June 27th

Israeli Settlement Activity Surges Despite Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Dion Nissenbaum - June 27, 2008 - 4:18pm

Blue and yellow signs advertising new homes pepper the narrow West Bank roads that wind up to gated hilltop Jewish settlements. "A new stage is on its way," boasts one billboard promoting a dozen homes being built in this small Israeli settlement not far from Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital. As construction workers press ahead with work on these modest townhouses, telephone salesmen dismiss any concerns that Israel's pledge to restrict settlement construction in the West Bank could halt the building.

Truce Is Strained As Militants Launch Rockets And Israel Keeps Goods Out Of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - June 27, 2008 - 4:16pm

A barely week-old truce between Israel and the Hamas rulers of Gaza frayed further on Thursday when Palestinian militants launched two rockets against Israel, and Israel prevented goods from entering Gaza for a second day. One of the rockets fell harmlessly in an open area across the Israeli border, a military spokesman said. No details were available about the second.

June 26th

Fayyad: Israel Must Open Gaza Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
June 26, 2008 - 4:35pm

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Thursday called on Israel to reopen border crossing with the Gaza Strip which were shut after Palestinian rocket attacks violated the shaky truce with Hamas. "We have 1.5 million of our people with a sense of not having much to lose. That situation must end," Fayyad told a news conference in Prague with Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

Sarkozy's Ambition In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) June 26, 2008 - 4:34pm

The visit by French President Nicholas Sarkozy to Jerusalem and Bethlehem proves that France has not changed its policy vis-à-vis the Middle East conflict. It proves that the fundamental principles that differentiate it from the US policy remain intact, with an insistence that Jerusalem should be the capital of two states, that a Palestinian state should be established, the Israeli settlement activity halted, and the obstacles before the Palestinian people removed.

The Oily Maze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) June 26, 2008 - 4:33pm

One would think that Arab leaders would have learned a lesson (or two) after failing to tell the Arab side of the conflict with Israel since the establishment of the Jewish state on Arab lands in Palestine in 1948, a loss the Arabs describe as the Nakba or catastrophe. Once again the oil-rich Arab leaders are disappointingly unable so far to convince the world of the reasons, as they see them, that led to the skyrocketing price of oil which had more than doubled in one year; now over $140 a barrel.

Israeli Politicians Avert Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - June 26, 2008 - 4:31pm

Israel stepped back from the brink of political turmoil Wednesday after the two main parties in the ruling coalition hammered out a last-minute compromise to prevent the passage of a bill calling an election. This gives Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a few more months to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians and to try to win release of three captured soldiers. But the price was agreeing to a primary election in September that is likely to end his reign.

Gaza Truce Strained By Rocket Fire, Closure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-mughrabi - June 26, 2008 - 4:29pm

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a makeshift rocket into southern Israel on Thursday, putting further strain on a week-old truce as Israel kept border crossings into the Hamas-ruled territory closed. Both sides traded blame for violations of the ceasefire Egypt had brokered in the hope of furthering U.S.-backed peace talks that have shown little sign of progress.

Last-minute Deal Saves Olmert's Government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
June 26, 2008 - 4:27pm

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert averted a major crisis on Wednesday, reaching agreement with his Labour allies for them to reverse a decision to vote to dissolve parliament, a move that could have brought down the government. Under the accord, Olmert agreed to a demand that his Kadima party hold primary elections by September 25 and Labour undertook not to back opposition efforts to bring down the government, parliamentary sources said.

Israel Keeps Gaza Crossings Closed After Rocket Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - June 26, 2008 - 4:26pm

Israel will keep Gaza border crossings closed another day in response to Palestinian rocket fire that had violated a new cease-fire, the Defense Ministry said late Wednesday. The decision came after Gaza's Hamas rulers said they would not police other militant groups that break the truce that went into effect last Thursday. It was the first major hitch in the truce and raised questions about its ability to hold.

Palestinian Conference In Berlin Falls Flat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Der Spiegel
by Michael Scott Moore - June 26, 2008 - 4:21pm

Everyone agreed on Tuesday that the Palestinians need help. And dozens of nations agreed in Berlin to donate money. But the Palestinians still don't have a state, and the Middle East is still a powderkeg.

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