Turkey may not send Israel envoy back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

A government official says Turkey is considering downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel and reviewing economic and military cooperation unless Jerusalem takes steps to make amends for the deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships. The official said Thursday Turkey wants Israel to apologize for the raid, return the seized ships, agree to an international investigation and offer compensation for the victims. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules. The official said Turkey's envoy will not return if demands are not met "within a reasonable timeframe."

Twins under siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Two or three times a week Defense Minister Ehud Barak's bureau receives a telephone call from the White House. On the line is Biden - Vice President of the United States Joe Biden. The conversation between Joe and Ehud is almost always friendly, almost always solving difficult problems amicably. Joe is what America used to be and Ehud is what Israel used to be. Together they're trying to restore the American-Israeli alliance to what it used to be.

Assad: War likely after flotilla raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla has increased the chances of war in the Middle East, in a BBC interview on Wednesday. Assad said that Syria was working to prevent a regional war but he added that there was no chance of a peace deal with the current Israeli administration, which he called a "pyromaniac government".

Canada: Israel's new defender
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jesse Rosenfeld - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

At a time when many countries are becoming more critical of Israel's policies, Canada seems to be moving in the opposite direction. A general reluctance to engage in open debate about the Palestinian issue is exacerbated by pro-Israel groups' efforts to shut down discussion and the federal government's unprecedented penchant for defending Israeli actions.

Top Palestinian journalist barred from Jerusalem due to 'security considerations'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Melman - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

The latest gimmick of the Israeli occupation under the guise of "security considerations" has emerged. The test subject: Nasser Laham, a Palestinian journalist from Bethlehem who is close with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and who advocates peace with Israel.

Lifting Gaza blockade linked with inter-Palestinian reconciliation: Fatah official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Hamada al-Hattab, Osama Radi - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

A Gaza-based senior official in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party said Wednesday that ending the three-year Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip is linked with reaching an inter-reconciliation treaty. Zakareya al-Agha, member of Fatah central committee and Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee, told Xinhua in a special interview on the occasion of Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip by force for three years that "Lifting the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip is linked with reaching a real inter-Palestinian reconciliation."

Arab nations urged to meet aid promises
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab countries have been urged to use more of their oil wealth to help the Palestinians after figures showed they contributed only 1.5 per cent of the general budget for the United Nations agency charged with supporting the Palestinian refugee community.

Push To Sanction Backers of Gaza Flotilla Gains Steam in U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington — Jewish groups, working with congressional leaders, are pressing to designate one of the main organizers of the humanitarian flotilla that sought to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a terrorist group.

Abbas: Palestinian, U.S. positions "completely identical"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he feels the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) and the U.S. administration's positions are completely identical. Abbas, who returned Wednesday to the West Bank after visiting five countries, including the United States, said "the most important thing in this tour is that the U.S. and Palestinian positions were completely identical." "There are no differences between me and President Barack Obama on any issue," Abbas told the Ramallah-based al-Ayyam newspaper.

Hamas calls Israeli decision to ease siege "trick"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Gaza-ruling Islamic Hamas movement on Thursday described Israel's decision to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip as "a trick." "This is a new trick aiming at enhancing the siege's image and securing its continuation instead of lifting and ending it," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Xinhua. The Israeli security cabinet, which comprises top ministers, on Thursday approved a series of measures to increase cargo flow to the Hamas-controlled territory as a result of international criticism over the effectiveness of the sanctions that Israel has imposed three years ago to isolate Hamas.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017