May 24th

Australia expels Israeli diplomat over Mabhouh hit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Australia has expelled an Israeli diplomat after a probe revealed Israel was behind the forging of four Australian passports linked to the murder of a Hamas operative in Dubai, various media outlets reported Monday. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told parliament that Israel's conduct was "not the actions of a friend," the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Israeli army to ease some restrictions on WB movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli army said Monday evening that it would relieve some of the restrictions placed upon travel in the West Bank, after meeting with Palestinian Authority officials, a statement read. The apparent "good will gestures" include the entry of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and ID cards through all checkpoints into the West Bank, and Tulkarem via the 104 checkpoint at weekends. Restrictions will be eased on senior Palestinian businessmen going through checkpoints and 60 roadblocks will be lifted throughout the West Bank, the army said.

Borders key to peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Houston Chronicle
by EDWARD P. DJEREJIAN - May 22, 2010 - 12:00am

As U.S. Middle East peace special envoy George Mitchell holds proximity talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, he will have to immediately address two of the timeliest issues in the conflict: the future borders of Israel and a Palestinian state and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The settlements — which are illegal under international law — have been described by both Republican and Democratic administrations as an obstacle to peace.

Hamas faces financial crisis after three-year Israeli blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - May 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas has failed to pay in full the monthly salaries of its roughly 30,000 civilian and security employees in the past two months, signaling that the Islamist organization may be in the throes of its first financial crisis since it seized control of Gaza in 2007. "The government is facing a crisis," said Hamas lawmaker Jamal Nassar last month. "The siege on the [Hamas-run] Palestinian government has been tightened recently and because of this it has been unable to bring in funds from abroad."

Transcript: Shimon Peres
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
(Interview) May 24, 2010 - 12:00am

In an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Peres said Israel's survival as a Jewish state depended on its ability to conclude a two-state peace deal with the Palestinians. Below is an edited transcript. The Wall Street Journal: Where should we begin?

On being an Arab lawmaker in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - May 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Ahmad Tibi, a member of Israel's parliament, talks about why he thinks democracy in Israel applies only to Jewish citizens, why he'll never accept Israel as a Jewish state and why he'll never leave. Reporting from Jerusalem As one of Israel's few Arab lawmakers, Ahmad Tibi knows how to fight to be heard, even when colleagues don't want to listen.

No Worries, Israel Insists, Defense Drill Is Just a Drill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - May 23, 2010 - 12:00am

As Israel embarked on a large-scale civil defense exercise on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to reassure Israelis and some jittery Arab neighbors that the nationwide drill was not meant to signal a deterioration in security or an imminent war. “This is a routine exercise that has been scheduled for some time,” Mr. Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I would like to make it clear that it is not the result of any exceptional security development. On the contrary, Israel aspires towards calm, stability and peace.”

May 21st

Israel is shooting itself in the foot - and the back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Jonathan Power - May 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Too many Jews in Israel don’t want a settlement with the Palestinians. At every turn, whatever the compromising rhetoric of those at the top of the pyramid of power, there are enough hardliners with enormous influence that are determined to undermine such a deal. This became abundantly clear when, in 1995, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, in the process of reaching out to the Palestinians, was murdered by an extremist Jewish militant. Although there was an outpouring of grief, there were a good 30 to 40 per cent who thought, and even said, “good riddance”.

Heat rises in boycott of Israeli settlers' goods
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - May 21, 2010 - 12:00am

As thousands of volunteers took to the streets of the West Bank to distribute lists of companies whose products the Palestinian Authority wants to ban from shelves in shops and homes, Israeli groups representing settlers and manufacturers mulled their own response to what is quickly becoming a new front in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Can Palestinians peacefully build a state?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

A PORTLY official from the office of the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, planted a kiss on Musa Abu Mariya’s right eye, enveloped him in a bear hug and sped off in his sport utility vehicle trailing a cloud of dust. Mr Abu Mariya organises protests in Beit Omar, a town on the West Bank, against Israel’s appropriation of land for settlements and security walls that can cut through Palestinian farms and hurt the villagers’ livelihood. As official visits go, it was better than most. But the kiss left Mr Abu Mariya squirming.

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