Olmert: I'm Unsure Peace Deal With Pa Possible In 2008
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 26, 2008 - 7:06pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that he is not certain Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be able to reach a peace agreement by the end of 2008, as they committed themselves to doing in the November U.S.-sponsored Annapolis conference. "We have a desire to reach an agreement within the year 2008," Olmert told a business conference in Tokyo, where he is making his first visit as prime minister. "I am not sure we will make it, but we are determined to make a giant step forward to end this dispute once and for all."

Abbas Urges For Early Settlement Of Control Over Border Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
February 26, 2008 - 7:05pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed on Tuesday the importance of ending the dispute over controlling the border crossing points between Gaza Strip and Egypt as early as possible amidst the Israeli self-imposed blockade on the strip. The issue is being thoroughly discussed by the Palestinian, the Egyptian and the Israeli leaders, Abbas said in a press release after his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Israel: Recognition Of 'palestine' State By Costa Rica Sparks Diplomatic Row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Adnkronosinternational
February 26, 2008 - 7:03pm

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations by Costa Rica with what it calls "The State of Palestine" on 5 February 2008, the Israeli authorities have decided to postpone a meeting between Costa Rican president Oscar Arias and Israel's deputy minister of foreign affairs Majalli Whbee. The meeting was due to take place on Wednesday. Agreement between Costa Rica and the Palestinian Authority was reached in early February by Palestinian observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, and Costa Rica's ambassador to the UN, Jorge Urbina.

A Time For Fresh American Eyes In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Akram Baker - (Opinion) February 26, 2008 - 7:02pm

One of the more vexing questions these days is how each of the leading presidential candidates in the United States would deal with the tumult in the Middle East. Would an Obama, Clinton or McCain administration be able to tame the raging fires in Iraq and Palestine and prevent the one that may be ignited in Lebanon? Or would it all be more of the same regardless of who is the new tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? There is qualified good news and unqualified bad news.

Gaza's Christians Fear The Future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - February 26, 2008 - 7:01pm

Fourteen masked gunmen burst into Gaza City's YMCA library last week, overpowered two guards and laid explosive charges. One of the bombs later exploded, engulfing the building in fire, destroying most of the library's 10,000 books, which were used mostly by high-school and university students. The other explosive charge was later safely defused by police while the guards were released unharmed in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Pm Seeks To Reach Agreement With Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
February 26, 2008 - 7:00pm

Tokyo: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday he would make every effort to reach an agreement with Palestinians that would lead to a two-state solution resolving decades-old conflict. "In these days we are making exceptional efforts to conclude all differences with our neighbours and to resolve outstanding disputes with our Palestinian neighbours," Olmert told a business conference in Tokyo, where he is making his first visit as Prime Minister.

' Financing Secured To Hook Gaza To Egypt's Electricity Grid '
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 26, 2008 - 6:58pm

The Palestinian government plans to connect more areas of the Gaza Strip to the Egyptian electricity grid, the head of the Palestinian Energy Authority said Tuesday, a move that would reduce the area's reliance on Israel for power. The proposal also would bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' claim to represent Gaza, which was taken over last June by the Hamas militant group after routing Abbas' forces. Abbas now rules from the West Bank and wields little control over Gaza.  

Un: Israel, Pa, Egypt Must Find New Strategy To End Gaza Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur
February 26, 2008 - 6:54pm

The United Nations urged Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt on Tuesday to develop a new strategy aimed at ending the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza Strip. Quartet members and parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been told by the UN to actively pursue a "positive strategy" to end rocket firing and suicide attacks against Israel and meet Gazans' humanitarian needs, the UN special envoy for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, told the UN Security Council in a public meeting.

Israel Faces Threat Of War In Gaza, Official Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
by David Wood - February 26, 2008 - 6:53pm

srael faces a growing potential of a devastating war in Gaza like the 2006 conflict in southern Lebanon that killed hundreds and wrecked large parts of the region, a senior Israeli official said today. Sallai Meridor, Israel's ambassador to the United States, said the extremist group Hamas is importing longer-range missiles, anti-tank weapons, mines and other weapons into Gaza through the border with Egypt.

Gazans Demonstrate At Border Against Israeli Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - February 26, 2008 - 6:53pm

Several thousand Palestinians, many of them schoolchildren bused in from their classes, joined peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip along sections of the border with Israel for several hours on Monday, forming human chains in some locations as part of a public campaign against the Israeli blockade.

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