In boost for Hamas, top Arab diplomat visits Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ibrahim Barzak - June 13, 2010 - 12:00am

The Arab world's top diplomat declared support Sunday for the people of blockaded Gaza in his first visit to the Palestinian territory since Hamas violently seized control of it three years ago. The visit was latest sign that Israel's deadly raid on a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza has eased the diplomatic isolation of the Islamic militant group. Israel, meanwhile, appeared to grow more isolated in the fallout over the May 31 raid as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly canceled plans Sunday to visit Paris.

Separate roads push West Bank Arabs to the byways
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ben Hubbard - June 13, 2010 - 12:00am

For the thousands of Palestinians who travel daily between the north and south West Bank, there is only one route: a steep and narrow track up and down a canyon with 15 hairpin turns and the scars of frequent accidents. Wadi Nar means "the Valley of Fire," a place where brakes fail, clutches burn up, engines stall and people die. The ride up and down the canyon walls is among the worst routes Palestinian motorists must use to circumnavigate the towns, army posts and well-maintained highways built for Israelis on land the Palestinians claim for a future state.

Israel's Barak calls off Paris visit amid threats
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's defense minister is canceling a planned visit to Paris amid threats by pro-Palestinian groups to have him arrested there. Ehud Barak was to dedicate a new Israeli booth at the Eurosatory arms fair in Paris, which opens this week. But his office announced Sunday that he would stay home while Israel forms a committee to investigate its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. Pro-Palestinian activists had threatened to try to have charges brought against him for his role in the raid, which killed nine Turkish activists at sea.

EU, Blair expect Israel to soften Gaza blockade soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Luke Baker - June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has agreed in principle to begin easing its three-year-old blockade on Gaza "in days", Middle East envoy Tony Blair said on Monday. Blair said that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days he believed there was now a willingness to allow the entry of more goods into the territory. "In respect of the closure policy, I hope very much in the next days we will get the in-principle commitment that we require, but then also steps beginning to be taken," he told reporters, referring to Israeli commitments.

Beatings, arrests, nighttime raids and dubious indictments
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

M., a Haaretz reader from Zichron Yaakov, was disturbed by reports about the manner in which Palestinian children are arrested in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are being detained held in the middle of the night, held in conditions of fear and pain before their interrogations, and then finally interrogated without the presence of their parents or a lawyer.

Israeli policeman killed in W.Bank attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Suspected Palestinian gunmen shot dead an Israeli policeman and wounded two others in an attack on their vehicle in the occupied West Bank on Monday, police and an emergency service said. "This was definitely a terrorist attack. It was carried out on an ordinary police vehicle and forces are now combing the scene," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. There was no claim of responsibility from any Palestinian group for the attack near the town of Hebron in the southern West Bank.

B'Tselem: 83 Palestinians, Israeli Arabs killed in Gaza, West Bank since Cast Lead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Eighty-three Palestinians and seven Israeli Arabs have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-2009, according to the annual report of the B'Tselem human rights group, which was released Sunday. Of the dead, 31 did not participate in hostilities, nine were killed by Palestinian security forces and two were executed for allegedly collaborating with Israel, the report said. Two-thirds of those killed lived in the Gaza Strip.

Penpix of Israel's flotilla affair inquiry panel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel on Monday announced the establishment of an independent public commission of inquiry into its actions when intercepting a Gaza-bound flotilla of ships last month. These are brief profiles of the members of the three-man commission and its two international observers: * - Chairman, Jacob Turkel, 75 - Former Israeli supreme court justice, born in Tel Aviv in 1935, an expert in civil law retired from the bench in 2005. Described by Israeli pundits as a conservative jurist, who also say he has little experience in inquiry commissions. He still sits on a military court appeals panel.

Robert Wexler, has Abbas given you any hope for the peace process?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - (Interview) June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

During his visit to Washington last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with some 30 Jewish-American community leaders and former senior government officials at the Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace for a serious discussion on the peace process. Former U.S. congressman and Abraham Center president Robert Wexler, you hosted the encounter between the PA president and Jewish-American leaders. Do you see any hope as a result of the meeting?

PA denies report Abbas maintaining Gaza siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 14, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority denied Israeli media reports on Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas asked his US counterpart for a continuation of Gaza's blockade, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh told reporters on Sunday. "President Abbas had raised the issue of the necessity of lifting the blockade as a matter on a par with the fate of the peace process," Abu Rudaineh told the Palestinian Authority-run WAFA news agency about a Wednesday meeting between the two heads of state, where the request was allegedly made.

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