The Settlements Are The Biggest Impediment To Security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) April 10, 2008 - 2:01pm

At the very heart of the roadmap phase I issues that dominated US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit a week ago are security and settlements. The West Bank-based Palestinian leadership that Israel is negotiating with has little to brag about in terms of improving security. But at least it is sincerely trying. The Olmert government is not trying as hard, particularly with regard to settlements. And settlements are the biggest impediment to security.

U.s. Wants To Hold Summit At Sharm During Bush Visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Opinion) April 10, 2008 - 2:00pm

The United States is keen on holding a summit at the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to coincide with President George Bush's visit to Israel next month for the country's 60th anniversary celebrations. Bush would like to use the event as a way station in the diplomatic process, following November's Annapolis conference, so as to provide another boost to efforts to reach an agreement by the end of the year over the core issues for a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Egypt Makes Gaza Border Warning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
April 10, 2008 - 1:59pm

Egypt has warned that it will not accept any further violation of its border with the Gaza Strip. A government official said Egypt's borders were a red line that could not be crossed. It came after Hamas said it was prepared to take action to break the Israeli blockade of the territory. Militants destroyed parts of the Gaza border with Egypt in January, allowing hundreds of thousands of people stock up on much-needed supplies.

Empty Gestures Destroy Credibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) April 10, 2008 - 1:58pm

There would appear to be two strands of interaction between Palestinians and Israelis in the current negotiations process. One deals with final status issues and involves the top political leadership on both sides, Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei and Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. The other deals with day-to-day practicalities and is led by Salam Fayyad and Ehud Barak.

Gazans Grapple With Fuel Shortages, Turn To Black Market
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
April 10, 2008 - 1:56pm

Sleeping in their cars outside petrol stations, Palestinians are feeling the pinch of a fuel crisis in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where black market gasoline sells for about $7.50 a litre. Station owners, decrying Israel's reduction of shipments since Hamas took over the territory in June, and accusing the armed group of siphoning off fuel for its own use, declared a protest at the pumps this week.

Jitters At A West Bank Junction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Week
by Joshua Mitnick - April 10, 2008 - 1:55pm

Rimonim Junction, West Bank — The crossroads is set among idyllic hilltops that feed herds of sheep on the edge of the Judean desert. There is a steady rhythm of Palestinian minivan taxis shuttling between the West Bank’s northern half and the center. Occasionally, the sedan of an Israeli settler swooshes by. At the side of the road leading toward the Christian village of Taiybeh, a booth of concrete cubes sits empty.

Olmert A Failure As Prime Minister, Say Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
April 10, 2008 - 1:53pm

Most people in Israel express disappointment over the performance of Ehud Olmert, according to a poll by the Dahaf Institute published in Yediot Ahronot. 59 per cent of respondents think the prime minister did not succeed in his role as head of government, and 49 per cent acknowledge that their support for Olmert has declined since he was sworn in.

Palestinian Children Forced Onto Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - April 10, 2008 - 1:25pm

The deteriorating economic situation in the Palestinian territories has forced many Palestinian children to leave school and take up menial work in an effort to try and help their families survive economically. This Middle East Times journalist has traveled through both the West Bank and Gaza and is regularly accosted by young children at checkpoints hawking a variety of goods from food and refreshments to plastic toys and kitchen implements.

Who Will Take The First Step?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
(Editorial) April 10, 2008 - 1:22pm

Throughout the 60 years of percolating Arab-Israeli conflict both sides have found it easier to declare war – or as the case may be, to wage war without bothering to declare it – rather than to declare peace. Yet recently, amid renewed fears of the possibility that Israel and Syria could resort to open warfare, fears heightened by the unprecedented military exercises carried out by Israel along its northern frontier, both countries have continued to make statements that they seek peace and not war.

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