Eiland: Flotilla was preventable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Maj.-Gen Giora Eiland said it was possible to prevent the May 31 flotilla to Gaza by political means, speaking in an interview with Reshet Bet Friday. "Three months before the flotilla there were many courses of action which could have prevented it," said Eiland, head of a military commission charged with conducting an internal investigation of the Gaza-bound flotilla, which was boarded by Israeli commandos and left nine Turkish citizens dead.

Israel gives green light to armored vehicles for Palestinian Authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

The defense establishment has advised the government to allow the Palestinian Authority to import 50 Russian-made armored vehicles - something Israel has been refusing to do for five years now.

F-35 jet purchase decision pending
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks regarding the purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), senior defense officials said on Wednesday. This would make Israel the first foreign customer to sign a contract to purchase the advanced stealth fighter jet. Defense Ministry Dir.-Gen. Udi Shani convened a meeting with top IDF officers Wednesday evening to discuss the potential deal, which is expected to be decided upon at a meeting later this month that will be chaired by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Abbas warns Fatah to get organized or die
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned the Fatah party he leads that its days are numbered unless it puts its house in order. His remarks underscore the troubles facing a party in decline since the death of Yasser Arafat, its co-founder, in 2004. The movement's weaknesses have contributed to the rise of the Islamist group Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip for three years.

Abbas: Obama is being unclear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday criticized US President Barack Obama for failing to provide him with clear answers to a number of questions regarding the future of peace talks with Israel. Abbas also confirmed that Obama has been exerting pressure on him to enter direct negotiations with Israel. Abbas was speaking during a closed meeting of members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah.

U.S. upgrades diplomatic ties with Palestinians in bid to woo Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

The U.S. announced this week that it would upgrade its diplomatic relations with the PA by granting its mission in Washington - which is actually a PLO mission - the same status it enjoys in most European countries: that of a PLO "general delegation." This is still a lower status than an embassy - a status the PA mission does have in many African and Asian countries, as well as some European and South American states. But it is a major step above what the PA has had until now.

Fighters turn to theatre to advocate Middle East peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Phoebe Greenwood - (Blog) July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

In a list of unlikely places to look for peace in the Middle East, the Israeli Defence Force has to come top. But the field of amateur dramatics definitely comes a close second. Enter Combatants for Peace, a group of Israelis and Palestinians who have been trained to fight either in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) or as Palestine's Fatah paramilitaries, but have now put down their guns and together taken to the stage. The group, formed in 2005, perform sketches based on their own experiences of war to promote a "non-violent" resolution to the conflict.

Egypt's Mubarak says to continue efforts for Middle East peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

Egypt seeks to bring about peace and achieve stability in the Middle East region without any hidden agendas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday. Egypt will continue its efforts for fair peace, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, said the president in his speech on the eve of the 58th anniversary of the country's July revolution. The president said Egypt has sacrificed a lot for the Palestinian cause.

Gaza tunnel smugglers cutting through Egypt's wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karoun Demirjian - July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian tunnel smuggler with a blowtorch sliced through an underground steel wall early Thursday, the latest of what officials say are hundreds of holes cut into the Egyptian barrier meant to stop smuggling of goods, cash and weapons to the blockaded, Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Smugglers say the wall was never a serious obstacle, and they are far more worried about competition from consumer goods being brought to Gaza legally, now that Israel has eased its closure of the Palestinian territory. Rare Associated Press Television News footage showed the smuggler breaching the wall.

In Order Not to be Fooled by Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Osman Mirghani - (Opinion) July 23, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli writer Gideon Levy described Benjamin Netanyahu as a huckster and con-artist in his article [Tricky Bibi] that was published in the Haaretz newspaper on 15 July 2010. Why?

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