March 25th

'Likud agreed gov't will build in E-1'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
March 25, 2009 - 12:00am

During coalition talks between Israel Beiteinu and Likud, the two sides agreed that the new government would build in the controversial E-1 area, between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim, Army Radio reported Wednesday. A source close to the negotiations said that the construction was agreed upon despite the fact that it doesn't appear in the official coalition deal between the two parties. According to the Ma'aleh Adumim Municipality plan, some 3,000 housing units will be built in the area. Building in E-1 has been blocked by the government due to US pressure not to build in the area.

Israeli army rabbis criticized for stance on Gaza assault
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - March 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The winter assault on the Gaza Strip was officially portrayed in Israel as an attempt to quell rocket fire by militants of Hamas. But some soldiers say they also were lectured about a more ambitious aim: to banish non-Jews from the biblical land of Israel.

Palestinians benefit as Israel-Turkey ties sour
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - March 25, 2009 - 12:00am

A legal battle being waged by Palestinian families to stop the takeover of their neighbourhood in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers has received a major fillip from the recent souring of relations between Israel and Turkey. After the Israeli army’s assault on the Gaza Strip in January, lawyers for the families were given access to Ottoman land registry archives in Ankara for the first time, providing what they say is proof that title deeds produced by the settlers are forged.

Israel’s Labor Party Votes to Join Netanyahu Coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 24, 2009 - 12:00am

A deeply divided Labor Party voted Tuesday to join the governing coalition being formed by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister-designate and the leader of the conservative Likud Party. The decision paves the way for a broader government than the narrow and hawkish one that Mr. Netanyahu would otherwise have had to settle for, increasing his chances of gaining international acceptance and possibly avoiding friction with the Obama administration.

Medhat's killing deals blow to efforts to repair Palestinian rifts - analysts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Andrew Wander - March 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The fragile peace between rival Palestinian factions in Lebanon has been jeopardized by Monday's assasination of senior Fatah official Kamal Medhat, experts warned on Tuesday. Medhat was killed, alongside three others, in a massive explosion that tore through his convoy, hurling his car from the road into a field near the Mieh Mieh camp outside Sidon. He had been visiting the camp to solve a dispute between rival families that had escalated into armed clashes, killing two people over the weekend.

Obama still backs two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
March 25, 2009 - 12:00am

The emergence of an Israeli government led by a strong sceptic of peace negotiations with the Palestinians makes it no less necessary for the US to push for a resolution of the generations-old conflict, President Barack Obama said yesterday. In his most direct public comments on the evolving make-up of the Israeli government, following inconclusive national elections in February, Mr Obama told a White House news conference that he remains committed to pushing for a two-state solution: separate Israeli and Palestinian states existing side-by-side in peace.

Transcript of presidential news conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from MSNBC
March 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Text of President Barack Obama's news conference Tuesday at the White House, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions: Obama: Good evening. Now, before I take questions from the correspondents, I want to give everyone who's watching tonight an update on the steps we're taking to move this economy from recession to recovery, and ultimately to prosperity.

March 24th

Palestinian group wins literary award
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 24, 2009 - 12:00am

A Palestinian organization that promotes children's reading on Tuesday was named the winner of the 2009 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature by the Swedish Arts Council. The annual award, named after late Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, is the world's largest children's book award and includes a cash prize of 5 million kronor ($620,000). The Palestinian Tamer Institute For Community Education received the award for its work to promote reading in the West Bank and Gaza.

UN report: 'IDF used Gaza boy as human shield'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 24, 2009 - 12:00am

IDF soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza, a group of UN human rights experts said Monday. The army ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the UN secretary-general's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict. Radhika Coomaraswamy said the incident on Jan. 15, after IDF tanks had rolled into the neighborhood, was a violation of Israeli and international law.

'US Jews back Obama's Mideast path'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

A new J Street poll finds that large majorities of American Jews support US President Barack Obama's active engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even if that means exerting pressure and publicly disagreeing with Israel. American Jews would also like the US to deal with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas in pursuit of a peace agreement, a position at odds with current US and Israel policy shunning Hamas.

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