April 2nd

Amid Israeli Siege, Palestinian Businesses Look East To China
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
April 2, 2008 - 6:28pm

Faced with Israeli trade and travel restrictions, a stagnant economy and a flood of cheap imports from Asia, Palestinian businessmen are increasingly seeking their fortunes in China. Demand for Chinese visas among Palestinian business owners in the West Bank is so high that the Chinese consul regularly visits the city of Hebron to stamp their passports and circumvent an Israeli ban that prevents them from traveling to the embassy in Tel Aviv.

Tiny Party Shows Large Clout On Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Griff Witte - April 2, 2008 - 6:27pm

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left Israel on Monday having failed to persuade leaders here to halt settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land. But the setback for Rice was a victory for Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. Within hours of Rice's departure, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was on the phone with Yossef to tell him that plans for building 800 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Betar Illit had been approved, according to two Shas officials, just as Shas had requested.

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