February 28th

Palestinians strike to protest demolition of homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 28, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinians held a strike Saturday to protest Israel's demolition orders of homes in east Jerusalem. Shops and schools were shuttered throughout the West Bank and Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem after Palestinian officials announced the strike. Official Hatem Abdul Qader said the strike was called after municipal officials and security forces visited several homes in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem. That spiked fears that the homes would be imminently demolished.

February 27th

Israel’s Settlement Expansion Plans Seriously Threaten All Hopes for Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from ATFP
February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Washington DC, Feb. 27 – The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today warned that a series of planned major expansions in Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank constitute an exceptionally dangerous threat to the prospects of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Gaza gloom darkens West Bank springtime
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - February 26, 2009 - 1:00am

This Palestinian village is about as far as you can get from the Gaza Strip without leaving the West Bank and crossing the river into Jordan -- which is forbidden. But the fallout from Israel's January blitz on the enclave is widespread. Along with the prospect of a hardline Israeli government that may order further action, it has all but drowned hopes of a peace deal to end four decades of occupation. Unlike Gaza, Palestinians here have not been bombed. They endure smaller prohibitions and injustices which, they say, remind them daily that they are not free in their own land.

27 Feb. '09: Settlement expansion plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from B'Tselem
February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Following the Oslo agreement, Israel made a commitment to the United States that it would not build new settlements or expand existing ones, except to meet “natural growth.” This narrow allowance, never defined, was utilized by Israel to greatly expand settlements and build new settlements, such as Modi’in Ilit.

Israel planning mass expansion of West Bank settlement bloc
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Despite the state's formal commitment not to expand West Bank settlements, a government agency has been promoting plans over the past two years to construct thousands of housing units east of the Green Line, Haaretz has learned. The plans, which have not yet been approved by the government, were drawn up by the Civil Administration, the government agency responsible for nonmilitary matters in the West Bank. Details of the plans appear in the minutes of the agency's environmental subcommittee, which were obtained by the B'Tselem organization under the Freedom of Information Act.

Zero tolerance now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Lara Friedman, Hagit Ofran - (Opinion) February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Media reports that Israel has approved the massive expansion of the West Bank settlement of Efrat represent the first lesson for the Obama administration as to why it must establish a policy of zero tolerance for settlement expansion before it is too late.

Europe to give $556 million in Palestinian aid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

The European Union's executive office says it will give 436 million euros ($556 million) in aid to the Palestinians in 2009, including support for rebuilding Gaza. The European Commission said in a statement Friday that the pledge is to be made at a donors' conference for Gaza on Monday. It is not clear how much of that sum will be spent in Gaza.

A New Debate on Where Antisemitism Comes From
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Responding to mounting signs of a resurgence of aggressive antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere, the British government recently hosted an unusual gathering to discuss ways of fighting the threat. Known as the London Conference on Combating Antisemitism, the mid-February gathering brought together 125 members of parliaments from 40 nations for two days of emotional calls to action, along with scholarly analyses of what speakers called “the new antisemitism.”

‘Israel misses the point’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - February 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu is not giving up, still hoping that he can entice Tzipi Livni and even Ehud Barak with key portfolios, should they accept to join his projected coalition government, or else, he must know fully well that his days as head of an Israeli government of extreme rightists will be numbered. Hence, the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations will remain at a standstill.

Time not ripe for two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) February 26, 2009 - 1:00am

The Obama administration will have to address on an immediate basis a number of burning problems of varying degrees of magnitude. In the short run it will be required to tackle the rehabilitation of Gaza under Hamas' rule: On the one hand to secure aid to assure the fundamental wellbeing of its inhabitants, while at the same time curtailing the influx of weaponry into Gaza. The fight against terror, its performers and sources has to be continued in all vigor.

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