Mitchell, Gates, Jones to visit Jerusalem next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The American administration has decided to send an "airlift" of senior officials to Israel for talks with the Netanyahu government – Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, special Mideast envoy George Mitchell and National Security Advisor James Jones. The first to visit will be US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region, who will hold a series of meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Mitchell will land in Israel on Sunday as part of another effort to advance a resumption of the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

US: Too soon to discuss Israel sanctions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington believes it is too early to talk about imposing sanctions on Israel to force it to freeze settlement building in east Jerusalem, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday. "It's premature to talk about that," spokesman Robert Wood said when asked about the possibility of US financial sanctions. "What we are trying to do, as I said right now, is to create an environment which makes it conducive for talks to go forward," he added. "And you know, as I said, Senator Mitchell is working very hard on this."

PM: Separation fence won't be dismantled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Amnon Meranda - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected the Opposition's accusations during a Kadima-initiated Knesset plenum discussion on the subject "A failing and flip-flopping prime minister on the political and economic fronts." At the end of the discussion, 51 Knesset members voted in favor of the prime minister's announcement and 39 voted against it. Labor ministers abstained. Addressing the Palestinian demand to remove the separation fence, the prime minister clarified that it would "remain where it is. It won't be dismantled."

Israeli rabbis to U.S. Jews: Sway Obama administration in our favor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

A group of Israeli rabbis, headed by Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have sent a letter to U.S. rabbis and the President's Conference, urging them to exert political leverage in Israel's favor, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.

Envoy to U.S.: Differences on settlements to be resolved soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

There is no crisis in relations between Israel and the United States, despite a lingering dispute - which will be settled "soon" - over settlement construction in the occupied territories, Israel's new ambassador to Washington said Wednesday. "There is no crisis in Israel-U.S. relations. Here we are talking about disagreements over certain subjects, very, very specific," Michael Oren told Israel Radio.

Hamas: We won't stand in way of PA-Israel deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshal told a Russian diplomat a few days ago that his group would not stand in the way of a peace deal brokered between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel. Meshal reportedly told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov in Damascus that if Abbas comes to an agreement on a final settlement of the conflict with Israel, and if the agreement is approved in a Palestinian referendum, Hamas would not try to derail such an accord.

Is Israel serious about closing 23 fringe settlements?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - July 21, 2009 - 12:00am

A reported Israeli plan to forcibly evacuate 23 unauthorized settler outposts in a single day could finally fulfill a promise that successive Israeli governments have made to Washington, while minimizing the violence and bad public relations that have marred previous evacuations.

EXCLUSIVE: U.S., Israel at odds over 2003 settlements accord
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Eli Lake - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli officials Tuesday accused the Obama administration of failing to abide by an agreement allowing settlement construction, but a key Israeli negotiator said the deal was never implemented. The unfinished negotiation between the administrations of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush has contributed to rising tensions between the two allies since the Obama administration took office.

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