Hezbollah Leader Killed In Syria, Group Blames Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 13, 2008 - 5:10pm

A senior Hezbollah commander on America's most wanted list was killed in a car bombing in Syria that the Shiite militant group blamed on Israel on Wednesday, an accusation the Jewish state denied. Imad Mughnieh, who headed Hezbollah's special operations unit, died in car bombing in a residential neighbourhood of the Syrian capital late on Tuesday, Hezbollah officials said. Syrian state television reported only that one person had died in the bombing without identifying the victim but Hezbollah confirmed that it was Mughnieh who had died and accused Israel of killing him.

Israel Seeks International Backing For Gaza Campaign
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - February 13, 2008 - 5:09pm

Israel took nearly 70 foreign ambassadors to its border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday as part of a diplomatic campaign to enlist international support for tougher action against the enclave's Hamas Islamist rulers. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the envoys at the Erez crossing with Gaza that cross-border rocket fire by militants had created an "unbearable" situation that would only get worse. "Israel must act in order to reduce these threats," she said.

Israeli Minister Plans Arab City
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
February 13, 2008 - 5:07pm

Israel's Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit says he wants to build a new Arab city in the north of Israel. It would be the first city built for Israel's Arabs - who make up nearly 20% of the population - since the country was founded in 1948. Mr Sheetrit said he wanted the plans to be completed and submitted for government approval by the year's end. Meanwhile, Israel announced plans for 1,100 new homes in East Jerusalem - a decision condemned by Palestinians.

Olmert: Significant Progress Possible On Borders Of Palestinian State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid Shmuel Rosner - February 13, 2008 - 5:06pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says it is possible to advance significantly the resolution of the issue of borders in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in spite of a shared concern by officials of both sides, and the United States, as to their ability to realistically achieve a detailed agreement by the end of 2008.

'no Change' From Israel, Fayyad Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - February 13, 2008 - 5:04pm

Nearly three months after the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis was supposed to usher in new cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad yesterday accused Israel of having "not done a thing materially on the ground to help my government."

Don’t March Into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Amos Oz - (Opinion) February 13, 2008 - 5:03pm

The fury, frustration, and inflamed emotions are impairing our judgment. Israel must not fall into the trap that Hamas has laid for it by marching into Gaza. Because the casualty figure in a land invasion into Gaza will be much greater than the number of Qassam casualties in the past seven years. And because in five out of the seven Qassam years we controlled the entire Gaza Strip, and still, hundreds of rockets were fired from it at Sderot, in addition to the repeated bloody attacks against the settlers. Apparently, we forgot that.

Israel Plans To Build 1,100 Homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - February 13, 2008 - 5:01pm

Israel is planning to build 1,100 new apartments for Israelis in East Jerusalem, a Cabinet minister said yesterday, angering Palestinians and further straining troubled peace talks. Housing Minister Zeev Boim told Israel Radio that plans were under way to build 370 apartments in Har Homa and an additional 750 in Pisgat Zeev, two Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. An Israeli plan to build an additional 307 apartments in Har Homa two months ago soured the latest round of peace talks just as they were resuming after a seven-year pause.

Hamas Must Stand Down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-sharif - (Opinion) February 13, 2008 - 5:00pm

Hamas, the staunchly anti-Israel Islamist movement, which has been governing Gaza ever since its bloody showdown last June with the PNA, is looking increasingly like a spent force. It is not that the Palestinian National Authority has scored any meaningful gains in its peace negotiations with Israel since these talks were resumed in Annapolis last November. Nor is it a result of Israeli sanctions against the enclave that has left more than 1.5 million Palestinians without access to basic needs such as gasoline, food and medicine.

Israelis, Palestinians Up War Of Words
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
February 13, 2008 - 4:57pm

Israeli threats to invade Gaza and target Hamas leaders in retaliation for rocket firing have elicited sharp responses from both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.   P.A. Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas threatened on Tuesday to announce the failure of the ongoing peace negotiations in protest at what he calls Israeli 'stubbornness', which is impeding progress in the talks, sources at his office said.   Final talks between Israel and the P.A. resumed last December following the U.S. sponsored Annapolis conference.   Meanwhile, P.A.

'no Progress' In Mideast Peace Process: Arab League, Eu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by John Inguanez - February 13, 2008 - 4:56pm

Arab League chief Amr Moussa on Tuesday slammed a lack of progress in the Middle East peace process as EU and Arab foreign ministers wrapped up two days of talks in Malta. "We see no progress. We want to send a message, a message of concern," he said following the talks, the first between the two blocs at the level of foreign minister. He added: "We all supported the process with the hope that it will bring peace in 2008. We are now asking what happened, why no progress?"

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