Israel imposes West Bank closure during festival
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 9, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli military has imposed a three-day closure on the West Bank, banning Palestinians from entering Israel during a Jewish festival. The military says the closure began early Monday and will last through the Purim holiday, ending at midnight Wednesday. The military says exceptions will be made for Palestinians needing urgent medical care and in other humanitarian cases. Israel's military considers Jewish festivals likely times for Palestinian attacks and regularly imposes such closures.

Hamas's popularity rises after Israel's Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas's popularity among Palestinians has risen sharply since a three-week Israeli war in January devastated the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip, an opinion poll released Monday showed. If an election were held today, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would beat Mahmoud Abbas, the Western-backed Palestinian president and leader of Fatah who advocates a peace deal with Israel.

Israel annexing East Jerusalem, says EU
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - March 7, 2009 - 1:00am

A confidential EU report accuses the Israeli government of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank barrier as a way of "actively pursuing the illegal annexation" of East Jerusalem. The document says Israel has accelerated its plans for East Jerusalem, and is undermining the Palestinian Authority's credibility and weakening support for peace talks. "Israel's actions in and around Jerusalem constitute one of the most acute challenges to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making," says the document, EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem.

Desert’s Sand and Rocks Become Precious Resources in West Bank Dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - March 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Boulders the size of compact cars are carved out here at a vast quarry near Bethlehem and pushed noisily through grinders, producing gravel and sand that go into apartment buildings in this rapidly growing Israeli settlement and all across Israel itself. The land of the West Bank is, of course, disputed. Israel occupies it, and the Palestinians want it for a future state. But more and more of it is gone — quarried by Israeli companies and sold for building materials, a practice that is the focus of a new legal challenge.

Palestinian Prime Minister to Resign
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 7, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian prime minister said Saturday he submitted his resignation in a move that could help usher in a power-sharing deal between Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas and his rivals in the militant group Hamas. Salam Fayyad's resignation was meant to be a goodwill gesture toward Hamas, but the group's officials dismissed the announcement, saying Fayyad's appointment and time in office has been unconstitutional.

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