U.S. Weighs Tactics on Israeli Settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper - May 31, 2009 - 12:00am

As President Obama prepares to head to the Middle East this week, administration officials are debating how to toughen their stance against any expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The measures under discussion — all largely symbolic — include stepping back from America’s near-uniform support for Israel in the United Nations if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel does not agree to a settlement freeze, administration officials said.

44% of outpost land is Palestinian-owned, Peace Now says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Dan Izenberg, Tovah Lazaroff - May 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Peace Now on Sunday said that 44 percent of the land - 7,000 out of 16,000 dunams - on which 100 unauthorized West Bank outposts sit, is under private Palestinian ownership. Overall, it said, 80 of the outposts make some use of some private Palestinian land. In 37 cases, she added, more than 50% of the outpost makes use of Palestinian land. Another 17, she said, are totally built on Palestinian land.

PM won't freeze settlement construction for natural growth, 'Post' learns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel will not freeze settlement construction for natural growth, despite intense pressure from the Obama administration to do so, The Jerusalem Post has learned. While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has indicated that he will remove illegal settlement outposts, he is determined, the Post has learned, to continue building for natural growth in settlements beyond the security barrier. In Netanyahu's view, it is further understood that there is no reason housing units cannot be built inside the major settlement blocs for people who want to move there, as well as for natural growth.

Israeli Rejection of Settlement Freeze: Trouble for Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tim McGirk - June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

If President Barack Obama thought he could deliver the promise of a few Israeli concessions during his upcoming Cairo speech to the Muslim world, he was sorely mistaken.

Settlers seek takeover of East Jerusalem area
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli settlers are waging court battles to evict dozens of Palestinians from homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood, a move threatening to widen Israel's rift with U.S. President Barack Obama over settlements. They are trying to reclaim plots of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood which they say were owned by Jews before Israel's creation in 1948. They have already won property rights to six Arab homes, whose residents were subsequently evicted. Palestinians and an Israeli rights group say settlers are trying to evict a further 27 Arab families from 28 buildings.

ATFP was right to keep focusing on the settlements over the past year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) May 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Daniel Byman of Georgetown University points out in Laura’s posting mentioned below, “Over the past 15 years, settlements have gone from being seen in Washington as an irritant, to the dominant issue.” I think this is very well put. The Obama administration is absolutely right to be focusing with crystalline intensity on the question of the settlements. The settlements are a dagger aimed at the heart of peace based on two states, the only plausible option for ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Abbas vows to crack down on Hamas violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said following clashes between Fatah and Hamas in the West Bank Sunday that the Palestinian Authority would "strike with an iron fist" against anyone attempting to harm Palestinian interests. A Palestinian Authority (PA) official said that Sunday's fierce clashes in Qalqilya, which left six people dead, were part of the Authority's efforts to curb Hamas' increased activity in the West Bank, which includes resuming the activity of its military cells and obtaining arms and explosives.

Halutz: Conflict with US must be avoided
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Daniel Edelson - May 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Former IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (res) Dan Halutz, warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against engaging in a diplomatic conflict with the United States. He also reminded Netanyahu that despite criticisms regarding the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah has not attacked Israel since it ended.

What will happen if Israel 'defeats' Obama?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Editorial) June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

You had to read it twice to believe it: "Criticism of the United States in Jerusalem." A senior Israeli official warns: "We are disappointed." The fly hovering about is complaining that the elephant is not obeying its orders. What chutzpah on the part of Barack Obama. He just entered the White House and already has something to say - about how many new houses we are building in Ofra, and about when we will dismantle the walls in the "illegal outposts," which are already beginning to disintegrate because of old age.

Anti-Hamas crackdown sign of renewed PA confidence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas leader who was killed in a shootout with Palestinian policemen in Qalqilyah on Sunday had been on the Shin Bet security service's most wanted list for a long time. His terror network is believed to be responsible for the failed attempt to detonate an explosives-laden truck in the Dan region two years ago. It was the Palestinian Authority that finished the job - dealing Hamas in the West Bank a second blow, after last week's killing of another Hamas leader by an Israeli SWAT team near Hebron.

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