Siege On Gaza / Paying The Price
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) January 22, 2008 - 7:16pm

Defense Ministry officials yesterday pointed with satisfaction at the low number of Qassam rockets launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip in the past few days. Here was proof of the wisdom of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision last weekend to impose a total blockade on Gaza, in response to the ceaseless fire from Hamas. Just last week there were 42 launches a day on average, whereas in the past two days there were only four.

Israel Fears Int'l Pressure To Hand Over Gaza Borders To Pa Control
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 22, 2008 - 7:15pm

There is growing concern in Israel that the recent tightening of sanctions against the Gaza Strip will result in international pressure to transfer control of the border crossings into the Strip to the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas And Olmert Far From Taking The "tough Decisions"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Khader Khader - January 22, 2008 - 7:13pm

Maybe the most important statement that US President George W. Bush made during his historic visit last week was when he told both the Palestinian and Israeli sides that "tough decisions have to be taken". One tends to doubt whether Bush was really serious, considering the domestic political ramifications of such "tough choices" on both the Palestinian president and the Israeli prime minister. No doubt Bush must feel very happy that he has spent two presidential terms without having to face any "tough decisions" vis-a-vis the Arab-Israel conflict.

Divided They Fall: A Powerful Incentive For Hamas And Fatah To Reconcile
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) January 22, 2008 - 7:12pm

Some of the condemnatory language flowing out of the international community is finally looking commensurate with the appalling tactics employed by Israel's government and military in the Gaza Strip. Direct reprisals against civilians and other forms of collective punishment are war crimes, after all, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator has deigned to sign that part of the Geneva Conventions defining them as such. But it is not enough for outside powers to summon the courage to speak out against Israeli abuses.

Israel Blames Gaza For Power Crisis But Agrees To Allow One Delivery Of Fuel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - January 22, 2008 - 7:11pm

Israel agreed under intense international pressure last night to allow a one-off delivery of fuel and medicines to Gaza to avert a humanitarian crisis. Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister, said that he would allow the emergency shipment after the Gaza Strip's sole remaining power plant shut down for lack of fuel and UN officials gave warning that they would be forced to stop food handouts to about a million Gazans if the total blockade, imposed last week, was not lifted.

No Light, No Heat, No Bread: Stark Reality For The Powerless In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory Mccarthy - January 22, 2008 - 7:10pm

When it opened its doors seven years ago, the European Gaza hospital was one of the biggest foreign investments in the long-troubled Gaza Strip and one of the leading medical centres in the Palestinian territories. Yesterday, the 250-bed hospital was sliding rapidly into crisis, turning away patients for routine operations and struggling to manage emergency cases, as the sole power plant in Gaza halted electricity production after Israel stopped all fuel supplies.

Leading Article: An Unlawful Policy Of Collective Punishment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
(Commentary) January 22, 2008 - 7:09pm

The siege of Gaza has reached a vicious new intensity. Last Thursday, Israel blocked the delivery of fuel oil supplies to the Strip. The result is that Gaza's only power station has not functioned since the weekend. Hundred of thousands of homes in the territory have been left without power. Hospitals have been forced to rely on diesel generators. Bakeries and petrol stations have closed. International aid organisations working in the Strip have warned of a threat to sewage and water supplies if the blockade continues.

What Now For Hamas?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Martin Patience - (Analysis) January 22, 2008 - 7:07pm

srael labelled the Hamas-controlled Gaza a "hostile entity". The Islamist movement refuses to recognise Israel arguing that it is an illegitimate state. Israel intensified the siege last week, saying the move was in response to heavy rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Nowadays, Gaza is a territory where the economy has collapsed, power shortages are a daily occurrence, and Israeli air strikes are common. But how is Hamas faring under this pressure?

A Mideast Lesson For Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by H.d.s. Greenway - (Opinion) January 22, 2008 - 7:06pm

PRESIDENT BUSH'S trip to the Middle East last week seems to have been an effort to blow some air into his sagging, anti-Iranian balloon. His Sunni allies in the region are indeed worried about the rising power and belligerency of Shi'ite Iran, but they also know that it was Bush's war in Iraq that empowered Iran, and they are not sure they trust him to come up with a solution.

What Does It Mean To Be The Pro-israel Candidate?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Commentary) January 22, 2008 - 7:05pm

For the record, Rudy Giuliani gives me the very deep creeps, relieved only by his current poor electoral prospects. I mention this because some people think he is the most pro-Israel of candidates. If so, may God protect Israel from its friends.

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