Abbas Sets Conditions For Gaza Talks With Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alaa Shahine - January 31, 2008 - 6:00pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected demands on Wednesday by Hamas rivals for control of the breached Gaza-Egypt border and told the Islamist group to "end its coup in Gaza." Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in June after routing Abbas's more secular Fatah forces, blasted open the Egyptian border last week in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade, letting Gazans pour into Egypt to stock up on goods.

High Court Affirms Plan To Reduce Power To Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Ellen Knickmeyer - January 31, 2008 - 5:58pm

srael's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the government's decision to reduce fuel and electricity deliveries to the Gaza Strip as a form of "economic warfare" against the armed Hamas group in control there. In doing so, the three-judge panel rejected the arguments of Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups that the blackouts and shortages caused by the cuts represent a form of collective punishment against Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

Bush Has Little Credibility Among Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
January 31, 2008 - 5:57pm

Few residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank believe George W. Bush actually intends to assist in the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of this year, according to a poll by An-Najah National University. 80.3 per cent of respondents think the United States president is not faithful in his promise.

Palestinians Feud, But Egypt And Hamas Working More Closely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Dan Murphy - January 31, 2008 - 5:54pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dug in his heels Wednesday after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to address the crisis over the Gaza border, publicly refusing to work with his Palestinian rival Hamas and calling for forces loyal to his government to take control of the border. While his defiant tone favors the status quo – he called the Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip last June "a coup" – it came in the face of changing realities on the ground.

January 30th

Angus Reid Global Monitor reports on a Palestinian survey by An-Najah university showing 80% of Palestinians skeptical of President Bush's pledge to secure a Palestinian state (2.) Reuters examines the conditions set by Palestinian president Abbas for talks with Hamas (4), while Al-Jazeera (Qatar) reports on Hamas conditions for the Gaza border with Egypt (11.) The Forward looks at renewed tensions between Jewish American organizations and mainstream Protestant churches over a re-emerging divestment drive (6.) A Guardian (UK) editorial is critical of the just-released Winograd Report in Israel for not promoting new thinking regarding the use of military force (8.) China View (China) also looks at the An-Najah poll, focusing on results showing a majority of Palestinians in favor of the Gaza border crossings being controlled by Palestinian Authority forces as opposed to Hamas (10.) A Gulf News (UAE) opinion by George Hishmeh analyzes how the Gaza situation has changed regional calculations (12.) A Jerusalem Post (Israel) opinion by Sheldon Schreter outlines how Israel's settlement enterprise on the occupied Palestinian territories is greviously harming Israel on two levels (14.)

Obama And The Jewish Question
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 30, 2008 - 5:57pm

Not a year has passed since Danny Ayalon completed his term as Israel's ambassador in Washington, but he has already seen fit to criticize Barack Obama, who may well be the next U.S. president or vice president. In an article published in The Jerusalem Post, Ayalon wrote that during his two meetings with Obama, he got the impression that the Democratic candidate was "not entirely forthright" regarding Israel. Similar and even worse smears can be found in abundance in American blogs and e-mail chain letters.

Finally, A Popular Uprising
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) January 30, 2008 - 5:56pm

The fall of the Rafah wall was a fitting combination of planning and the precise reading of the social and political map by the Hamas government, mixed with a mass response to the dictates of the overlord, Israel.

Un Envoy: Women In Gaza Feel Coerced To Cover Heads
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 30, 2008 - 5:55pm

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief says women in the Gaza Strip have recently felt coerced into covering their heads, while Christians there have faced rising intolerance. The UN envoy, Asma Jahangir, visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last week and published a report on her eight-day trip. "Women seem to be in a particularly vulnerable situation and bear the brunt of religious zeal. I was informed about cases of honor killings carried out with impunity in the name of religion," she added.

Punishing Gaza Only Harms Those Backing Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) January 30, 2008 - 5:54pm

  When the Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness last week as a result of the Israeli fuel blockade, many people around the world were surprised. But the optimism produced by the Annapolis peace process, which included President George W. Bush's promise of an agreement in 2008 to create a Palestinian state, was clearly unrealistic.

Egypt And Iran Take The Right Step
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) January 30, 2008 - 5:53pm

The steps taken by Egypt and Iran to restore ties between the two countries is by all means and on various levels significant. It not only paves the way for building on the relationship positively but also sets a precedent for using diplomatic measures as a facilitator to address and resolve outstanding issues.

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