March 24th

Minister (of Interior) Al Yahya And General Dayton Inspect Palestinian Security Training At The International Centre Near Amman And Witness A Field Exercise With Weapons And Live Ammunition.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al- Quds
by Amman – Abdulla Al Qaq - March 24, 2008 - 5:59pm

The Minster of Interior Abdul Razzaq Al Yahya and the American General Dayton inspected the almost 1000 members of the Palestinian Police (National Security Force) and the Presidential Guard battalions that are currently training at the Jordanian International Police Training Center (JIPTC).  Their training includes security apparatus, human rights, riot control and civil disturbance.

‘painful Concessions’ Needed, Says Cheney
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - March 24, 2008 - 5:55pm

US Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that a Mideast peace agreement will require “painful concessions” by Israelis and Palestinians who must work together to defeat those “committed to violence.” After meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Cheney stressed the US commitment to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, saying it was “long overdue.”

Currency Pressures Add To Economic And Political Despair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Sam Bahour - (Opinion) March 24, 2008 - 5:54pm

As if the Palestinian economic reality was not complicated enough, the rapid drop in the value of the dollar has put many Palestinians between a rock and a hard place, not knowing how to make ends meet and not seeing an end to this perplexing situation. The Palestinian market uses four main currencies. The Israeli shekel is traded in daily purchases; the Jordanian dinar, euro and US dollar are used for business and real estate transactions. The JD is pegged to the dollar at 0.709 so any devaluation of the dollar directly devalues the JD.

Only In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) March 24, 2008 - 5:53pm

The past two weeks witnessed a familiar pattern of events. Israel retaliated against Palestinian terrorists firing rockets from Gaza at Israeli civilians. This produced an escalation, in the course of which the city of Ashkelon with its 100,000 inhabitants was brought into the circle of hostile rocket fire. Israel responded with a modest ground and air operation that took a heavy toll in Palestinian lives, mainly Hamas combatants. Egypt intervened with a proposal for a tahdiya, or pause in the fighting.

Germany Backs Israel All The Way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Peter Hirschberg - March 24, 2008 - 5:52pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed that her country would always stand by Israel, that she was committed to halting Iran's nuclear ambitions, and that rocket attacks by Palestinian militants in Gaza on Israeli towns and cities were a criminal act.

Middle East Peace Plans Under Threat As Hamas And Fatah Talk Of Unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - March 24, 2008 - 5:51pm

Hamas and Fatah, the rival Palestinian factions locked in a bitter cold war for almost a year, agreed yesterday to open formal talks on reconciliation as part of a deal brokered by Yemen. Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni President, persuaded the two sides to come together to discuss ways of returning to the power-sharing deal in place before last summer’s fighting. The announcement came as Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, visited the Fatah-led Government in the West Bank and said that the foundation of a Palestinian state was “long overdue”.

Cheney Says A Palestinian State Is 'long Overdue'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ashraf Khalil - March 24, 2008 - 5:50pm

Declaring that an independent Palestinian state was "long overdue," Vice President Dick Cheney said on Sunday that the success of the U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations depends on the Palestinian ability to rein in militant groups that favor armed resistance over negotiations.

Cheney Meets Israelis And Palestinians To Promote Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 24, 2008 - 5:49pm

Vice President Dick Cheney met Sunday with Israeli and Palestinian leaders here and in the West Bank city of Ramallah in what American officials described as an effort to promote the peace process. But Israeli officials seemed more interested in seeking Mr. Cheney’s help with broader regional issues, chief among them the perceived threat from Iran, while Palestinian officials expressed deep pessimism about the peace process and prospects of success.

March 20th

Bring Meretz Into The Government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) March 20, 2008 - 6:32pm

MK Haim Oron's impressive victory in the internal elections for the Meretz party leadership once again raises the question of whether the party will join the coalition. Oron, who is known for his good working relationship with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and who has won the esteem of the Knesset, should consider this possibility.

Pressure? What Are You Talking About?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) March 20, 2008 - 6:31pm

To tell the truth, I didn't ask him," Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Welch said in response to a question from U.S. Representative Gary Ackerman (Democrat, N.Y.). The person who wasn't asked was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the question that wasn't asked was whether he planned to run for a second term in a year.

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