Clinton to AIPAC: Settlement activity undermines U.S. role in peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians should be serious and substantive, warning that new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank were jeopardizing progress and undermining U.S. mediation. "New construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides want and need," Clinton said in a speech to AIPAC, an influential pro-Israel lobby group, at its annual conference in Washington.

Abbas: Palestinian people have national right to resistance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said that the Palestinian people had a national right to resistance against Israeli occupation, adding that his government would not acquiesce to any Israeli demands with which it disagreed. Abbas was speaking after a meeting in Amman with U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell, who in turn urged the two sides to exercise restraint. The Obama administration was seeking to establish conditions for the stalled Israel-Palestinian talks to resume," he said. Advertisement

US urges restraint from Israel, Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Dale Gavlak - March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration is seeking to establish conditions for the stalled Israel-Palestinian talks to resume, U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Monday, urging the two sides to exercise restraint. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, said the Palestinians wanted to give "a chance" to indirect talks with Israel mediated by the United States.

MESS Report / Can anything douse the flames of West Bank unrest?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - (Opinion) March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The recent deterioration of calm in the West Bank, which involved two unpleasant incidents that occurred in less than 24 hours, are continuing to raise the heat of the West Bank barometer. Advertisement A week after the failed Palestinian attempt to ignite riots in Jerusalem and the West Bank over the building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Ramat Shlomo, Israel is now fanning the flames with the deaths of four unarmed Palestinians at the hands of Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

In Gaza, theatre gives critics a rare voice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Live theatre is rare in the Gaza Strip; public criticism of its Islamist rulers is rare too. So perhaps it was no surprise that a play which gives vent to Palestinian's frustrations with their leaders should be a hit. "The Cord", which opened this month to audiences of 1,000 or more in Gaza's main auditorium, takes aim at all the parties involved in the bitter, sometimes bloody, divisions that have hobbled the drive for an independent Palestinian state.

PA distributes assistance to poor, disabled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The Office of the President distributed financial assistance to a number of needy families and people with disabilities on Thursday, in cooperation with the Al-Bireh and Ramallah governorate. The assistance was provided to 40 families, and distributed by the head of the president's Office of Humanitarian Assistance, the director of public affairs and the head of the economic and social affairs section.

'Pitchfork remained on ground during purported attack'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hanan Greenberg - March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Was a pitchfork attack thwarted? Many serious question marks are brought up by the IDF's initial investigation into the functioning of the soldiers involved in Sunday's incident next to Awatra in which two Palestinians carrying a pitchfork were killed by IDF soldiers. At the end of the debriefings on the incident and on the incident that took place on Saturday in which two other Palestinians were killed during a protest near Nablus, investigation material will be passed on to the military prosecutor, where it will be decided whether the military police will launch an investigation.

Ban shocked at persisting ruin of Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

On his first visit to Gaza since the end of Israel's Operation Cast Lead, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the ongoing siege "not sustainable" adding that the continued closure "is wrong." More than a year after he spoke in front of the smoldering remains of the UN warehouse in Gaza City, hit by Israeli missiles during the December 2008-January 2009 war, Ban addressed Gazans in Khan Younis, saying they "are striving to provide for their families amid unacceptable, unsustainable conditions."

Security sources say settlers behind fire on Israeli patrol car
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian security source cast doubt Monday on Israeli news reports alleging young men opened fire at an Israeli patrol car south of Hebron overnight. The incident, where young men were said to have attacked an Israeli military patrol car near the Nahal Negohot settlement, was reported by several Israeli media outlets, all unsourced. The Palestinian security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said security services learned from the Israeli liaison department that the news reports about shooting in the area were false.

Taking cue from US anger, Mahmoud Abbas digs in heels
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

With Israel-US ties in crisis and tensions subsiding after the worst riots in Jerusalem in years, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dug in his heels on peace talks on Wednesday. Sharing US anger over the announcement of a 1,600 home building project in East Jerusalem during Vice President Joe Biden's visit last week, Abbas retreated to a prerequisite that he dropped just a week ago in order to give a chance to a US initiative for indirect negotiations.

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