July 27th

Gaza judge tells female lawyers to wear head scarf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak, Diaa Hadid - July 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Gaza's top judge said Sunday that he has ordered female lawyers to wear Muslim headscarves when they appear in court, the latest sign that the Islamic militant group is increasingly imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic law on residents of the coastal strip. Supreme Court chief justice Abdul-Raouf Halabi said female lawyers will be required to wear a headscarf and a long, dark colored cloak under their billowing black robes when the court returns from its summer recess in September.

U.S. Envoy Visits Israel After Talks in Damascus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Middle East envoy George J. Mitchell held talks in Israel on Sunday after having a "candid and positive" discussion with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid a diplomatic push by Washington to restart stalled peace talks. Washington is committed to a "comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and that includes Israel and Palestine, Israel and Syria, Israel and Lebanon, and normal relations with all countries in the regions," Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office quoted Mitchell as saying after the two held talks in Tel Aviv.

In 2 West Bank Settlements, Sign of Hope for a Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner, Isabel Kershner - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Seen from afar, this fast-growing settlement embodies everything that the Obama administration wants to address through its demand for a freeze on settlement building: it sits on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and, with 45,000 residents and 60 births a week, it is the largest and fastest-growing Jewish community in the West Bank. If, as is widely believed abroad, “natural growth” by Israeli settlers is blocking the creation of a viable Palestinian state, this community should show why.

July 24th

Israeli derision at mufti-Hitler link
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Australian
by John Lyons - July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

ISRAEL'S colourful Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has sparked another controversy with an order to all Israel's overseas missions that they draw attention to a picture taken in Nazi Germany in 1941 showing Adolf Hitler with a Palestinian religious leader of the time. The order has been greeted inside the Israeli Foreign Ministry with derision, with one source telling The Australian it was met with "laughter, scepticism and a sense of misplaced communication that this doesn't help one bit the real argument".

Israeli Report Stirs Settlement Worries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Joshua Mitnick - July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

An Israeli nonprofit said the city of Jerusalem and Israel's government are helping Jewish settler groups convert parts of an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem into a tourist park, fanning international concern over Israeli expansion into areas claimed by Palestinians as their future state.

Israelis Wary of U.S.-Backed Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CBS News
by Robert Berger - July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Amid strong U.S. pressure for a settlement freeze, there is growing skepticism among Israelis about America's stance in the Middle East peace process. A poll published Friday in The Jerusalem Post shows that 64 percent of Israeli Jews believe Israel cannot trust international pledges for its security in return for dismantling settlements and withdrawing from the West Bank. Furthermore, Israelis want a quid pro quo: 71 percent believe that Palestinians must freeze West Bank construction if Israel is forced to do the same.

Israeli occupation is a hurdle to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Marwan Kabalan - (Opinion) July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The 1967 Arab-Israeli war was a watershed event in the Middle East. Its repercussions have shaped the history and politics of the region ever since. The war has also transformed the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, rendering it from an existential question into mere dispute over territories. During six days of almost one-sided hostilities, Israel captured a huge portion of Arab territories, including the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank of the River Jordan, and the Syrian Golan Heights. The status of these occupied territories has subsequently become the title of the conflict.

At Conference, Evangelicals Take On Netanyahu's Fight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - July 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Evangelical Christian supporters of Israel are taking on the Netanyahu government’s fight to ease mounting pressure from the Obama administration on the settlement issue. A three-day conference of Christians United For Israel (CUFI) held in Washington this week mobilized supporters, who according to organizers represent millions of followers throughout the country, to push back against what they see as unfair and uneven demands being imposed on Israel.

Israeli Arabs struggle for land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Sami Salameh has taken me to what used to be his home before the Israeli authorities flattened it. Metal rods and slices of skirting board are all that's left, among an expanse of sun-scorched wild grass. He has brought along some photographs and kicks the earth as he shows them to me. The wiry 65-year-old man is angry and emotional. "When the house collapsed so did my dreams," he says. He insists this plot of earth belonged to his family dating back to Ottoman times. But Israel has claimed it as state land. He is not allowed to build here now.

Poll: Israelis wary of PA leadership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Zack Colman - July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

A new poll, conducted during a week of heightened tensions between Israel and the US over settlement construction and stymied diplomatic negotiations, reveals in stark terms just how wary Israeli Jews are regarding the Palestinian leadership, and how distrustful they are about international assurances for the country's long-term security.

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