Who's He Kidding?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:48pm

Essentially, the Sderot residents are a new version of "the victims of peace." Government spokesmen explain that an invasion of the Gaza Strip may strike a fatal blow to Mahmoud Abbas, the partner, because peace negotiations with the West Bank Palestinian leadership cannot take place under the shadow of scenes of hundreds of Palestinian casualties caused by an Israeli invasion of the Strip.

Intifada Redux
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:47pm

The intifada is back. Maybe not in full force, but the sights we saw last weekend suddenly brought us back 20 years. Israel Defense Forces bulldozers blocked the main entrance to the village of Azoun. Its roads were strewn with stones; Molotov cocktails were thrown; the IDF distributed threatening fliers; a curfew was imposed; and dozens of young men gathered on streetcorners, slingshots in hand, waiting for IDF jeeps - just as then.

Israel Says 'no'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Antiwar
by Ran Hacohen - February 19, 2008 - 6:45pm

On Jan. 23 Ha'aretz readers were utterly embarrassed. Just as the quality paper was printing its top headline, based on Israel's omniscient "security sources" – "New Israeli Policy in Gaza: Border Crossings Will Stay Closed" – the border crossings between Gaza and Egypt were being opened; a few hours later, they didn't exist anymore. Once again, the regional power was caught in surprise; Hamas won by breaking the siege.

Shoot Or Talk?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:44pm

It's no coincidence that tensions between Israel and both Hizballah and Hamas are escalating. Israel confronts these militant Islamist movements on two of its borders. Their activities are closely linked to Iran's aggressive drive to expand its regional influence and Syria's role as henchman.

Kouchner Believes Israelis Heard Him On Settlements, Palestinian Issues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
February 19, 2008 - 6:41pm

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who returned February 17 after a two-day visit to the Palestinian territories and Israel, believes that he was heard by Israel when he brought up a number of important issues relative to the peace process and Palestinian development, officials here said.

Olmert Says Gaza Blockade To Continue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 19, 2008 - 6:40pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday that Israel would maintain the tighter blockade that it has imposed on the Gaza Strip since last month. "We will continue to apply sanctions that are hurtful to the needs of the (Palestinian) population in order for it to be clear that living conditions cannot be altered only from our side," he told the parliamentary group of his Kadima party in allusion to near daily rocket fire from Gaza.

Guidelines Of A New Egyptian Policy Toward Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Gamal A. G. Soltan - February 19, 2008 - 6:39pm

The recent breach of Egypt's border with Gaza accentuated the risks implied in the current situation in the territory. Losing control over that border for 10 consecutive days proved to be embarrassing for Cairo. Bending to the plot implemented by Hamas operatives embarrassed Egypt even further. Far more serious than just the embarrassment, the infiltration of suspect terrorists into Egypt is a major security concern for a country that has been in a continuous war on terror for 30 years.

A Post-annapolis Breakthrough Proposal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Chuck Freilich - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:38pm

Three months after the Annapolis conference and a commitment that an agreement would be reached by the end of 2008, prospects for peace are as distant as ever. Hardly a day goes by without rockets hitting Israel from Gaza. Ashkelon and Ashdod are now in range and sooner or later Tel Aviv and its environs will be hit by rockets as well, from the West Bank. Repeated attempts to do so have been thwarted by the IDF, but the law of averages is against us.

Middle East Peace Reports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Middle East Peace Report - February 19, 2008 - 6:37pm

Amnesty Program a Qualified Success: Earlier this month, Israel removed 32 members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, from its list of wanted men, and has extended a probation period for 220 additional men. This move was part of an agreement Israel and the Palestinian Authority entered into in July, which provides a mechanism – based on behavior during a probation period – by which militants could be removed from Israel's lists of individuals to be arrested or assassinated.

‘abbas Meets Olmert Amid Crisis In Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
February 19, 2008 - 6:34pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was due to meet Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas in Jerusalem on Tuesday in an attempt to overcome differences facing the final-settlement talks, Palestinian sources said.   The differences followed Olmert’s announcements on Sunday that ’Abbas had consented to hold off discussing Jerusalem until the end of the negotiating process. Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Olmert also revealed the aim of the United States-backed peace talks is to reach an understanding on "basic principles" for a Palestinian stat

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