US interests are not served by a stubborn Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Critics of the Middle East peace process deride it as elaborate summitry and slogans that try hard but fail to mask the fundamental gap between the parties. They have a point: Israel is further from peace than ever before, the Palestinians are too weak and divided to agree on anything and the US is blindly behind the Israelis.

5 Qassams fired after IAF kills Gaza gunmen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Five Qassam rockets and a mortar shell were fired on the western Negev Thursday in response to an Israeli air strike on a terror cell in the Gaza Strip that left three gunmen dead and another wounded. The first rocket fell just before 9 am in an open area in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. About an hour later, two more rockets were fired from the Strip, landing in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. In both incidents there were no reports of injuries or damage.

Ambassador to US quits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

- Surprising departure: Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor, announced Thursday that he intends to quit his post soon and return to Israel. Meridor informed Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, and PM-designate Netanyahu of his decision on Monday, before joining US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her Israel visit.

The pulse of a meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

A resounding and unanimous international message of support for Gaza reconstruction was sounded in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh on March 2. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were joined at the conference by foreign ministers as well as representatives of regional and international organisations and foundations. Ironically two key groups were absent from the meeting: Israel and Hamas.

Clinton should not listen to Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Francis Matthew - (Opinion) March 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Every four years there is a depressing ritual in which a new US Secretary of State agrees that the US will secure Israel's security, but will also support the establishment of a Palestinian state. As has happened many times before, this week the Palestinians told Hillary Clinton that the Israelis should stop building illegal colonies in the West Bank. The Palestinian point was vindicated by the discovery this week of an Israeli government plan for a massive expansion of Israeli colonies, which was published by Peace Now, an Israeli peace lobby.

Talking much gibberish about Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Michael Young - (Opinion) March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

You can say many disparaging things about the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, but he did manage, until his dying breath, to preserve what was known as the independence of the Palestinian decision. Under Arafat's guidance, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was able for decades to avoid falling under the sway of an Arab state, particularly Syria, which tried as of the late 1960s to bring the PLO to heel.

Obama plans to boost security aid to Abbas's forces
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

The Obama administration plans to expand a programme to bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's security forces in the occupied West Bank as part of a push for statehood, officials said on Thursday. Israel has given tentative backing to the programme as a test of Abbas's ability to rein in militants, one of its main conditions in stalled U.S.-backed negotiations over establishing a Palestinian state.

Musical show of unity upsets many in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Common Ground News Service
by Ethan Bronner - March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Achinoam Nini, a singer and peace activist, has long stirred controversy here. Known abroad by her stage name, Noa, she has recorded with Arab artists, refused to perform in the occupied West Bank, condemned Israeli settlements there and had concerts cancelled because of bomb threats from the extreme right. But lately it is the left that has been angry with Nini.

Israeli Law Students Protest Professor Involved In Strikes on Gaza Civilians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Blog) March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

This is interesting. Ha'aretz reports that students at Tel Aviv University are protesting the appointment to a lecturer position of an IDF colonel involved in approving strikes against civilians in Gaza. I had wondered what happened to Israel's usually vigorous anti-war movement which has come out in force in previous cases where Israel has engaged in wars of choice (like the Gaza and Lebanon wars), in contrast to wars like the Yom Kippur or Six Day Wars.

Palestinian health care 'ailing'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
March 5, 2009 - 1:00am

The Lancet medical journal report highlights how 10% of Palestinian children now have stunted growth. The paper describes the healthcare system in the Palestinian territories as "fragmented and incoherent". An Israeli government spokesperson said the Lancet had failed to seek its view, and said many Palestinians had accessed medical care in the country. Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli government, called the report one-sided. He said: "This is propaganda in the guise of a medical report."

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