February 24th

Bilin: IDF moves olive trees to east side of fence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Another step has been proposed to solve the ongoing conflict near the Palestinian town of Bilin, which has protested for five years over the routing of the West Bank security fence. The IDF spokesman said Wednesday that work had begun to move olive trees from the western side of the planned route to the eastern side, to an area west of Ramallah. The IDF said the work is being carried out for the Ministry of Defense by a private contractor, in coordination with the land's owners, the Civil Administration and the IDF.

Why does Israel continue to dismiss Obama's Mideast peace efforts?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gabi Sheffer - (Analysis) February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Most Israelis, including the heads of the defense establishment and politicians led by the prime minister and the foreign minister, categorically state that U.S. President Barack Obama will never solve the Israeli-Arab conflict. This lack of confidence in and sympathy for Obama have accompanied him, unjustifiably, since the day he began campaigning for the presidency - and has only intensified following his election. The disrespect toward him and his administration is unwarranted; there is no doubt that it is connected to Obama's ethnic background.

Netanyahu faces double intifada from Palestinians and settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Analysis) February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is busy day and night, preparing Israel for a fateful confrontation with Iran. But his real problem may occur elsewhere. The territories are heating up, with the Palestinians escalating their protests against the settlements and the separation fence. The settlers, meanwhile, can smell Netanyahu's weakness and are undermining the authority of the state.

Hamas founder's son worked for Shin Bet for years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - February 23, 2010 - 1:00am

The son of a leading Hamas figure, who famously converted to Christianity, served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service's most valuable source in the militant organization's leadership, Haaretz has learned. Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of terrorist cells, and to the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Israeli figures.

What is behind Israeli-Palestinian cultural wars?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to add two West Bank shrines to a list of Israeli national heritage sites has drawn harsh condemnation from the Palestinians. Deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya on Tuesday called for popular uprising in the West Bank to protest Israel's decision, one day after Israeli security personnel and Palestinians clashed in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli forces roll in two parts of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

sraeli forces carried out three low- scale incursions into the Gaza Strip, sparking armed clashes with Palestinian militants, witnesses and security sources said Wednesday. Two of the raids targeted the eastern parts of Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip and one in Beit Lahiya town in northwest Gaza, the sources said. Residents said sounds of gunfire and blasts were heard in the areas during the incursions which started after dawn. There has been no word on casualties.

Hamas lawmaker hints at Israeli security breach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

A Hamas lawmaker on Wednesday hinted that an Israeli security breach to his Islamic movement was possible. "When the movements become victims of security breach, they should announce this openly," said Mahmoud Al-Rumhi, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), based in the West Bank. "The movements of resistance are always the subject of many attempted breaches through spies and Israel has facilities enabling it to try spying on the factions. It might had succeeded in some cases and failed in others," he told reporters.

With talks stalled, Mideast "alternatives" aired
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alastair MacDonald - (Analysis) February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has lost its global audience as both sides haggle over talks about talks on issues the world thought were long settled. Don't let it fool you. Here on the ground in this Belgium-size bit of Mediterranean coast a new war is raging, so far of words, over the "two-state solution" so consensually accepted in the West since the 1990s.

In seaside Gaza, fish in short supply
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

With their fishermen at risk of being shot at by the Israeli navy, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are finding new ways to supply the blockaded territory with a staple that is in short supply. Seafood is coming into the Mediterranean enclave through tunnels from Egypt and fish farms are starting to fill a supply gap resulting from restrictions that stop fishermen from venturing more than 3.4 miles (5.5 km) from the coast.

Abbas: Heritage row could spark war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas warned Tuesday that Israel's plan to nationalize religious landmarks in the occupied West Bank could lead to war. Speaking in Brussels, Abbas slammed an announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem Israeli "national heritage sites." Netanyahu hit back shortly after the remarks, which his office described as a "campaign of lies and hypocrisy," the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

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