Bad time for Israel settlements fight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

This week in Israel, Vice President Joe Biden found out something that he’s probably known for quite some time: No good deed goes unpunished. Shortly after Biden arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday, to reassure the Israelis and coordinate efforts on Iran and other issues, Israel’s Ministry of the Interior announced the construction of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem.

The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Marc Perry - (Analysis) March 13, 2010 - 1:00am

On Jan. 16, two days after a killer earthquake hit Haiti, a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command (responsible for overseeing American security interests in the Middle East), arrived at the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. The 33-slide, 45-minute PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen.

Jail ordeal of hundreds of Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - March 14, 2010 - 1:00am

With more than 300 Palestinian children being held in Israeli prisons, human rights groups and Palestinian officials are increasingly concerned about the actions of the Israeli military. The Israeli group B'Tselem said that security forces had "severely violated" the rights of a number of children, aged between 12 and 15, who had been taken into custody in recent months.

Even Labor ministers oppose halting east Jerusalem building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - (Analysis) March 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received backing from his ministers and the parties in his coalition Sunday as he faced a deepening crisis in Israel’s relations with the American administration. While officials in Washington were quoted as saying that Netanyahu would have to choose between his ties with US President Barack Obama’s government and his coalition partners, ministers and MKs took steps to ensure that he would not have to make such a difficult choice.

For PA, Ramat Shlomo brouhaha is a godsend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

The crisis that erupted last week between the US and Israel over plans to build 1,600 new homes in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood has been welcomed by the Palestinian Authority as a “positive development.” PA officials and media outlets have since been highlighting – with a tone full of satisfaction – every single report or statement about the crisis between Jerusalem and Washington.

Settlements or us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Horovitz - (Analysis) March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Binyamin Netanyahu had thought that the crisis was over.

Estimate: De-facto freeze in J'lem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel faces no choice but to enforce a de-facto construction freeze in greater Jerusalem. Netanyahu won't officially announce it, but will quietly execute it, says a senior cabinet source Amidst crisis with the White House, how will Israel respond to the American demands? According to a senior source in the government, "The price for the American insult will be a de-facto construction freeze across greater Jerusalem. There will be no other choice, due to the government's stupidity," the source told Ynet.

Settlers' call sends Palestinian shepherd to IDF beating
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

The response from the Israel Defense Forces spokesman came surprisingly quickly; a mere two or three hours after the query had been sent by Haaretz, the spokesman replied orally, and then in writing, that "following the reporter's question and after receiving most of the facts, the chief [military] prosecutor, Col. Jana Modzagbrishvili has instructed the military police to look into the matter." The matter, according to most of the facts, was that soldiers had beaten a civilian, who was bound and blindfolded, for several hours on January 7.

IDF declares West Bank protest villages a 'closed military area'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

The army has declared the West Bank villages of Bil'in and Ni'lin a 'closed military area' until August 17, it emerged Monday. In arresting a demonstrator on Friday, police cited a military edict closing off the two villages, where weekly protests against the barrier Israel is erecting around the West Bank have often turned violent. Bil'in residents told Haaretz that late on Friday night dozens of soldiers, some of them masked, deployed throughout the village to post notices of the order, signed on February 17 by the chief of army Central Command, Gen. Avi Mizrahi.

Israel envoy: U.S. ties at their lowest ebb in 35 years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has told the country's diplomats there that U.S.-Israeli relations face their worst crisis in 35 years, despite attempts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office to project a sense of "business as usual." Oren was speaking to the Israeli consuls general in a conference call on Saturday night.

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