Settlers devise new strategy to scare away Palestinian neighbors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Some settlers are employing a new strategy to get Palestinians evicted from their land in the northern region of the Jordan Valley, Haaretz has learned. A number of settlers, some of whom are residents of the Maskiot settlement, set up a "protest" tent next to a tent belonging to Bedouin herdsmen near Wad el Maleh, on private Palestinian land. Last Thursday, after the Palestinians complained to the civil administration, both the Israelis and Palestinians there were handed decrees declaring the area a closed military zone, signed by brigade commander Yochai Ben-Yishai.

Hamas short on cash as Gaza blockade takes toll
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Rizek Abdel Jawad - May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas confirmed Sunday it is unable to pay thousands of government workers in full for a second straight month — a new sign that the Islamic militants are caught in what may be the most serious cash crunch in three years of ruling Gaza. Hamas dismisses rumors of a financial crisis, and insists its money woes are temporary. However, it has resorted to an unpopular tax drive to raise money, suggesting that a heavy blockade on the territory, an Egyptian crackdown on smuggling and an increasingly expensive government bureaucracy are taking their toll.

Netanyahu wants secret talks; PLO demands parameters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began to rally their negotiations teams Sunday, with US-mediated peace talks set to begin Monday via "discrete channels," Israeli press reported. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his advisers that he intends to open the talks in person, and according to news reports asked to be briefed on an “eight point” plan set out by the administration of former Israeli Minister Ehud Olmert, particularly around final-status issues.

Clinton in struggle for Israel's nuke secret
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Eli Lake - May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will try this week at the United Nations to keep the worst-kept secret in the Middle East: Israel's status as a nuclear power. In recent weeks, the U.S. government has held talks with Egypt on a proposal to eliminate nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The U.S. diplomacy on the proposal also has been coordinated closely with Israel, according to a senior White House official.

For Obama, room to maneuver on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Christi Parsons, Paul Richter - May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

President Obama's altercations with the Israeli government have brought protests from U.S. groups that staunchly support Israel. But the administration retains substantial overall support among American Jewish voters, and that appears to be giving him political running room to ply his approach to the issue. Obama has criticized Israel for continuing to build Jewish housing in disputed territory, which the president says threatens efforts to restart peace talks, contributes to instability in the region and jeopardizes U.S. interests.

Censorship in Israel: 'A unique model'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Privy to the nation's top secrets, she keeps private ones pretty well too. "She" is Sima Vaknin-Gil, Israel's chief censor. It's her job to keep sensitive information that could harm state security out of the media. Appointed by the defense minister, she has tremendous powers but says she uses these sparingly, balancing state security and freedom of speech. Most democratic countries balk at censorship, but a recent poll shows half of Israel's Jewish population believes that freedom of expression is too free in Israel.

Who Lives in Sheik Jarrah?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Kai Bird - (Opinion) May 3, 2010 - 12:00am

As a boy, I lived in Sheik Jarrah, a wealthy Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Annexed by Israel in 1967 and now the subject of a conflict over property claims, my former home has come to symbolize everything that has gone wrong between the Israelis and Palestinians over the last six decades. Despite talk of a slowdown in Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, toured Washington earlier this week and told officials that the expansion into Arab neighborhoods is going ahead at full speed.

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