Daily News Issue Date: 
October 16, 2008

USAID Administrator Henrietta H. Fore makes a pledge at ATFP’s Third Annual Gala to transfer $550 million to the Palestinian Authority (1). The Wall Street Journal covers Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s recent trip to Washington and the business investments made for the West Bank (2). The BBC reports on the network of smuggling tunnels servicing the Gaza strip via Egypt (3). Palestinian-Israel security forces cooperate in the destruction of a recently discovered tunnel running under the West Bank town of Hebron (8).

U.S. to meet full pledge to P.A.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


The United States is set to make good on its pledge to transfer $550 million to the Palestinian Authority. Henrietta Fore, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, made the announcement Sunday at the annual dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine. The United States made the pledge last December at a donors' conference that solicited an overall $7 billion in pledges. Many of the countries, particularly Arab nations, have yet to make good on their pledges.


West Bank Foreign Investment Grows Despite Fears of Foundering Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Jay Solomon - October 13, 2008 - 7:00pm


Efforts to attract foreign investment into the West Bank are accelerating, despite fears that U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel are foundering, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in an interview. Mr. Fayyad is spearheading his government's push to revive economic activity in the Palestinian territories and strengthen its institutions, as talks with Israel to formalize a Palestinian state continue.


Gaza tunnels 'become an industry'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


The level of smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt now amounts to an industry, according to UN officials. A UN report said the tunnels had become a lifeline for Gaza's Palestinians because of the Israeli blockade. Thousands work in the tunnels. The tunnels are used to smuggle a wide variety of products into Gaza - including food and fuel. But Israel says they are also used to import arms. It accuses Egypt of not doing enough to stop the smuggling. Media reports estimate there are hundreds of tunnels in use along the border.


The settlers' war with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Paul Raymond - October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


No religious festival in Jerusalem would be complete without a controversial political incident, and this year's Yom Kippur was no exception. A group of nearly a hundred rightwing radicals forced their way on to the plaza of the Dome of the Rock, one of the most sacred sites in Islam. Entering the precinct on Yom Kippur was a symbolic way of claiming Jewish sovereignty over the site many consider to be the location of the second temple, destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.


Warring monks threaten destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Sheera Frenkel - October 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


A long-running row over the rights to a rooftop section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre could bring the entire structure tumbling down, destroying Christendom’s holiest site. While renovations are needed across the church, the small Deir al-Sultan monastery on its roof has reached an “emergency state”, according to engineers who completed an evaluation this month.


Obama, Jackson disavow column about Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
October 14, 2008 - 7:00pm


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign sharply rejected on Wednesday a conservative columnist's report that civil rights leader Jesse Jackson expects Obama to reduce Israel's clout at the White House. Jackson himself denounced New York Post columnist Amir Taheri for "selectively imposing his own point of view and distorting mine" in the column that appeared Tuesday.


Israelis kill 2 alleged Palestinian firebombers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Josef Federman - October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israeli troops shot and killed a 21-year-old Palestinian allegedly preparing to carry out a firebomb attack in a West Bank village early Thursday. He was the third Palestinian killed by army fire in as many days. Citing a recent wave of firebombings in the roughly 10-mile area between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank, the army has been stepping up efforts to stop them, including laying nighttime ambushes near potential targets.


Palestinian police help Israelis destroy tunnel in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian police discovered a tunnel running under a shop in the Occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday that was subsequently dynamited by Israeli sappers, sources from both sides said. No one was hurt when the tunnel, said by an AFP correspondent at the scene to be dozens of meters deep, was destroyed. A Palestinian security source said several people had been detained and were being questioned about the tunnel, in which no weapons or explosives were found. An Israeli Army spokeswoman said an investigation had been opened to determine what the tunnel was being used for.


PA forces arrest 13 Hamas men in West Bank cities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


Hamas movement yesterday said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrested 13 of its members and loyalists in several West Bank cities. Hamas said in a press statement that its members and loyalists, including university students, were arrested in the cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, and Qalqilya. Abbas’ forces have been cracking down on Hamas after the movement violently seized control over Gaza Strip in June 2007 after it ousted Abbas forces and senior members of his Fatah movement.


Abbas rejects request by Egypt for talks with Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has turned down an Egyptian proposal to hold separate talks with Hamas officials in Cairo before the end of the month, a senior PA official in Ramallah said Wednesday. Abbas's decision drew sharp criticism from Hamas, which said this provided further evidence that the PA president and his Fatah faction were not really interested in ending the power struggle between the two parties.


Two Palestinian girls detained in Israel without trial for months
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Fadi Eyadat - October 15, 2008 - 7:00pm


On the night of June 5, someone knocked on the door of the Salah house in Khader, near Bethlehem. Had it not been 2 A.M., nobody in the family would even have been suspicious. Nevertheless, said Siham Salah, her eldest daughter, Salwa, opened the door. "Soldiers and a [Shin Bet security service] officer entered," Siham related. "They sat down calmly and began to ask questions about members of the household. They asked how many children we had and about the fact that there are problems in our neighborhood. Suddenly, they went outside, brought in female soldiers and took my daughter.



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