Barak heads to U.S. in bid to end settlements row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak was set to head to the United States Monday in a bid to end a quarrel with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration over Israel's refusal to completely halt West Bank settlement construction. Barak is expected to propose two potential compromises on the matter: Either a temporary complete settlement freeze, or the limiting of building in settlement blocs to high-rise construction only.

Israel to build 50 West Bank homes for outpost evacuees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tomer Zarchin - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel will build 50 new homes in an existing West Bank settlement as part of a wider plan to absorb residents slated to be evicted from the illegal outpost of Migron. The complete plan calls for the construction of 1,450 homes in the settlement of Adam. The State Prosecutor's Office informed the High Court on Friday that 190 housing units will be built in the settlement of Adam in the first stage, in accordance with the plan, which was approved by the Defense Ministry in May.

Gaza residents 'live in despair'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Aleem Maqbool - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

In a report, it said that a main cause was the continuing Israeli blockade. The report comes six months after the end of Israel's military offensive in Gaza in which at least 1,100 Palestinians died. Israel said the offensive was aimed at curbing rocket attacks into southern Israel by Palestinian militants. The Red Cross says that the people of Gaza are unable to rebuild their lives and are sliding ever deeper into despair. There is not the cement or steel to reconstruct neighbourhoods hit by Israeli strikes.

Israel's settlements are on shaky ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Sarah Leah Whitson - June 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The debate over Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories is often framed in terms of whether they should be "frozen" or allowed to grow "naturally." But that is akin to asking whether a thief should be allowed merely to keep his ill-gotten gains or steal some more. It misses the most fundamental point: Under international law, all settlements on occupied territory are unlawful. And there is only one remedy: Israel should dismantle them, relocate the settlers within its recognized 1967 borders and compensate Palestinians for the losses the settlements have caused.

Israel alone cannot block peace progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Opinion) June 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is attempting to drum up support for his peace plan. He claimed that Europe had responded favourably to his conditions for a peaceable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, a refusal to resettle Palestinian refugees within Israel proper and that any future Palestinian state would be denied the right to an army or control over its borders and airspace.

U.N. fact-finding commission faces skepticism in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Reporting from The Gaza Strip -- A novel approach toward injecting international justice into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict got underway Sunday in this embattled enclave, but it left neither side particularly satisfied. Borrowing from the South African reconciliation experience, a United Nations fact-finding commission opened what it said was the first-of-its-kind public hearing to gather witness testimony about alleged war crimes during Israel's 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip in winter.

Netanyahu's Settlement Smoke Screens
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Opinion) June 27, 2009 - 12:00am

It has become a fixed feature in the Israeli media, almost like the weather forecast. Nearly every day come reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government is on the verge of a deal with President Obama to avoid a full freeze on construction in West Bank settlements. The sources are normally Israeli government officials, with an occasional American source speaking very far off the record.

A guide to Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Opinion) June 28, 2009 - 12:00am

In Cairo this month, President Obama urged Israel to stop settlement construction in the occupied territories. "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," he said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his own policy speech soon after, ardently defended the communities and the people who live in them. "The settlers are neither the enemies of the people nor the enemies of peace. Rather, they are an integral part of our people." So what's all the fuss? We present a guide for the perplexed. For starters, what's a settlement?

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