Congressional initiatives target P.A.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A number of initiatives are circulating in Congress targeting the Palestinians in the wake of their diplomatic tensions with Israel.

Hamas: Mash'al, Zahhar feud 'behind us'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A spat between Hamas officials in Gaza and Damascus "is behind our backs," Hamas politburo Osama Hamdan told Ma'an on Thursday. Speaking with Ma'an Radio, the official commented on a slew of comments that went back and forth from Hamas leader in exile Khalid Mash'al and party leader in Gaza Mahmoud Az-Zahhar, over comments the Mash'al made during the signing of a unity accord with Fatah leaders in Egypt on 4 May.

US waits for Israel's Godot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - (Opinion) June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

A few days ago I read an article in the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz about US President Barack Obama's recent initiative which suggested that Israelis and Palestinians use the 1967 lines as a starting point for a negotiated delineation of borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state. The article pointed out that the Palestinian leadership had accepted the Obama initiative but that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had reacted furiously, and publicly rejected Obama's initiative, was somehow expected to give a formal answer.

Netanyahu and the Mystics of Safed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Future historians looking back at Israel in 2011 will shake their heads with disbelief. They will note that there were voices of reason who called for constructive engagement with the Arab world; that these voices included some of the great luminaries of Israel’s defense establishment like former Shin Bet chiefs Yaakov Peri and Ami Ayalon, former Mossad chief Danny Yatom, former IDF chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and General (Res) Amram Mitzna. They will write about their Israeli Peace Initiative of 2011 that basically endorsed the Arab League Initiative.

Continuing disagreement over interim PM delays new Palestinian government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV //Fatah asked Hamas yesterday to postpone a crucial announcement on the make-up of a unity government amid disagreements over its leadership. The rival Palestinian groups were due to meet tomorrow to publicly announce the formation of the new government, almost two months after they struck a surprising pact aimed at ending their years-long bitter feud. But last week Hamas rejected Fatah's nomination of Salam Fayyad, a respected economist and the current prime minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, to serve as the new government's prime minister.

Israel approves expansion of 2,000 settler homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's Jerusalem municipality approved the expansion of 2,000 homes in the settlement district of Ramat Shlomo in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, allowing each Israeli home to add an additional room, a council press statement said. The announcement of new settlement activity came as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told France 24 television that, "there is no real way to announce an end to construction. There's half a million people living there." Palestinian Authority officials were quick to condemn the statement.

Invite describes Deir Yassin as 'abandoned Arab village'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

In the invitation to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Kfar Shaul psychiatric hospital, set up on the remains of the village of Deir Yassin, the Arab village is described as such: "In the outskirts of Jerusalem, hidden from sight, the abandoned Arab village of Deir Yassin stands in isolation; a veritable treasure for the health and welfare services seeking housing for the hundreds who require physical and mental healing." Deir Yassin was the site where members of the Irgun and Lehi paramilitary organizations massacred about 100 villagers.

Palestinian statehood: Individual nations, not the U.N., will have the final say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

In their Op-Ed articles on Palestinian statehood, Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook and John R. Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both misunderstood the nature and function of U.N. recognition in international law. Bolton's claim that President Obama is "the most anti-Israel president since 1948" was particularly galling. Was it not the president of the administration in which Bolton served who claimed to have had a "vision" of an Israeli and a Palestinian state "living side by side in peace and security," exactly as Obama wants?

Palestinian Children Targeted as Israel Crushes Unrest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykber - June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

"Father please help me! Don’t let them take me away," screamed 12-year-old Ahmed Siyam as approximately 50 heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police dragged the handcuffed and blindfolded boy away. Last month Ahmed was pulled out of his bed at 4am by Israeli security forces led by Shin Bet agents from Israel’s domestic intelligence agency. He was taken to the Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem where he was accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and police during clashes with Palestinian youth in the volatile neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

Divided on Premier, Palestinians Cancel Meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA — In a blow to Palestinian unity efforts, a meeting in Cairo planned for this week so that the leaders of the two main factions could announce a new government has been called off for lack of agreement on a prime minister, Palestinian officials said Sunday. The meeting had been set for Tuesday with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Khaled Meshal of Hamas. Mr. Abbas’s Fatah faction announced the cancellation in the West Bank, and Hamas officials here confirmed it.

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