March 27th

Israel army punishes Gaza soldier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
March 27, 2009 - 12:00am

An Israeli soldier was removed from the combat area after he shot a Gazan woman in the leg "by mistake" during the recent offensive, military sources say. The soldiers were firing in the air and urging a group of Palestinians who looked "suspicious" at the time, the military said. It appears to be the first officially confirmed case of disciplinary action over troops' actions in the conflict. The Israeli forces' conduct has been heavily criticised.

The ball is in Obama’s court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - March 27, 2009 - 12:00am

While cruising in South America last month, I happened to pick on board the ship’s minuscule edition of The New York Times and, much to my surprise, it had the news about the ordeal of Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr., who felt duty bound to withdraw his nomination as chairman of the National Intelligence Council in the wake of a brutal and unjustified attack by the pro-Israel lobby.

Israel suspected in Sudan airstrikes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
March 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Reporting from Khartoum, Sudan, and Jerusalem — A Sudanese official said Thursday that hundreds of people were killed early this year when foreign warplanes bombed three convoys smuggling African migrants through Sudan along with weapons that apparently were destined for the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted at his air force's possible involvement in the attacks. They came after Israel ended a 22-day assault on Gaza without fully achieving one of its aims: to choke off Hamas' weapons supply.

Being a Partner for Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

As he prepares to take office as Israel’s next prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is offering what sounds like a tantalizing commitment. He said that his government will be a “partner for peace.” “I will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for peace,” he said.

Israeli Use of Phosphorus Against Gazans Disputed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Israel's use of white phosphorus artillery shells led to the deaths of at least 12 Palestinian civilians and destroyed millions of dollars in property during the recent three-week war in the Gaza Strip, the organization Human Rights Watch says in a report released Wednesday. Israeli military officials called the claim "baseless" and said the shells, designed to produce a smoke screen, were used in accordance with accepted rules.

Troubled Palestinian Health System Heads for Overhaul
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson, Rachelle Kliger - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Two-year-old Rafiq lays his head peacefully on his mother’s shoulder, sticks a thumb in his mouth and buries his face in her black veil. Up until a short while ago Rafiq, whose family lives in Gaza, was at death’s door with a deadly kidney condition. But last September he was given a new lease of life when he was admitted to Barzilai hospital in Israel and nursed back to health.

A Play-by-Play of Coalition Building: What it Means
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
(Blog) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

What is the current status of the coalition formation efforts? Benjamin Netanyahu now has agreements with Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, Habayit Hayehudi [the Jewish Home] and Labor. He already has more than 60 members of Knesset [MKs]. In my opinion the National Union party won’t be in the government. Yahadut Hatorah [United Torah Judaism] also seems to have been left out.

March 26th

New support for West Bank outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

An unauthorised Jewish settlement in the West Bank, illegal even under Israeli law, appears to benefiting from state funding, the BBC has uncovered. A road is being built from the established settlement of Eli, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, leading east to the illegal outpost at Hayovel. Settlement expansion is a major barrier to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. The international community regards all settlements in the West Bank as illegal under international law.

The pro-Israel lobby - 'alive, well, and bipartisan?'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The fight is over. Chas Freeman, the outspoken Israel critic appointed to chair the National Intelligence Council, is out. And now, both sides in the explosive firefight that broke out over his appointment are battling to frame the narrative over what it all meant. For some of Freeman's critics, the bottom line is what counts. "This shows the pro-Israel lobby is alive and well, and bipartisan," declared Jonathan Tobin, executive editor of the neoconservative journal Commentary, at a public forum just five days after Freeman's March 10 withdrawal.

Palestinians Serenade Survivors in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

For just over an hour on Wednesday, a club for elderly Holocaust survivors on a side street in this suburban town south of Tel Aviv came alive with an encounter of an extraordinary kind. A youth orchestra came to play for the elderly Israelis, a good turn that might pass in other countries as routine. In this case, though, the entertainers were Palestinians, a group of musicians 12 to 17 years old from the Jenin refugee camp, once a notorious hotbed of militancy and violence in the northern reaches of the West Bank.

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