EU, PNA contact to set plan for ending Gaza blockade: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 7, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official revealed Monday that there are contacts between Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the European Union to submit a plan to the international Quartet for ending Gaza blockade. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that a number of European countries, including Spain and Switzerland, are contacting the PNA to discuss the ways possible to lift the blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007.

Israeli security forces clash with settlers while enforcing construction freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

A Border Police officer was lightly wounded during clashes in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, as security forces attempted to demolish an illegal structure there. This was the first clash in nearly a month. Two settler youths were arrested following the incident, on suspicion of hurling rocks at the special police unit. The forces were on sire to enforce demolition of a cabin and the foundations of another structure laid following declaration of the settlement freeze last December, The Border Police officer was hurt when a settler hurled a rock his way.

Turkey seeks strong regional pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tulay Karadeniz - June 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Turkey will seek the backing of its Middle Eastern and Asian neighbours at a regional summit on Tuesday to step up pressure on Israel over the killing of nine Turks on an aid ship bound for Gaza. Israel has already rejected a United Nations call for an international inquiry into its seizure of the ship last week, but Turkey, flexing its diplomatic muscle as one of the biggest military and economic powers in the region, is not giving up.

Israel awaiting U.S. green light for internal Gaza flotilla probe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer, Barak Ravid - June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces announced Monday that it will conduct its own internal investigation into last week's botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has appointed Maj. Gen. (res. ) Giora Eiland to head the probe. The panel is charged with analyzing the failures of, and learning lessons from, the commando raid on a Turkish-flagged ship, which left nine Turkish passengers dead and several dozen people wounded.

Analysis: The flotilla dynamic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted recently as saying the Mavi Marmara episode marked a turning point in the Middle East. Assad, as is his wont, was exaggerating. As bleak as things now seem for Israel – and they do indeed seem bleak – there is a need here for perspective.

ANALYSIS-UN rebukes of Israel permitted in US policy shift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Louis Charbonneau - June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Under President Barack Obama, the United States no longer provides Israel with automatic support at the United Nations where the Jewish state faces a constant barrage of criticism and condemnation. The subtle but noticeable shift in the U.S. approach to its Middle East ally comes amid what some analysts describe as one of the most serious crises in U.S.-Israeli relations in years. Under Obama, the United States seeks to reclaim its role as an impartial Middle East peace broker which critics say it lost during the previous administration of George W. Bush.

Israel’s Gaza policy has strengthened Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

The recent attempts to break the naval blockade of Gaza are the strongest evidence that the occupation over Gaza has never ended. When the Sharon government completed the disengagement from Gaza in 2005, foreign minister Tzipi Livni planned to announce to the UN General Assembly in September 2005 that Israel no longer occupied Gaza and that the international body is now responsible for the welfare of its people. The Legal Department of the Foreign Ministry informed her that she could not make that claim.

Abu Libdeh participates in Tel Aviv seminar on PA boycott
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Minister of National Economy Hasan Abu Libdeh arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon to participate in a seminar on the PA's boycott of settlement goods. Organized by the German Friedrich Ebert Fund, Tel Aviv University, and the Peres Center For Peace, Abu Libdeh said his attendance was meant to inform Israel that the settlement enterprise and its economy in the West Bank "are obstacles to the peace process and the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Challenger I passengers: Commandos shot first
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Mya Guarnieri - June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Alex Harrison, a British activist who participated in the Freedom Flotilla, was on the neighboring Challenger I when the Israeli army overtook the Mavi Marmara, leaving at least nine activists dead and dozens injured. An eyewitness to the takeover, Harrison told Ma'an what she saw in the moments before the Israeli army boarded the Mavi Marmara. "I was on the Challenger I, on the upper deck," Harrison said. "We were very close to the Marmara. We actually thought [the Israeli navy] was coming for us first."

Egypt keeps border with Gaza open
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
June 8, 2010 - 12:00am

After three years of co-operating in the Israeli blockade of Gaza, Egypt said that it will leave its border with the Palestinian territory open indefinitely for humanitarian aid and restricted travel. With international pressure building to ease the blockade, an Egyptian security official said on Monday that sealing off Hamas-ruled Gaza has only bred more militancy.

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