September 17th

Settlers face down IDF, prevent evacuation of West Bank outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yuval Azoulay, Nadav Shragai - September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

The Israel Defense Forces backed off of a planned evacuation of an illegal West Bank outpost after a throng of settlers who learned of the plan gathered at the site before dawn on Wednesday. The security forces had amassed a considerable number of personnel who were ready to evacuate the outpost of Yad Yair, west of the settlement of Binyamin. Senior IDF officials have held contacts with settler leaders in an effort to coordinate an agreed upon relocation of the outpost closer to the settlement of Dolev.

Palestinian official: Olmert, Abbas to meet as long as PM stays in office
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

A Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will continue to met for peace talks as long as Olmert remains in office. Olmert has pledged to step down over corruption allegations but he could stay in his post until next year if his resignation leads to a new election. He and Abbas met Tuesday and an Israeli official said afterward that the two would meet again after Abbas returns from the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.

Jordan, Kuwait renew support for PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

Jordan and Kuwait on Tuesday renewed their support for the Palestinian Authority?s efforts to unify the Palestinian ranks. During talks in Kuwait City between His Majesty King Abdullah and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the two leaders said the current Palestinian rift threatens the interests of the Palestinian people and its aspirations to establish an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza. They also called for intensifying efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians as a result of the harsh economic conditions they are experiencing.

Patience frays
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Dina Ezzat - September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

The look on the face of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he exited meetings with Arab foreign ministers at a late evening hour Monday, or earlier in the week after talks with President Hosni Mubarak, was one of despair. Abbas is all but saying that he cannot conclude a final status deal with the Israelis as he had hoped and that he cannot keep on fighting -- or as hard -- his immediate political adversary, Hamas. Abbas is saying this to all Arab, including Egyptian, interlocutors and is not getting much support from either.

Keep Israel and Syria Talking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Bruce Riedel, Bilal Y. Saab - September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

The indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel that began last May have gone as far as they can. Their purpose -- to break the ice between the two states after eight years of not talking, and to test one another's resolve over certain issues -- has been achieved. Now, Syrian President Bashar Assad wants to move forward, as evidenced in his proposal to Israel for direct peace talks at a recent four-way summit in Damascus involving Syria, Turkey, France and Qatar.

Trade blossoms as Israel eases chokehold on Nablus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Wafa Amr - September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

Trade is blooming in Nablus after eight years of commercial drought, as Arabs from Israel return to shop in a city declared off-limits in 2000 as a font of Palestinian militancy in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "I have not set foot in Nablus since the beginning of the Intifada in 2000," said Njeidat, a chef from the Galilee area to the north, home to many of Israel's million Arab citizens.

The two-state solution is nearly dead. But there's one last chance to save it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

By tonight, the governing party should have a new leader. After a painful summer limping along with an unpopular prime minister - who never came close to matching the popularity of his predecessor - the party will today have the leadership contest and the fresh start it has yearned for.

Israeli restrictions leave Palestinians dependent on aid, says World Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

The World Bank warned today that continued Israeli economic restrictions are severely limiting the potential of the Palestinian economy and leaving Palestinians more dependent on foreign aid than ever. In a report to be delivered to international donor governments this month, the World Bank acknowledges that Israel has lifted some roadblocks in the occupied West Bank but it says the impact is limited. It says continued discussions about removing individual checkpoints and roadblocks have become a "distraction" from the bigger issues.

Livni claims win in Israeli vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

Tzipi Livni has claimed victory in the contest to lead Israel's ruling Kadima party as exit polls suggest she won by a clear margin. The foreign minister told supporters in a radio broadcast that "the good guys" had won after the ballot by members of the party. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is resigning amid corruption allegations. If she can form a coalition Ms Livni, 50, would become Israel's first woman prime minister in more than 30 years. Two television exit polls suggested Ms Livni had beaten Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz by a margin of 48% to 37%.

Syria sets basis for Israel talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 3, 2008 - 8:00pm

Syria has sent a list of proposals to Israel aimed at laying the groundwork for direct peace talks between the two foes, President Bashar al-Assad says. "We are awaiting Israel's response to six points submitted through Turkey," Mr Assad said, promising Syria would respond positively to Israel's answer. Direct talks could happen once a new US administration "which believes in the peace process" takes office, he said. Syria has remained in a state of war with Israel since its 1948 foundation.

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