Daily News Issue Date: 
October 27, 2008

U.S. General Keith Dayton, security coordinator in Palestine, is interviewed by Al-Ayyam (1). Tzipi Livni abandons efforts to form a coalition government in the face of noncooperation from the Shas party (2). However an Israeli national poll reports that she is maintaining her edge over rival Benjamin Netanyahu (4). The Independent’s Donald Macintyre examines the world of Gaza’s underground smuggling tunnels (3). Palestine hosts its first international soccer game (5). Violence continues to mar the olive harvest in the West Bank (6).

US's Dayton Views PA-US Security Coordination, Denies US Targeting HAMAS
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by General Keith Dayton - (Interview) October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

Interview with General Keith Dayton, the US security coordinator, by Abd-al-Ra'uf Arna'ut; Dayton: These Are the Objectives of My Task, Truth of What I Did in Gaza [Arna'ut] You are very well known in the Palestinian arena, but few people actually know what you do. What do you specifically do?

Livni Abandons Effort to Form Israeli Coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Linda Gradstein - October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday gave up trying to form a coalition government, paving the way for new elections in early 2009. Palestinian officials worried that her decision could also mean the end of the fragile Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which resumed just under a year ago and had been a priority of the Bush administration.

My descent into Gaza's smuggling underworld
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - October 24, 2008 - 8:00pm

Crawling south in the dank metre-high passage, you have to hope the crude wooden supports will keep the thick layers of clay and sand above your head from crashing down on to you. Anyone who has been in a narrow-seam coal mine can relate to the mild sense of claustrophobia induced by a visit to Gaza's smugglers' tunnels, in which workers were killed at roughly the rate of three a week last month.

Polls Show Even Split in Israeli Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israel moved closer Monday to a bruising election campaign that will decide the future of peace talks, as polls showed the moderate foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, in a surprisingly close race with hard-line opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Neither of Israel's two leading political parties would have enough seats to form a government on its own, according to the surveys, which also showed an even split between the country's hawkish and center-left blocs. That signals more deadlock in peacemaking with Syria and the Palestinians.

Palestinians Host First International Soccer Game
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

Palestinians may not have a state, but now they have a way to express their national pride -- through soccer. On Sunday, the national team hosted an international match for the first time, in the West Bank's only regulation-size stadium. Located in a West Bank suburb of Jerusalem, the stadium was renovated with the help of FIFA, soccer's governing body, and other donors. Thousands watched the friendly game against Jordan, and the crowd roared as Palestinian forward Ahmed Kashkash scored several minutes after kickoff. Jordan tied early in the second half. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Olive Harvest Becomes West Bank Battleground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
October 25, 2008 - 8:00pm

The olive harvest was off to a bad start for Said Abu Aliya -- branches torn from the Palestinian farmer's trees lay scattered on the ground, along with bright-green olives. He blamed Israeli settlers in a nearby hilltop camp, and Israeli soldiers patrolled as a buffer while he and his family picked the remaining crop. ''Without their presence, we wouldn't be able to enter our lands because the settlers would attack us,'' said the 47-year-old.

Israelis say Hamas man acknowledged plan to take another soldier prisoner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israeli security forces have apprehended a Hamas operative whom they say planned to capture Israeli soldiers and smuggle them into the Gaza Strip to be used in future prisoner swaps, the army said on Sunday. An army spokesman said Israeli troops and intelligence agents arrested Gamal Abu Duabah, a 21-year-old Gaza resident, on September 21 after he attempted to infiltrate Israel from Egypt.

Bottom-Up Meets Top-Down for Progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by Robert Danin - (Interview) December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Can you give our readers a view of the current Palestinian economic situation, from the ground?

Palestinian force enters Hebron in security drive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 24, 2008 - 8:00pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent hundreds of security officers into Hebron on Saturday as part of a Western-backed campaign to strengthen his control over the occupied West Bank. Israel, which is trying to bolster Abbas against his Hamas rivals, approved the deployment of some 550 armed officers in the biggest West Bank city, a frequent flashpoint between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

Three Solutions for the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

There is no comfortable solution for the Palestinians to repair their domestic affairs other than the leaders abandoning their ambitions to lead. This is a fact that has been known for a long time. However, the problem is how to convince all these leaders when it's apparent how happy Hamas is with its sovereignty over Gaza, and its readiness to give everything to preserve it; the same applies to the others.

Settlers vandalise Arab graves
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
October 25, 2008 - 8:00pm

Jewish settlers have gone on a rampage in the West Bank, vandalising a Muslim cemetery and threatening Israeli troops. Settlers from the Harat al-Jabari neighbourhood in the city of Hebron were responding on Sunday to the dismantling a West Bank outpost by the Israeli army. Four settlers were arrested, including one for allegedly injuring a policeman and two who are suspected of trying to set fire to police cars, police officials said. Settlers also slashed the tyres of two dozen Arab-owned cars and sprayed paint on Muslim graves, the Israeli military said.

A-G orders probe into settlers' threats
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Dan Izenberg, Tovah Lazaroff - October 26, 2008 - 8:00pm

A settler who apparently made comments calling to kill soldiers distributed an apology letter Monday, saying he was "in a stormy mood" when he made the comments on Sunday. "I didn't speak generally against IDF soldiers," said Kiryat Arba resident Shmuel Ben Yishai in the letter, having been quoted in the media as saying, "God damn the IDF forces. We wish they would be destroyed by their enemies, that all of them would be Gilad Schalit, that they would all be killed and slaughtered, because that's what they deserve."

The amusing term ‘coexistence’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Hisham Nafa' - October 25, 2008 - 8:00pm

Many people have expressed surprise at the recent violence in Acre. Particularly amusing was the mantra that rolled off the tongues of government officials, their eyes wide open: "How could such a thing happen in a city of coexistence?"

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017