Credit Barack Obama with resolve on a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hussein Ibish - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Under the administration of President Barack Obama, the United States has vigorously re-engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and made commitment to Palestinian statehood an American national security and foreign policy priority. Obama has said that it is “absolutely crucial” to US interests to resolve the conflict, and appears determined to persist despite all difficulties and obstacles.

Two Difficult Tracks Launched as Arab World Absent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Paul Salem - October 6, 2009 - 12:00am

In a flurry of diplomatic activity, US president Barack Obama has re-launched Israeli-Palestinian talks and taken the US into direct negotiations with Iran. The US-Iranian track has been dead for 30 years; the Israeli-Palestinian track only for eight. In both cases, the re-launch was not off to a promising start. Obama failed to get the Israelis to agree even to a settlement freeze, and the talks with Iran have been prefaced by a dramatic escalation of tension over the new nuclear reactor disclosed near Qum.

Banned from Al Aqsa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Tensions over control of the Haram al Sharif compound of mosques in Jerusalem’s Old City has reached a pitch unseen since clashes at the site sparked the second intifada nine years ago. Ten days of intermittently bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem culminated yesterday in warnings by Palestinian officials that Israel was “sparking a fire” in the city. Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper similarly wondered whether a third intifada was imminent.

Mosque rumour sparks clashes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli police mobilised reinforcements from across the country to secure the streets of Jerusalem yesterday, deploying thousands of officers amid fears that violence would escalate after two days of clashes with Palestinian protesters. Rumours that Israeli extremists planned to march on the most sacred Muslim and Jewish shrine in the Holy Land apparently fuelled the unrest. No such march has taken place.

Jerusalem's troublesome sheikh
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Mick Dumper - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

A subtle shift in power has recently taken place on the street in Jerusalem. The confrontations during the past week between Palestinians and the Israeli police over perceived Israeli threats to the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque bring home the growing role of the Israeli Islamic movement in the politics of the city. As a result of the ineffectiveness of the secular and traditional Palestinian leadership, below the radar, Palestinians in the city are being mobilised by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, led by the charismatic Sheikh Ra'ed Salah.

'Old City violence may lead to 3rd intifada'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Abe Selig - October 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Recent violence in the capital and the ongoing tensions surrounding the Temple Mount could trigger a third intifada, senior Fatah official Hatem Abdel Kader warned in a conversation with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "It's a very sensitive situation," the former Palestinian Authority minister for Jerusalem affairs said as he stood outside a home in the city's Wadi Joz neighborhood.

FM wants 'new Israeli foreign policy'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Haviv Rettig - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

The policy staff in Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office has drawn up a secret memo calling for a radical refocus of Israeli foreign policy toward the developing world, The Jerusalem Post has learned. According to sources, the foreign minister plans to bring the five-page preliminary policy paper to the ministry's senior professional staff in the coming days, to begin discussion on implementing what is being described as "guidelines for a whole new foreign policy."

Solana calls for restraint in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Elana Kirsh - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed concern Wednesday over "recent clashes in east Jerusalem." In a statement, he called for restraint, saying, "I have been closely following the situation around the Al Aksa mosque in recent days. I would like to urge all parties to refrain from provocative actions that could further inflame tensions or lead to violence." "Everyone must take action to avoid escalation," he added.

Libya asks for UN council meeting over Gaza report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Libya on Tuesday requested a meeting of the Security Council to discuss a UN report that accused Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes during Israel's offensive in Gaza, diplomats said. Dang Hoang Giang, a spokesman for the mission of Vietnam, which currently holds the council's rotating presidency, said the Libyan request was being considered. A Libyan spokesman, however, said he understood a meeting would be held on Wednesday.

Gaza: Hamas bans motorbike rides for women
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas government has banned motorcycle riders from carrying women on the back seat – the latest in the militants' virtue campaign in Gaza. The ban was posted on Hamas Interior Ministry Web site on Tuesday. It said the ban seeks "to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society's customs and traditions." Hamas wants to impose a strict interpretation of Islam. Its other efforts have included breaking up mixed couples on the beach and obliging female lawyers to wear headscarves in court.

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