied to the 1988 law that originally banned setting up a Palestine Liberation Organization office on U.S. soil.

Palestinians fear for ancient West Bank water source
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

RASHAYIDA, West Bank, July 28 (Reuters) - Hewn from rock, the cavernous cisterns which dot the desert beyond Bethlehem have for centuries harvested winter rain to provide shepherds and their flocks with water through summer. Under a baking sun, an elderly Bedouin explains how cisterns he remembers from childhood, many of them restored to full working order in the last few years, are once again helping his goat-herding community to survive. That, he concludes, is why the Israeli authorities who control the West Bank have demolished at least three in the area since November.

Gaza film-makers decry Hamas censorship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

It's not just the dearth of funds, equipment and studio facilities that prompts such laments from film-makers in the Gaza Strip. Four years into Islamist Hamas rule, cultural censors are fraying the already threadbare local movie industry. Locked in conflict with Israel and vying against secular Palestinian rivals in the occupied West Bank, Hamas has long invested in television- and Internet-based news, educational shows and even animated clips that advance its political views.

Palestinian October elections 'only in the West Bank'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (AFP) -- Palestinian local elections in October will only be held in the West Bank as Hamas is hampering preparations in Gaza, a senior electoral official said on Wednesday. Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, the official said the government had informed the Central Elections Commission (CEC) of a decision taken earlier on Wednesday. "The elections committee was informed today by the government that it had decided to hold municipal elections only in the West Bank on October 22," he said.

The evolution of Syrian policy towards Palestine and the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The policies of the Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad regimes in Syria have systematically undermined independent Palestinian national leadership and asserted control over the Palestinian cause and movement. These policies did not arise in a vacuum, but rather are a continuation and intensification of traditional Syrian approaches to the question of Palestine. These Syrian efforts to “own a piece of Palestine" -- if not the whole thing, at least as an issue -- are not unique among the Arab states.

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