Israeli ground forces enter populated Palestinian areas in Gaza, as Israel’s leaders proclaim that the conflict is nearing an end (1), (2), (3), (4). Cease-fire talks focus on tunnels, border security (5), (6), (7), (8). Ha’aretz says that the UN Security Council cease-fire resolution was a “serious diplomatic malfunction” for Israel, while Asharq Alawsat calls it a victory for Arab moderates (9), (10). Reuters and Ha’aretz look at who is “winning” and “loosing” thus far (11), 12).

A big shudder on the wing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Around two weeks after the start of fighting in Gaza, there are only vague reports on Israel's success in damaging Hamas' terrorist infrastructure. On the other hand, statistics on the harm done to civilians accumulate. More than 800 Palestinians have been killed and around 3,000 have been wounded, an overwhelming majority of them from air strikes. According to UN figures, half of those killed are civilians, and half of the civilians killed are women and children.

Victory elusive for both Israel and Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Luke Baker - (Analysis) January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

When the firing eventually stops in the Gaza Strip, the question of "who won?" will hang heavily over the death and destruction. Neither Israel nor Hamas will be able to answer it with any certainty or immediacy. Israel says it launched its offensive on Dec. 27 to put a stop once and for all to Hamas's firing of rockets and mortars over the border into southern Israeli towns and cities. That objective, at least, has been stated very clearly.

Arab Moderates Succeed Despite Obstacles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Moderate Arab diplomacy has succeeded in creating a UN resolution [UN Security Council Resolution 1860] in New York calling for a ceasefire and an end to Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. Arab moderates succeeded [in pushing for a resolution] despite the regional and Arab obstacles of some seeing an opportunity to attack Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and other moderate Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Jordan.

UN Gaza truce resolution was serious diplomatic malfunction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Analysis) January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Resolution 1860 by the United Nations Security Council, which called for a cease-fire in Gaza, should be seen as an expression of the international community's discomfort about the continued fighting. It does not dictate halting the Israeli operation nor does it demand the immediate pullout of Israel Defense Forces troops from the Strip before security arrangements are made to guarantee long-term stability.

Israel says Egypt should have Gaza border role
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel said on Sunday the job of stopping arms smuggling from Egypt to the Gaza Strip should be done by Egyptian forces and rejected the idea of an international force. European and Israeli diplomats have said an international force is part of a package mediators are trying to put together to end a more than two-week-old Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that is designed to stop Palestinian rocket attacks.

Security cabinet: Israel to continue Gaza offensive to pressure Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid, Yoav Stern - January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

The security cabinet decided Friday to continue Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, but not expand it at this stage. In the coming days Israel will focus its military and diplomatic efforts on pressuring Egypt to work toward the Israeli and international demand to deploy an international force to combat smuggling from Egypt to Gaza.

Evolving talks over Gaza ceasefire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Gaza truce talks have shown little outward sign of progress, with Israel seeking guarantees Hamas will be prevented from rearming and the Islamist group demanding Israel first pull out and reopen border crossings. Egyptian officials have sought to mediate between the two sides, which refuse to talk to each other directly. A Hamas delegation is now in Cairo. Israel planned to send senior defense official Amos Gilad on Monday. Based on interviews with diplomatic and political sources, here are the main issues being discussed in the talks: ANTI-SMUGGLING MEASURES

Fierce Focus on Tunnels, a Lifeline for Gazans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Stephen Farrell - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

Fifty feet underground, the tunnel looked like a giant wormhole: large enough for a man to crawl through, worn smooth by constant use and disappearing into the subterranean darkness beneath the Gaza-Egypt border. Waist high, three feet wide and equipped with a motorized winch and electric lights, it was one of scores of Palestinian tunnels beneath the southern Gaza town of Rafah in March 2008, when a reporter visited.

Israel warns Gaza residents of 'new phase' of offensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Rushdi Abu Alouf, Richard Boudreaux - January 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel's aircraft pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday and scattered leaflets warning of an escalation in attacks, but there was no sign that its forces had begun a major advance on the militant group's urban strongholds. A senior Hamas commander and seven members of a Palestinian family were among those killed on the 15th day of Israel's thundering air and artillery assault, which also damaged a hospital. Palestinian militants fired 15 rockets into Israel, wounding three people.

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