Rights groups: Israel harmed Gaza medical workers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups said Monday they have collected evidence that Israeli troops attacked Palestinian medical workers and delayed the evacuation of wounded people during the recent offensive in Gaza. The Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights, along with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, called for an independent investigation. The groups said they collected evidence from 44 people in Gaza. The testimonies were gathered by five international medical experts commissioned by the groups.

Israel pledges to work with US for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Steve Weizman - April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's administration pledged on Monday to work with the United States for Mideast peace, but pointedly avoided any reference to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks or President Barak Obama's goal of a Palestinian state. On Monday in Turkey, Obama said his administration would push for Palestinian state, underlining that Israel and the Palestinians agreed on that goal under the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan and during a 2007 conference in Annapolis, Maryland, that were supposed to revive the plan.

West Bank refugee camp swaps guns for greasepaint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - April 3, 2009 - 12:00am

In the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, political points are traditionally made with guns and beatings. So when the actors of the Freedom Theatre decided to stage George Orwell's classic satire Animal Farm they knew that they were taking a risk. Putting on a play in which the protagonists subvert the glorious revolution and collaborate with the enemy was dangerous enough in a part of the world that brooks little criticism of its leaders. That these same protagonists are pigs was unlikely to make things better before a Muslim audience.

'Israel holding Mideast hostage by shunning Arab peace offer'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah II said Monday that an Arab peace initiative offers a solution for peace in the Middle East, adding that Israel should use the opportunity or risk ongoing conflict in the region. "Israel must decide whether they want to observe this opportunity and become integrated in the region or whether they want to remain a fortress ... and keep the Middle East hostage in conflict," Abdullah said in Bucharest, during an official visit. The king met Romanian President Traian Basescu Monday and discussed bilateral issues and the urgent need for peace in the Middle East.

Palestinians Are Focus in Abbas Visit to Baghdad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Campbell Robertson - April 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, visited Iraq for the first time since the American invasion in 2003, meeting with Iraqi leaders on Sunday to garner support for the Palestinian leadership and Iraq’s Palestinian community.

New town may be death blow to hopes for Israel peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - April 4, 2009 - 12:00am

The sign in big, red Hebrew letters reads “Welcome to Mevasseret Adumim, the Harbinger of the Hills”. A three-lane road with roundabouts leads up the hill to a police station and street lamps line the flyover that links the new town to neighbouring Ma'aleh Adumim, one of the largest Jewish settlements in Israel.

Gaza feud puts patients at risk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Heather Sharp - April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

The World Health Organisation has warned that the latest twist in the feud between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is putting the lives of critically ill Gazans at risk, reports the BBC's Heather Sharp from Gaza City. Faik Abdel-Aal rummages in drawers of baby clothes in his Gaza flat for his favourite picture of his only son. His grief-stricken wife Hanna has hidden it again. Mohammad, who had a hole in his heart, died a week ago, aged a year and nine days. The couple are wondering who to blame.

Israeli forces kill armed Bedouin teenager, militants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed a 16-year-old Bedouin girl who opened fire at a police base in southern Israel and two Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, security officials and medics said. In the rare incident in southern Israel, the teenager opened fire at a guardpost at the base and was gunned down by border police stationed there, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. No police were injured in the shooting.

Palestinian women train with men at academy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The first batch of women set to graduate from the Palestinian military academy marched with their male colleagues on Saturday, in a rare display of women and men training alongside each other in the Middle East. The sight of women in uniform is not a common one in the Palestinian Authority, as only a small number serve in law enforcement, and the sight of them training and serving alongside men is almost unheard of. The joint training marks a first, and a symptom of the growing influence of women in a traditionally male-dominated society.

Abbas lays down terms for peace talks with Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday laid down his conditions for renewing stalled peace negotiations with Israel. The new Israeli government "would have to accept the creation of a Palestinian state, stop construction in West Bank Israeli settlements and remove army roadblocks crippling life in the West Bank so that we can resume dialogue in order to reach a political solution," Abbas said. The Palestinian leader was speaking during a visit to Baghdad.

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