April 26th

Netanyahu must stop East Jerusalem construction if he wants peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

After the latest round of talks with Special U.S. Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, a cautious hope is emerging that indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with American mediation, will begin in the first half of May. As reported by Haaretz on Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the talks, although he has not been able to secure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a public and explicit commitment to a total freeze on construction for Jews in East Jerusalem for the duration of the negotiations.

News Analysis: U.S. ups Mideast diplomatic activity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell was making his way back to Washington on Sunday after three days of meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders. The veteran American diplomat is expected back in the region next week as part of a serious American push to reboot the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Meeting Mitchell on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel's face was turned towards peace.

Hamas uses new technique in psychological war with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A superbly-made futuristic animated cartoon broadcast by the Islamist Hamas movement on Sunday is creating waves in Israel. It is thought to be the first of its kind from the military wing of Hamas that does not depend on the traditional images of brave Hamas warriors fighting against Israel. The film wants to send the message that unless there is a real change in thinking on the part of the Israeli government, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will be returned to his family in a coffin rather than standing on his own feet.

Hamas releases animated Shalit video on web
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A video produced by Hamas' armed wing the Al-Qassam Brigades, will broadcast a 3D animated video of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Sunday, over the movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station.

Hamas fighter killed by Israeli forces
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli forces besieged the home of a prominent Hamas fighter on Monday morning in Beit Awwa, southern Hebron, and later killed him, witnesses said. Eyewitnesses told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers were seen taking Ali Sweiti's body after demolishing the home of his wife's sister, where he was believed to be hiding.

Gaza Strip moves to preserve its abundant ancient treasure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Better known for its long-running conflict, the Gaza Strip also has a reputation as an archaeological treasure-trove. When laborers stumbled on an ancient hoard of 1,300 silver coins and the walls of a 3,300-year-old city in the southern town of Rafah in January, it was a fresh reminder that the tiny territory maintains a rich past. At least a dozen major empires have conquered this tiny territory – including the Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and British. They left behind everything from walled fortresses to alabaster jewelry to bronze weaponry.

Sharing a West Bank highway proves a tall order for Israel, Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

For eight years, Israeli commuters have whizzed between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Highway 443, a road whose West Bank portion is lined with barriers, off-limits to Palestinians who live along the way. Naji Suliman, mayor of the Palestinian community of Beit Ur al-Tahta, thought that would change after a decision by Israel's Supreme Court calling for the ban on Palestinians to be lifted by May. Then, after meeting with an Israeli military commander last week, Suliman concluded that Israel's actions came "just for public relations."

Signs of Life for Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - April 23, 2010 - 12:00am

The American envoy to the Middle East, George J. Mitchell, planned to meet on Friday with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, a sign that indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may be getting back on track, officials from all three parties said. In advance of encounters with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, separately, with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, Mr. Mitchell met on Friday with the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, Reuters reported, but no details of the discussions were made public.

Israeli Rightists Stir Tensions in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

A small group of ultra-right-wing Israelis marched through a volatile neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Sunday, arousing passions over the future of the contested city as an American envoy wrapped up an inconclusive three-day visit aimed at getting peace talks under way. The Obama administration’s Middle East envoy, George J. Mitchell, met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders over the weekend in an effort to reach understandings that will allow the start of indirect, American-brokered negotiations.

Of stones and glass houses
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - April 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has recently returned to condemning Palestinians and their leadership over what it calls "acts of incitement". It is clear that Israel is trying to draw attention away from the important issues on the table. This is a strong indication of the predicament that faces the country in light of mounting pressure from the international community, especially the US, to cease the illegal expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

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