April 28th

Israeli forces demolish settlers' 'Obama's Shack'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Danielle Cheslow - April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli security forces demolished a handful of illegal structures in West Bank settlements Tuesday, including a wooden bunker that hard-line Jewish activists had defiantly named after President Barack Obama. Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinian protesters opposed to construction of Israel's West Bank separation barrier. In one incident, paramilitary border police wrestled a teenage boy to the ground, then fired pepper spray directly into his face to subdue him. The youth, screaming in pain, was then arrested.

Netanyahu is incapable of making peace - but does Israel care?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Opinion) April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Dinner at the home of a foreign diplomat, earlier this week. Two high-ranking visitors from the diplomat's home country listen as an Israeli delegation paints a less than encouraging picture of the Middle East. The Israelis - academics, journalists and a former negotiator in the peace process, all of them somewhere between the center and the left on the political map - are united in their prognosis: Things aren't what they were.

PNA says too early to begin indirect peace talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official on Wednesday said it was still early to start indirect peace talks with Israel which the United States had offered. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is still talking with Washington over its proposal. When the talks complete, Erekat said, the PNA will brief the Arab League (AL) on their results to make a decision. Last month, the AL and the PNA had approved the U.S. proposal, but Israel's announcement of building 1,600 houses for Jews in disputed East Jerusalem made the Palestinians balk at going ahead.

No fines now for Palestinian settlement workers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians who violate a new ban on working in Israeli settlements will be given time to find other employment before facing punishment, a top official said, reflecting just of how hard it will be to enforce the measure in the job-strapped West Bank. The law, which also prohibits the sale of Israeli settlement products in the West Bank, was signed this week by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Violators face up to five years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Israel's Ayalon sees talks restart within two weeks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

srael expects U.S. mediated peace talks with the Palestinians to resume sometime next month, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Wednesday. Ayalon's pronouncement was the latest in a series of statements by Israeli officials expressing optimism at the restart of talks stalled since December 2008. When asked in an interview on Israel Radio when the talks might resume, Ayalon said: "There is no final date yet, but I estimate that it is a matter of some two weeks." Ayalon was speaking from Washington where he held talks with U.S. officials.

Hamas warned: fear may give way to revolt in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Security forces of the Islamist group Hamas detained Palestinian political activists overnight for distributing leaflets urging them to ease up on the people of Gaza or face a possibly explosive revolt. An official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) told Reuters several members were arrested late on Tuesday and set free on Wednesday.

Silwan boys say beaten by settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Eleven- and 12-year-old Silwan boys said they were beaten by settlers in the Al-Bustan neighborhood on Tuesday night, with several witnesses corroborating the report. Muhammad Ar-Ruwaeidi, 11, and Mustafa Aj-Julani, 12, were admitted to the Hadassa Hospital in Al-Isawiya with minor bruising, and witnesses said at least one settler was injured in the ensuing fight. Witnesses told Ma'an that several Al-Bustan residents came to the aid of the two boys, who were both sitting near the protest tent of the Al-Kurd family near the home from which they were evicted last fall.

Israel expels citizen from Hebron to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

A 19-year-old Hebron resident was detained by Israeli forces Tuesday night, removed from the West Bank, and expelled into Gaza, security sources said. The young man, identified as Fadi Aiada Al-Azazma, had lived with his family in Hebron for 15 years. His identity card was reportedly issued in Gaza before he moved to the West Bank. According to witnesses, Israeli forces took Al-Azazma from his workplace in Hebron and detained him for hours before deporting him to Gaza via the Erez crossing.

Settlement ban fear of Palestinian labourers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - April 28, 2010 - 12:00am

It may only be April, but on the exposed hillside settlement of Har Gilo it already feels very hot. Perhaps for that reason not many people are out and about in this small, middle-class, Jewish enclave in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. And most of those who are walking around have, perhaps surprisingly, Palestinian faces. They are a group of construction workers, who laugh when you mention the Israeli government's self-declared "freeze" on building in settlements.

Israel quietly freezes new building in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - April 27, 2010 - 12:00am

If the Middle East peace process were a stock, it would be one of the riskiest investments on the market. But there are bullish indicators for renewed peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Both sides seem to be moving toward compromises which, although seemingly minor, might pave the way to the first serious peace talks since the failed Annapolis process that began in late 2007.

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