June 30th

Egypt opens the Rafah crossing temporarily after several months of closure, (1) though a permanent opening still appears a long way off (4). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbbas met briefly with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak outside of Athens (2). Gaza crossings are closed again as rockets fall in southern Israel (3). B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group warns that the West Bank is looking at a serious water shortage in the near future (6).

Hamas Arrests Fatah Spokesman In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - June 30, 2008 - 4:26pm


Hamas security forces arrested the spokesman for Fatah's Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Muhammad Abu Armaneh, who is better known by his nom de guerre Abu Qusai, was taken into custody while standing in front of his shop in Rafah, sources in the Gaza Strip said. The arrest is believed to be linked to Hamas's attempts to enforce the truce agreement that was reached with Israel last week. Last week, Armaneh was the one who announced that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades had fired three rockets at Israel in violation of the cease-fire.


Scared Of Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - (Opinion) June 30, 2008 - 4:25pm


“Hannibal was a military commander who lived more than 2,000 years ago and defeated the Romans in several battles,” Benjamin Netanyahu said at the Knesset cafeteria last week. “For Hundreds of years, mothers in Rome would use him to scare children who wouldn’t eat. They would tell them: ‘If you don’t eat, Hannibal will come for you.’ Now, Hannibal is back. I’m Hannibal.”


New Mt. Hebron Neighborhood Absorbs 10 New Families
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - June 30, 2008 - 4:21pm


Ten incoming families will inhabit their new homes Monday in a new neighborhood built in the Carmel settlement on South Mount Hebron. Although the Yesha Council is talking about settlements construction being frozen, an inauguration ceremony for the new neighborhood is due to take place Tuesday. One of the new residents told Ynet, “We are not sneaking in like thieves at night.”


Illusions Built On Domestic Necessities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) June 30, 2008 - 4:18pm


In the last few weeks we have witnessed a series of developments that at face value might appear inconsistent with the general trends of deterioration that the Arab-Israel conflict in particular and the Middle East in general has been experiencing.


Arab League Holds Talks With Palestinian Official On Palestinian Dialogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
June 30, 2008 - 4:17pm


Palestinian Fatah parliamentary leader Azzam Al-Ahmed held discussion Saturday with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa regarding ways of enhancing Palestinian national dialogue efforts and end division among Palestinian two main parties. Al-Ahmad said in a press release after the meeting that discussion focused on efforts exerted to kick off Palestinian talks, end division in the arena Palestinian, and return unity based on the Yemeni initiative.


Beyond The Truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al- Ahram
by Dina Ezzat - June 30, 2008 - 4:16pm


The fate of the Egyptian-sponsored truce struck earlier this month between Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza is already in question. Over the past 48 hours, Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza exchanged accusations of truce violations as Israeli aggression on Islamic resistance groups in the West Bank -- yet to be included in the truce -- prompted rocket attacks Tuesday evening on the western Negev. Wednesday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered crossings linking Gaza to Israel closed.


What Kind Of Palestine?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al- Ahram
by Javier Solana - (Opinion) June 30, 2008 - 4:14pm


Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have now been talking to each other for more than six months, since the peace process was re-launched at Annapolis in November 2007, with the stated aim of reaching agreement on a Palestinian state before this year is out. The final status issues of borders, Jerusalem and refugees are back on the agenda and the outlines of a two-state solution are visible.


Gaza Truce Holding On Shaky Ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - June 30, 2008 - 4:13pm


Last week, several days into the Gaza ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, a U.N. convoy and a delegation of humanitarian workers was trapped on the Gaza side of the Erez border crossing into Israel, along with this reporter. Unbeknownst to the humanitarian workers, with whom this reporter was traveling, Islamic Jihad had fired a number of rockets into Israel from the area we had passed minutes earlier, the area of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.


Egypt To Open Gaza Border Temporarily Tuesday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
June 30, 2008 - 4:12pm


Egypt is to open its border with the Gaza Strip for two days from Tuesday for Palestinians needing to leave the territory, a security official said. "Egypt has decided to open the crossing for two days from Tuesday to allow through Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who have residence permits and visas as well as students and ill people," the official said, asking not to be identified. On June 18, Egypt opened its Gaza border one way for one day to allow Palestinians to return to the Hamas-ruled territory after receiving medical treatment.



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