The politics behind the West Bank settlement fight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Globe and Mail
by Patrick Martin - May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Hoping to satisfy the demands of Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war this week on two dozen Jewish settler outposts he considers illegal in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This already battered hillside trailer park is one of them. Givat Assaf (“the hill of Assaf”) is situated a few kilometres northeast of the Palestinian town of Ramallah. The small cluster of about 18 caravans was erected in April, 2001. Its synagogue, paved lanes and quaint road signs lend the community an aura of permanence.

Closer to statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

It used to be that the first visit by a new Israeli prime minister to Washington was a walkover. The Americans would swear their support and tell those concerned in the region that Israel would always be top dog. The message was clear: anyone wanting to stay on Washington's good side must be nice to Israel too.

Backers of Jewish Settlements Put Squeeze on Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Supporters of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank are increasing the pressure on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as he steers between a government coalition that supports continued building in the area and President Obama's demand that it stop.

Israeli Settlement Growth Must Stop, Clinton Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The Obama administration reiterated emphatically on Wednesday that it viewed a complete freeze of construction in settlements on the West Bank as a critical step toward a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians. Speaking of President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “He wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not ‘natural growth’ exceptions.” Talking to reporters after a meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, she said: “That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly.”

Abbas to present peace plan to Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

In his meeting with US President Barack Obama on Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to propose the establishment of a supervisory committee, which would work under the Middle East Quartet in order to ensure that both Israel and the Palestinians are complying with their commitments. According to Israel Radio, in a meeting in Washington on Wednesday night, Abbas said that he will present Obama with new ideas connecting the Road Map plan and the Arab League peace initiative.

Key Lawmakers Are Opposing Israeli Policy On Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

For the first time in America’s decades of jousting with Israel over West Bank settlements, an American president seems to have succeeded in isolating the settlements issue and disconnecting it from other elements of support for Israel.

Hamas vows revenge after leader killed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Senior Hamas commander Abdel Majid Dudin, responsible for series of deadly terror attacks in Israel, killed in West Bank gunfight with police force attempting to arrest him; organization blames PA cooperation with 'Zionist enemy'

Abbas pushing pan-Arab peace with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian president will be pushing President Barack Obama on Thursday to facilitate peace with Israel through a larger solution to the Middle East conflict. Top Palestinian officials traveling with President Mahmoud Abbas said he was working to repackage a 2002 Saudi Arabian plan that called for exchange of Arab land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war for normalized relations with Arab countries.

Amnesty: Israel repeatedly breached rules of war in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Amnesty International has accused Israel of repeatedly violating the rules of armed conflict during its recent offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. "Israeli forces repeatedly breached the laws of war, including by carrying out direct attacks on civilians and civilian buildings and attacks targeting Palestinian militants that caused a disproportionate toll among civilians," the human rights watchdog said in its annual report.

Netanyahu letting settlers keep the upper hand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - (Analysis) May 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The trend is clear. In a few weeks Israel will be asked to take the first steps in removing the outposts in the West Bank. The settlements are not necessarily topping the Obama administration's agenda, but the Americans have been insistent enough that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to show a willingness to act on the ground. Netanyahu's stance before his party colleagues in the Knesset on Tuesday, where he suggested that the Iranian nuclear program is more important than the future of the outposts, marked the start of an effort to prepare the ground for a move.

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