U.S. Senator seeks to cut aid to elite IDF units operating in West Bank and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Senator Patrick Leahy claims Shayetet 13 unit, undercover Duvdevan unit, and the Israel Air Force Shaldag unit are involved in human rights violations in occupied territories. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy is promoting a bill to suspend U.S. assistance to three elite Israel Defense Forces units, alleging they are involved in human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Leahy, a Democrat and senior member of the U.S. Senate, wants assistance withheld from the Israel Navy's Shayetet 13 unit, the undercover Duvdevan unit and the Israel Air Force's Shaldag unit.

Abbas names PNC speaker to form constitution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
August 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday nominated Salim Za'noon, speaker of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), as the chairman of a committee to form the Palestinian constitution. Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah's central committee, was nominated as Za'noon's deputy, the state-run Wafa News Agency reported. The Palestinians will approach the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly in September to gain a recognition of an independent Palestinian state established in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

Abbas makes Arab aid appeal, sees risk to U.N. bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
August 15, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday appealed for Arab financial support to help the Palestinians deal with "pressures and threats" from Israel and its allies which he said were a risk to his plan to seek U.N. approval for statehood in September. The Palestinian Authority faces a financial crisis which forced it to cut wages by half in July. Policymakers have identified a shortfall in Arab aid as the main cause.

PLO official accuses Syria of crimes against humanity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
August 16, 2011 - 12:00am

An assault by Syrian security forces on a Palestinian refugee camp in the coastal city of Latakia amounts to a crime against humanity, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organisation said. "The shelling is taking place using gunships and tanks on houses built from tin, on people who have no place to run to or even a shelter to hide in," Yasser Abed Rabbo, the PLO secretary general, told Reuters. "This is a crime against humanity."

Outrage after Palestinian camp attacked in Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Syrian forces killed three people on Monday a day after gunboats pounded Latakia, forcing thousands of Palestinians to flee a refugee camp in the port city, activists and a UN agency said. The Palestinians condemned Syria over the violence as the UN Relief and Works Agency reported that more than 5,000 refugees had fled Ramel camp in southern Latakia under fire and demanded immediate access to the site.

Medics: 1 killed, 7 injured as Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 16, 2011 - 12:00am

One man was killed and seven others injured as Israeli warplanes struck targets in the central and southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, Palestinian medical sources and the Israeli army said. Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the Hamas-run emergency services in the Gaza Strip, said the strikes had killed one Palestinian and wounded seven. Several people were injured as Israeli forces fired at a group of people in the Az-Zaitoun neighborhood in Gaza City, Palestinian medical sources said. All of the victims were evacuated to Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Israelis protest costly housing – but not cost of settlements. Why?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - August 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel yesterday announced new homes in East Jerusalem to ease a housing shortage. But critics argue that the cost of building in contested territory is partially to blame for Israel's economic woes. The Israeli government, facing unprecedented public protests over the soaring cost of housing, yesterday announced it is advancing plans for thousands of new homes in contested East Jerusalem.

A Recess Destination With Bipartisan Support: Israel and the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
August 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Looking for your member of Congress? Try Jerusalem. More than 80 members of the House are visiting Israel this month as guests of the American Israel Education Foundation, a charity affiliated with the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It is the largest number of members of Congress ever to make the trip during a single recess, according to the organizers. The numbers reflect both the size of the freshman Congressional class, which accounts for 47 of the visitors, and the enduring efforts of Israel to court its most friendly ally, the United States Congress.

Syria orders thousands into stadium in Latakia crackdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Borzou Daragahi, Roula Hajjar - August 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Syrian security forces seize IDs and cellphones from those gathered at the soccer arena, activists say. Five people are killed, and the U.N. is worried about Palestinian refugees in the area. Syrian security forces cracking down on opposition strongholds in Latakia herded thousands of people into a stadium and took away their identification cards and cellphones, activists said Monday.

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