Is peace a means or an end for Obama?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Marwan Al Kabalan - April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

On Tuesday, Barack Obama celebrated his 100-day mark as the president of the US. Analysts from around the world have since tried to reflect on whether he has done enough to tackle the enormous challenges facing America and the world. For Middle Easterners, progress towards achieving just and comprehensive peace is the yardstick to measure Obama's success.

Abbas to name new Palestinian govt leader soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) — Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will soon name a prime minister to form a new government to replace the outgoing cabinet of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, his spokesman said Thursday. "President Abbas intends to form soon a broad government," Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement. He denied media reports that Abbas had decided to ask Fayyad, who stepped down on March 7, to form a government that would exclude any member of the Islamist Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip. "It is not true," he said.

Confidence building and human trust
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Naomi Chazan - April 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The Obama administration is vigorously advocating the revival of confidence-building measures to invigorate diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in a comprehensive regional context. To date, the focus has been entirely on the formal level. The most obvious, the most elementary and the most sorely needed step is ignored: nurturing human contacts between Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu may accept ‘some form’ of Arab plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

RANMALLAH: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to tell US President Barack Obama that Israel will accept “some form” of the Arab Peace Initiative, the daily Jerusalem Post reported yesterday. The Post quoted sources close to the policy review being undertaken by the new Israeli government, Israel will compromise on the Palestinian issue to obtain more direct and aggressive US assistance on the Iranian front.

New PA unit fights anarchy in Nablus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recently established a special unit to spearhead its battle against lawlessness in the West Bank city of Nablus and nearby villages, Ynet has learned. Following Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, the PA began implementing wide-scale reforms, under US supervision, in its security services. As part of the reorganization, security personnel underwent training abroad to deal with the disorder throughout the PA, with a special emphasis being placed on increased cooperation between the various units.

Netanyahu aides fear 'surprise' demands from Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu's aides fear that U.S. President Barack Obama will "surprise" the prime minister with unanticipated ideas and demands at the leaders' upcoming meeting in Washington on May 18. A political source in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu's associates have been recently discussing a scenario in which Obama makes unequivocal demands on issues like West Bank settlement construction, illegal outposts and negotiations with the Palestinians.

IDF attacks Gaza tunnels following Qassam hit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel Air Force aircraft on Friday bombed two smuggling tunnels along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, in response to a Qassam fired by militants from coastal territory the previous day, and which hit the western Negev. The rocket, which struck an open field, was the first to hit the Negev after a period of relative calm. No injuries or damages were reported in the strike. There was also no word of casualties from the IAF response, which targeted tunnels on the Philadelphi Route.

Acid foreign policy test
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Arnaud De Borchgrave - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The struggle in Afghanistan and Pakistan ("AfPak") is President Obama's most urgent foreign policy and national security priority. Taliban insurgents, with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s slung over their shoulders walk the streets of Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, unchallenged by police or army. The pro al Qaeda Taliban insurgency in Pakistan proper spread to within 60 miles of Islamabad, the capital of one of the world's eight nuclear powers. Pakistani helicopter gunships are now in action against homegrown guerrillas.

U.N. Seeks End to Razing of Homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The United Nations is calling on Israel to freeze all pending demolition orders against Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem in a new report that reflects growing international concern over developments in the contested city. The report also urges Israel to provide solutions to the housing crisis there.

Interview of U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

DERGHAM/AL HAYAT: Let me start Ambassador, this May 11 meeting organized by the Russians on the Middle East at the Ministerial level here at the Security Council. Will you be representing the United States or will it be Secretary Clinton? AMBASSADOR RICE: Washington has not made a formal determination as to who will represent us, but either way we will be represented at the Ministerial level. DERGHAM/AL HAYAT: Meaning, because you are a cabinet member, obviously? AMBASSADOR RICE: Yes

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