Hamas denies report of Syria sponsoring inter-Palestinian dialogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Damascus-based Palestinian Hamas ' politburo member Izzat al-Rishq said here on Tuesday that reports about Egypt's proposal for Syria to sponsor inter-Palestinian dialogue are not true. Al-Rishq told Xinhua via the phone that Egypt remains the official custodian of the reconciliation talks between the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah organizations. London-based Arab daily al-Hayat reported earlier the day that Egypt has suggested Syria to sponsor the reconciliation rounds between Fatah and Hamas.

Gaza farmers suffer severe loss due to crossing shut down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The closure of the only commercial crossing point in the Gaza Strip may cause severe losses to Gaza farmers, a farming society warned Tuesday. The Society of Palestinian Flower and Strawberry Farmers said that more than two million flowers are reserved in refrigerators and cannot be delivered to the European markets because Kerem Shaloom crossing has been closed since Wednesday by Israel authorities due to security concerns. "The flowers and those still not harvested would shrivel," the society warned in a statement.

Congressional Legislation Calls on U.N. To Rescind Goldstone Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Legislation calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report is circulating in both houses of Congress. A Senate resolution, introduced April 8 by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), calls on the U.N. Human Rights Council to “reflect the author’s repudiation of the Goldstone report’s central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report’s findings.”

War Clouds Back Over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykber - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

After several days of intense violence, during which 19 Palestinians were killed and one Israeli wounded, a fragile calm has returned to Gaza. But political commentators argue that this could well be a precursor to Israel’s next war on the coastal territory. During the last week the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) launched a series of attacks following a rocket attack from Gaza which hit an Israeli school bus, seriously injuring a 16-year-old pupil.

Israel to arm combat soldiers with cameras
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The next time Israel goes to war, its combat soldiers will likely be carrying cameras in addition to more conventional weapons. Reeling from war crimes accusations during a major offensive against Hamas-ruled Gaza more than two years ago, the Israeli military is studying the wide distribution of cameras as a tool to make its case to the world. The plan would appear to put Israel at the vanguard of such efforts around the world — and reflects the intense and growing scrutiny of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

Total blockade of Gaza hits seventh day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

With a truce holding and calm restored in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces informed Gaza crossings officials that terminals would remain closed, citing only "security reasons." Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh said he was not told when goods transport would resume for Gaza, adding that the closure meant no goods had entered Gaza for a week. Crossings were closed two days ahead of an escalation in confrontations along the Gaza border area, cutting off access to supplies including aid and humanitarian goods.

UN: PA progress 'sufficient for functioning govt of a state'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

A UN report on progress by the Palestinian Authority in building institutions released Tuesday assessed that "in six areas where the UN is most engaged, government functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state." The report, prepared by UN officials for an upcoming meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels, reviews progress in the implementation of the PA's August 2009 plan to build state institutions, which was backed by the AHLC and Quartet.

An Israeli initiative worth watching
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) April 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The historic transformations under way in many Arab countries have temporarily overshadowed other major regional issues. Well, this period seems to be coming to an end, forcing us all to refocus on understanding the hard reality that we can no longer isolate a single issue or conflict in the Middle East – Palestine-Israel, Iran, democratization, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, terrorism, Anglo-American invaders, corruption, take your pick – and address it on its own.

Awarta raided overnight, 5 more detained
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Concern is mounting for the residents of Awarta, as 71 villagers including a teenage girl and two elderly women remain held in Israeli custody without charge, and official visits to ensure their well being were prevented by Israeli forces. Three Palestinians from the village who were living in Ramallah were detained from their homes there overnight, as their relatives in Awarta, including two brothers, were detained during an overnight raid. From Awarta, Hasan Awwad, deputy mayor of the village, and his brother Salah, a local journalist, were both detained.

What the “Israeli Peace Initiative” has to offer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

On April 6, a group of prominent Israelis released the “Israeli Peace Initiative,” an answer to the Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab League in 2002. The biggest difference between the two documents is that one is official, formally adopted by a large group of states, and the other is a civil society initiative. This puts the two documents on significantly unequal footing. However, the new Israeli private initiative bears serious consideration, given the paucity of any other Israeli response to the API and the lack of diplomatic activity generally.

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