January 25th

Israel Torn Over Relationship With Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Martin Patience - January 25, 2008 - 6:17pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert delivered a keynote speech on Wednesday night presenting himself as an experienced leader in difficult times. But notably absent was any mention of the tens of thousands of Palestinians crossing from Gaza into Egypt after the militant group Hamas blew up sections of the border fence. Israel is closely monitoring the situation but is reluctant to use force to end the crisis, which would be likely to spark international condemnation.

Israel Considers Palestinian Proposal To Open Up Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur
January 25, 2008 - 6:16pm

The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was offered a glimmer of hope Thursday that Israel would ease its blockade of Gaza. He used a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to call on Israel to open up "passages" to the territory which he proposed the authority should oversee which he said should be set up within days. The Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak replied that his government had stated its willingness to consider the passages

Gaza-egypt Border Breach Has Israel Re-thinking Strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Roy Eitan - January 25, 2008 - 6:15pm

The few hundred pounds of TNT that brought Rafah’s border wall tumbling down also has shaken Israel’s strategy of isolating Hamas. The Olmert government watched helplessly on Wednesday as the Islamist group, responding to Israel’s tightening of its blockade on the Gaza Strip, blew holes through the border wall between Gaza and Egypt, enabling tens of thousands of Palestinians to surge across the border and stock up on food, fuel and other provisions.

Politics-us: Neocons Shaken, But Not Deterred
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jim Lobe - January 25, 2008 - 6:14pm

Almost exactly five years after it reached its zenith with the invasion of Iraq, the influence of neo-conservatives has waned sharply in Washington, as their nemeses, the "realists" in the national security bureaucracy, have increasingly asserted control over U.S. foreign policy.

The Agony Of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) January 25, 2008 - 6:13pm

THE BREACHING early Wednesday of the barrier separating Gaza from the Egyptian side of the border town Rafah allowed an estimated 300,000 Gazans to seek staples and a brief experience of liberty outside their enclosed, suffocating strip of land. The highly publicized breakout of those Gazans also made it impossible to ignore the collective punishment being imposed on them by Israel's policy of closure and economic blockade.

Israel Sees Upside In Hole In Gaza Wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 25, 2008 - 6:13pm

When Palestinians toppled a metal wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt Wednesday, many expected Israeli officials to howl over Egypt allowing Hamas "terrorists" to rearm. After all, a cornerstone of the current peace process was supposed to be isolating Gaza. But the Israeli response has been surprisingly muted. In fact, some Israeli officials see some advantage in the breach.

Tens Of Thousands More From Gaza Enter Egypt Seeking Consumer Goods
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - January 25, 2008 - 6:12pm

Tens of thousands more Palestinians flooded across the breached border crossing from Gaza into Egypt on Thursday, and Egyptian merchants greeted them with a cornucopia of consumer goods and higher prices than on Wednesday, when Hamas militants toppled large sections of the fence. Many more Egyptian police officers were at various ruptures in the barrier at Rafah, more of them in riot gear and some using batons with small electric charges to keep the huge, pushing crowds in some form of order.

Hamas Challenges Egypt's Bid To Close Gaza Border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-mughrabi - January 25, 2008 - 6:11pm

Egypt started to close its breached border with the Gaza Strip on Friday but Palestinian militants bulldozed a new opening in a challenge to Cairo and Israel's blockade of the Hamas-run territory. Palestinian crowds cheered as Hamas militants used a bulldozer to flatten sections of the chain and concrete fence. In a scene broadcast live on television around the world, Egyptian riot police watched from a distance as hundreds of people poured into Egypt.

January 24th

Reuters reports on Egypt's attempts to begin closing the Gaza border breach and Hamas actions challenging these attempts (1.) The Christian Science Monitor examines how the breaching of the Gaza border into Egypt has resulted in political jockeying over responsibility for Gaza's future (3.) A Boston Globe editorial is critical of the collective punishment of Gaza's population as a counterproductive policy driving the population into the arms of Hamas and discrediting the Palestinian government (4.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (6) and BBC (8) examine the new strategic considerations for Israel as a result of the Gaza situation. The Economist (UK) analyzes the unintended consequences of Israel's Gaza policy to-date (9.) An Independent (UK) opinion by Mary Dejevsky gives an Israeli perspective from the border town of Sderot on the impact of Palestinian militant rocket fire on life there (10.) Haaretz (Israel) looks at a public dispute between Israel's current and former ambassador to the U.S. over how good an Obama presidency would be for Israel (11.) Also in Haaretz, Amos Harel and Avi Issacharaoff analyze how Hamas' breach of the Gaza border was a political outmaneuvering of Israel (13.) Arab News (Saudi Arabia) reviews Israeli press reporting on Hamas' Gaza border breach (15.)

Opportunity In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 24, 2008 - 6:07pm

The closure imposed a year ago on the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt was effectively lifted yesterday after hundreds of thousands of Gazans overran the Egyptian border. According to United Nations reports, about 20 percent of Gaza's population crossed into the Egyptian side of Rafah on foot and in cars after explosives were used to destroy about two-thirds of the border barrier overnight Tuesday.

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