January 24th

Analysis: Gaza Border Breach Shows Israel That Hamas Is In Charge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) January 24, 2008 - 6:06pm

A few Israel Defense Forces Engineering Corps officers surely shed a tear yesterday while viewing the television reports from Rafah: The barrier built by the IDF with blood and sweat along the Philadelphi Route, on the Gaza Strip border with Egypt, was coming down.

Silence Of The Lambs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Special Report) January 24, 2008 - 6:06pm

Before it is dark and when there is no communication with the world," wrote Dr Eyad Sarraj, the prominent human rights advocate, from Gaza last Tuesday night, "I want to tell you that current Israeli policy of squeezing on has the aim of pushing Egypt to open its borders with Gaza and bring the situation to prior 1967." He went on: "Israel will then close its borders with Gaza, separate the (Gaza) Strip from the West Bank and destroy the peace proposals of one or two states. In short Israel is fulfilling the (Ariel) Sharon unilateral withdrawal strategy.

Bush's Silence Won't Make Israel's Brutality Any Less Counter-productive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) January 24, 2008 - 6:05pm

Washington's refusal to endorse a draft United Nations Security Council statement condemning Israel's siege of Gaza effectively advocated the collective punishment of 1.4 million Palestinian men, women and children. The US ambassador to the United Nations said that the initial draft statement produced by Libya was "unacceptable" because it did not mention Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.

Hamas 'spent Months Cutting Through Gaza Wall In Secret Operation'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - January 24, 2008 - 6:03pm

As tens of thousands of Palestinians clambered back and forth between the Gaza strip and Egypt today, details emerged of the audacious operation that brought down a hated border wall and handed the Islamist group Hamas what might be its greatest propaganda coup. Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours.

Rafah: Symbol Of Gaza's Isolation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Jonathan Marcus - January 24, 2008 - 6:02pm

The mass breach of the Rafah crossing point illustrates many of the problems and pitfalls of Middle East peace-making. In recent times it was hoped Rafah would become a symbol of a new beginning for the Gaza Strip. What began as a European-monitored crossing with aspirations to become a permanently open link between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has in practice become, for many Palestinians, yet another symbol of their isolation and "imprisonment".

A Broken Society
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Editorial) January 24, 2008 - 6:02pm

If you bottle up 1.5 million people in a territory 25 miles long and six miles wide, and turn off the lights, as Israel has done in Gaza, the bottle will burst. This is what happened yesterday when tens of thousands of Gazans poured into Egypt to buy food, fuel and supplies after militants destroyed two-thirds of the wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt. It was the biggest jail break in history.

An Embattled Olmert Stresses Peace Credentials At Herzliya
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Dina Kraft - January 24, 2008 - 6:01pm

ghting for his political life, Ehud Olmert told the Israeli people that keeping him in office was their best hope of reaching the promised land of peace. "There is no other option to what I am offering," Olmert said Wednesday in his keynote address at the Herzliya Conference, referring to ambitious peace efforts with the Palestinians launched under the aegis of the United States at the Annapolis peace conference last November.

Politics: U.s. Stymies Security Council Action On Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Haider Rizvi - January 24, 2008 - 6:00pm

Despite intensifying calls for international pressure to address the fast deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip, observers and some diplomats say the U.N. Security Council has proved as ineffective as it has been for many years concerning issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Tuesday, the Council called an emergency meeting during which a vast majority of delegates strongly condemned Israel's blockade of the occupied Palestinian areas and charged that it was violating international humanitarian law.

End The Occupation - And Get Justice For Its Victims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
by Bassam Aramin - (Opinion) January 24, 2008 - 5:59pm

This month, President Bush visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Ramallah and declared that the occupation must end. These were no doubt welcome words to Palestinians and Israelis alike. They provide hope for peace; for without occupation, peace is truly possible. Unfortunately, for many, including my 10-year-old daughter Abir, it is too late. One year ago, Abir was shot in the head by Israeli border police as she left school. The soldiers allege that they were fighting with children who were throwing rocks.

Israel Wants To Cut Gaza Links After Border Breach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous, Rebecca Harrison - January 24, 2008 - 5:58pm

Israel wants to cut its links with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after militants blasted open the territory's border with Egypt in defiance of an Israeli blockade, Israel's deputy defense minister said on Thursday. Israel, which occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967, pulled troops and settlers out in 2005 but still controls its northern and eastern borders, airspace and coastal waters, and has imposed a blockade it says is meant to counter militant rocket fire.

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