Last-minute hitch before Palestinians, Israelis launch direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - August 17, 2010 - 12:00am

A statement is anticipated any day now to announce the commencement of direct Israeli-Palestinian talks. However, the news initially expected as early as Sunday has been put on ice as the parties continue to argue about the terms of reference. DOMESTIC CONSIDERATION The Jewish settlement issue is still on the way leading to the direct talks, as the Palestinians are reportedly insisting the statement stressing there be an Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank and that a final deal be signed in two years.

Israeli Left, Right academia in turmoil over "threat letter"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

A group of Israeli academics have come out strongly against what they are calling a "threat letter" sent by rightist group "Im Tirtzu" to the President of Ben- Gurion University (BGU) in Beersheba. The letter demands the school offer what it considers equal teaching and learning opportunities to those not in line with what it claims is a hard-core left-wing doctrine among the center's educators and leadership. Im Tirtzu charges that BGU's Politics and Government Department is the most left-wing in the country.

Bassam Aramin's search for justice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

On a hot August afternoon exactly three years ago Bassam Aramin was adamant that he did not want revenge for the death of his ten-year-old daughter, Abir, but justice. At the time, he added quietly: "I have to prove my daughter was killed: that is my problem." Yesterday he had the satisfaction of knowing that his three-year fight to do just that had been vindicated by a judge's ruling that Abir Aramin had indeed been shot dead by a border policeman with a rubber bullet, that the killing was "totally unjustifiable" and that the state should pay her family compensation.

Hamas Blames Israel for Mail Embargo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - August 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel is imposing a postal blockade on Gaza, officials in the Hamas government have claimed, calling on the international community to intervene. Yousef Al-Mansi, Hamas Minister of Communications and Information Technology, called Monday for the Universal Postal Union and international human rights groups to intervene and pressure Israel into allowing mail to enter and exit the Gaza Strip.

PA allocates more funding for university fees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority Cabinet has allocated $1 million to cover university fees for students enrolling this year. The cabinet agreed to the Education Ministry’s proposal in its weekly meeting in Ramallah. The announcement came after a union of university students threatened protests at the ministry if scholarships and loans were not transferred.

State demolishes Beduin village for fourth time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Benjamin L. Hartman - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

For the fourth time in less than four weeks, illegally built structures in the unrecognized Beduin village of Kafr al-Arakib were demolished early on Tuesday morning by staffers from the Israel Lands Administration escorted by police. Around 100 officers secured the operation, and around 25 tents were destroyed, the Southern Police District spokeswoman said. There were no injuries or arrests, although one man was taken in for questioning after he refused to leave a tent.

Teachers told not to attend Nakba seminar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Or Schwartz - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday instructed preschool kindergarten teachers not to attend a Nakba studies seminary held by the extremist left-wing organization Zochrot, according to the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel. The seminary, intended specifically for preschool teachers, was held on Tuesday and discussed the subject of "nakba," and whether the topic should be taught to kindergarten children. The central issue of the seminary was the study plan of the subject.

Witnesses: Settlers beat 10-year-old Palestinian girl
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli settlers assaulted a 10-year-old Palestinian girl on Sunday evening and an Israeli military jeep struck an 8-year-old boy in Hebron, witnesses said. Inas Mazen Qaaqour was beaten by residents of the illegal Tel Rumeida settlement and treated at the Hebron Government Hospital where medics said she was bruised all over her body. Sameh Natshe Jacob was taken to the same hospital, and medics described his condition as stable. An Israeli military spokesman did not respond to several requests for comment.

Medics: Elderly woman shot dead in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a 60-year-old woman in Gaza City on Tuesday night, medical sources told Ma'an. Relatives of the woman brought her into the Ash-Shifa Hospital from her home of Al-Abeed Street in the city center. She was pronounced dead on arrival, medics said. Gaza emergency medicine director Muawiya Hassanein said the unidentified woman's body was taken to the coroner's office for autopsy and that police had opened an investigation into the incident.

An American woman seeks justice for Palestinian husband
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Get the girls ready, Ziad Jilani's wife recalls him saying as he rushed out the door, and when I'm back from prayers we'll have a day at the beach. With temperatures soaring and school in recess, the Jilani family was looking forward to a little fun and relaxation. After Friday prayers at Al Aqsa mosque in the Old City, Jilani jumped into his white Mitsubishi pickup and began driving through a crowded East Jerusalem neighborhood. His family believes he was planning to buy fruit for his eldest daughter and make a quick stop to visit his grandmother.

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