April 22nd

Israel Razes Palestinian House In East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Joseph Nasr - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel demolished a Palestinian house in Arab East Jerusalem on Wednesday, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take measures to promote peacemaking. Ammar Hudeidoun, 35, said Israeli bulldozers flattened his home in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood after Israel's Jerusalem municipality said he did not have building permits. Palestinians say such authorization is almost impossible to obtain. A Jerusalem municipality spokeswoman declined comment.

First Hamas-licensed bank opens in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The first Hamas-licensed bank in the Gaza Strip has opened for business, a move that could help Palestinians in the territory bypass a financial blockade imposed by Israel and its Western allies. Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, has said it would not control the Islamic National Bank, an assertion disputed by its rivals in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority is based.

The killing goes on in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The young man asked us not to identify him. He had "made a mistake", he said, when someone apparently overheard him criticising a Hamas leader in a street conversation with friends. "We call them 'drones' – people Hamas pays to listen for them." This was during Israel's recent three-week military offensive in Gaza. That evening more than a dozen armed men with black facemasks came to his home and took him to an isolated area, where they shot him three times in his legs and ankles.

Most Palestinians and Israelis willing to accept two-state solution, poll finds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

A majority of both Palestinians and Israelis are willing to accept a two-state solution, according to a poll from the international grassroots movement One Voice. Based on public opinion research methods used in Northern Ireland, 500 interviews were completed in Israel and 600 in the West Bank and Gaza immediately following the Gaza war and the Israeli elections. Each side was asked which problems they thought were "very significant" and what the solutions might be.

Obama invites Middle East heads
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
April 21, 2009 - 12:00am

US officials say the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians have been invited for talks in Washington in a new push for Middle East peace. PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have been asked to the White House for talks likely by early June. The peace process has been beset by conflict and adversity which President Barack Obama has pledged to address. There is no indication the Arab and Israeli leaders will meet directly.

Both Lebanon and Jordan need a solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The region's diplomatic agenda for this week contains an intriguing juxtaposition of state visits, for those interested in monitoring the developments under way in political realignments and efforts to solve long-standing disputes. Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman is in Ankara to meet top Turkish officials, while Jordan's King Abdullah is the first Arab leader to meet Barack Obama in the White House.

Ties that bind
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

AVOID a confrontation with the new American administration. That is what Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, sought to persuade his prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, on Sunday April 19th. Rather, said Mr Barak, turn up in Washington, DC, next month with your own Israeli peace plan. This should recognise the Palestinians’ right to an independent state but only subject to stringent limitations and qualifications in the interests of Israel’s security.

Former West Bank enemies find route to peace the Ulster way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The night before Shifa Alqudsi was going to blow herself up in a bomb attack on the Israeli town of Netanya she stayed up explaining it all to her seven-year-old daughter Diana, telling her to look for a star in the sky when she wanted to speak to her. Last week she told the story again, this time to the people she had wanted to kill, among them a soldier with a tale of how he once took part in an operation to murder Palestinians.

Israel Puts Iran Issue Ahead of Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider, Glenn Kessler - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The new Israeli government will not move ahead on the core issues of peace talks with the Palestinians until it sees progress in U.S. efforts to stop Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon and limit Tehran's rising influence in the region, according to top government officials familiar with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's developing policy on the issue.

Lieberman: Right of return makes Arab plan unacceptable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday his opposition to an Arab peace initiative stemmed from its demand for a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees to Israel proper. "The clause on the right of return cannot be agreed to," he declared at a cabinet meeting on the government's diplomatic policy. "This is a subject upon which there is wide agreement in the government and in the public as well." Lieberman's criticism of various peace efforts has stoked consternation in Israel and abroad.

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