April 30th

Hamas to Reject New Palestinian Government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Hamas says it will reject any new Palestinian government, expected to be formed shortly, if the new cabinet does not get the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), effectively the Palestinian parliament. A Hamas spokesman was quoted by Xinhua, saying any new government formed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas, which is not approved by the PLC, is illegal and unconstitutional.

5 Israelis indicted for planning terror attacks, kidnapping
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ahiya Raved - April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The Haifa District Prosecutor's Office on Thursday charged five youths with planning a series of terror attack and soldier abductions. The five, residents of the northern villages of Mrar and Barta'a, were indicted on multiple counts of aiding and abetting the enemy, contacting a foreign agent and weapon charges. Identified as Suhaiv Khalil Kabha (20), Kutaibeh Dura Kabha (19), Muhammad Shawqi Kabha (19) and Ahmed Hassin Kabha (21) – all from Barta'a, and Abdullah Yunis Karube (20) of Mrar, they have entered a plea of not guilty.

Abbas may form new govt before US visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may form a “new government” within 10 day, senior Palestinian officials said yesterday. The officials told the independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an that Abbas “may be forced to form the new government before he heads for talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama on May 28.” The development came a day after the rival Hamas and Fatah movements decided to adjourn the current round of Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo to May 16-17.

Israel to EU: Criticism of Netanyahu government unacceptable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

A Foreign Ministry official has been warning European countries that unless they curtail criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu's government, Israel will block the European Union from participating in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians. The main target of the offensive is EU External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who recently called for a freeze in upgrading ties with Israel over its peace process policies.

Righting the wrongs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) April 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Americans of all walks of life are busy nowadays assessing the first 100 days of the administration of Barack Obama, a traditional yardstick at which a new president's performance is measured. The general impression in the words of one State Department announcement is that this period has been among "the busiest in presidential history both in terms of domestic initiatives and foreign policy challenges."

Probable Pick For New Israeli Envoy Often at Odds With U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - April 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Michael Oren, a prominent historian widely seen as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s imminent pick to represent Israel in Washington, is a highly regarded writer and an articulate and telegenic speaker. But his public viewpoints on a number of key issues clash sharply with those of the Obama administration, to which he soon may be credentialed.

April 29th

Britain raps 'unbalanced' UN rights Gaza report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Britain criticised Wednesday a report by a UN human rights investigator on Israel's Gaza offensive as "unbalanced", but insisted it was extremely concerned by the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Last month, the UN special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, said in a report that there was "reason" to conclude that Israel's massive military offensive on Gaza in December and January was a war crime, but the Jewish state slammed the report as "one-sided".

Egypt puts the bite on Gaza tunnel smugglers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Once a profitable business, Abu Abdallah's tunnel under the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip has been out of work for three weeks due to an Egyptian security crackdown on smuggling. The Palestinian network of some 3,000 tunnels, created to thwart Israel's blockade of the coastal territory ruled by Hamas Islamists, was reduced to hundreds by bombing during Israel's three-week offensive in January. Now Egyptian police efforts are also biting into Gaza's underground supply system, which supplements the tightly restricted flow of aid commodities allowed in by the Israelis.

Change meets challenge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - April 27, 2009 - 12:00am

At a time when neither Palestinian nor Israeli domestic political conditions are conducive to progress on peacemaking, the region is looking to the new US administration as the only source of hope. It is evident that the strategies and approaches of the previous American administration contributed, at least in part, to an unprecedented deterioration in the region, including for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Muslims in Holy Land are cool to next month's visit by Pope Benedict, still angry over speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Diaa Hadid - April 29, 2009 - 12:00am

A banner across the main square in Jesus' boyhood town condemns those who insult Islam's Prophet Muhammad — a message by Muslim hard-liners for Pope Benedict XVI during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land next month. The pontiff may have to tread carefully with his visit to Nazareth. Many Muslims are still angry over a 2006 speech in which Benedict quoted a medieval text depicting the prophet as violent. Even some Christians are nervous that Benedict could stir up trouble for them. They worry that if he says anything contentious about Islam again, Muslims might lash out.

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