July 28th

Israel: Palestinians have set 'impossible' conditions for direct peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has laid down "impossible" conditions for moving to direct peace talks, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Wednesday, according to French news agency AFP. "The Palestinians have set three impossible conditions: that the negotiations start from the point they left off at the end of 2008 when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, that they be based on a total Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines and that the freeze of [settlement] construction continue," Shalom was quoted as saying.

Israeli premier talks to Jordanian king about need for direct Mideast peace negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jamal Halaby - July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

In a surprise visit to Amman on Tuesday, Israel's prime minister tried to mobilize Jordan's king in his effort to persuade the Palestinians to resume direct peace talks, though the chief Palestinian negotiator again rejected the idea. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's quick trip to neighboring Jordan came after a Palestinian document, obtained Monday by The Associated Press, noted that President Barack Obama's envoy is also pressing the Palestinians to restart direct peace negotiations with Israel.

Report: IDF prepares to demolish yeshiva at West Bank settlement Yitzhar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The military is preparing to demolish a Jewish seminary building at the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar after residents lost an appeal against its destruction, Army Radio reported Wednesday. Military sources said that army prosecutors had turned down an appeal against plans to raze the yeshiva, which the government has ruled illegal, in response to attacks by Yitzhar settlers on neighboring Palestinians and the extremist language used by the yeshiva's rabbi, Itzik Shapira.

Hamas may employ Gaza army draft
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The top security official in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Tuesday he is considering setting up a bigger military force, first with volunteers and eventually with conscripts as well. Such a step could further tighten Hamas' control of Gaza and deepen the rift with the group's Western-backed rivals in the West Bank. Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007, wresting control from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Currently, Hamas has a paid security force of about 18,000.

Israel razes homes in Bedouin village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

For the sixth time in a decade, farmer Ismail Mohamed Salem watched Israeli bulldozers raze his home in this disputed Bedouin village. Hours later, he sat next to the rubble and vowed to rebuild — yet again. "This is my land," said Salem, 70, as his grandchildren lay sleeping on straw mats next to the demolished structure, now a 20-foot pile of twisted aluminum, broken concrete and splintered wood. "Why should I leave?" Salem's home was among 45 demolished early Tuesday as part of a long-running dispute between Arab tribes in the Negev desert and the Israeli government.

US revamps its ‘Muddle East’ policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ehud Yaari - July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The foreign policy team of US President Barack Obama is undertaking a reassessment of its policy all over the Middle East, including Israel. No one has made or will make a public declaration about such a change, but a reassessment is nonetheless under way, and we can already detect the first products of this rethinking of policy.

Pressure mounts for Mideast talks as Israel's settlement freeze nears end
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

While Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited Washington this week to talk about peace gestures toward the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was planting a tree in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank -- an indication of permanence that few Palestinians would welcome. The contrast showed the confusion U.S. officials face in figuring out how willing Israel might be to cede territory as part of a two-state solution to the conflict.

David Cameron describes blockaded Gaza as a 'prison'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the blockade of the Gaza Strip, describing the territory as a "prison camp". He also criticised Israel for launching an attack on a convoy transporting Turkish activists and aid to Gaza. Nine Turkish citizens died in the raid. He was speaking to an audience of businessmen during a visit to Ankara. The Israeli embassy in London said Gazans were prisoners of Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas. Israel and Egypt enforce a blockade on Gaza which restricts goods and people from coming in or out freely.

Global Airline Pilots Not Happy About Israeli Security Program
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Christine Negroni - July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Pilots of commercial airlines that fly into Israel are expressing increased opposition to a security program imposed by the country’s Ministry of Transport that they say could subject inbound flights to possible attack by Israeli warplanes. Last week, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 flight to Tel Aviv was intercepted as it approached Israeli airspace when pilots failed to correctly submit a code confirming their identity as required under the security program. The plane was prohibited from landing until it was determined not to be a security threat.

Student Injury at Protest Leads to Battle in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

A macabre legal wrangle is under way over who should pay the hospital bill for an American art student who lost an eye after being struck by a tear-gas canister fired by an Israeli border police officer at a Palestinian-led protest in the West Bank. The student, Emily Henochowicz, 21, was injured on May 31 after she joined Palestinian and foreign activists protesting that morning’s deadly raid by Israeli naval commandos on a Turkish boat trying to breach the blockade of Gaza. Israeli security forces fired tear gas to disperse the demonstration after a few Palestinian youths threw rocks.

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