Israel’s attack on Gaza city continues, including bombing the headquarters of UNRWA reportedly with white phosphorous munitions, as the Palestinian death toll passes 1000 (1), (2), (3), (4). Ha’aretz argues that Hamas is facing unfavorable cease-fire terms, while Tariq Alhomayed examines differences between its leadership factions in Gaza and Damascus (5), (6). The New York Times reports on the war’s political damage to the Palestinian Authority (7). Several Arab and Israeli commentaries strongly criticize Israel’s actions (8), (9), (13), (14). Others examine lessons to be learned by Hamas, the incoming Obama Administration, and Arab governments (10), (11), (12). The US is reportedly considering cutting $1 billion in loan guarantees to Israel because of continued settlement activity (15).

Obama's Diplomacy and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

US President-elect Barack Obama will take office next week. Fiery dossiers in the US, namely the economic and financial crisis, pile up on his desk, in addition to the foreign policy issues his administration has inherited from President George Bush, who has himself admitted failure in solving any of them.

U.S. may cut $1b in loan guarantees to Israel over West Bank settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

The United States administration plans to cut about $1 billion from the balance of its loan guarantees to Israel because of its investments in the settlements. The balance currently stands at $4.6 billion. Washington has not officially informed Jerusalem of the cut. The assumption is that the announcement, and the decision over the exact extent of the cut, will come only after Barack Obama is sworn in as president next Tuesday.

Gaza Cries For Arab Attention
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Khaleej Times
(Editorial) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

This is the third consecutive week of Israel’s relentless offensive on Gaza. More than a thousand people have been killed, over 400 of them women and children. All efforts by the international community, including the United Nations, Europeans and others, have failed to break Israel’s resolve to destroy what remains of Gaza Strip. Individual efforts by Arab and Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have failed to bear fruit as well.

Gaza should not have happened
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Opinion) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

There is a growing clamour for Israel’s grotesque aggression on the Gaza Strip to be properly examined in a war crimes tribunal. This is an endeavour the Arab world ought to spearhead to mitigate what has been a shameful showing by the countries of this region.

The Price of Individual Wars
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

The battle of Gaza has proven, as have before it Israel's wars against Lebanon, that the time of Arab wars against Israel has ended. What we mean by "Arab wars" are those wars which the Arabs fought together, under a single military strategy aimed at reaching a single goal.

Using the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - (Opinion) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

When I say that not everything that you see is innocent, it is difficult for me to elaborate and recount the evidence, because the details are both painful and unbelievable, more than they are disgraceful. And so now we see the disputes surrounding the convening of an Arab summit which has become clear for all to see; everybody wants a summit [to take place], everybody wants to host this summit, everybody wants to hold the microphone in their hands, everybody wants to appear as the savior.

Think of Gaza as a prison – and all becomes clear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Oren Yiftachel - (Opinion) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

Let us start with the current sad irony: the invasion and destruction of Gaza is being carried out by an ousted Israeli government, and actively supported by a defeated US administration. Yet, the two outgoing governments are colluding against a democratically elected government of Palestine. Further, instead of sanctioning Israel for placing Gaza under siege for the last two years, and for occupying Palestine for the last four decades, the world has imposed sanctions on the Hamas government. Gazans are being punished twice: by occupation, and for their resistance.

The IDF has no mercy for the children in Gaza nursery schools
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

The fighting in Gaza is "war deluxe." Compared with previous wars, it is child's play - pilots bombing unimpeded as if on practice runs, tank and artillery soldiers shelling houses and civilians from their armored vehicles, combat engineering troops destroying entire streets in their ominous protected vehicles without facing serious opposition. A large, broad army is fighting against a helpless population and a weak, ragged organization that has fled the conflict zones and is barely putting up a fight. All this must be said openly, before we begin exulting in our heroism and victory.

War on Hamas Saps Palestinian Leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 15, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel hoped that the war in Gaza would not only cripple Hamas, but eventually strengthen its secular rival, the Palestinian Authority, and even allow it to claw its way back into Gaza. But with each day, the authority, its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and its leading party, Fatah, seem increasingly beleaguered and marginalized, even in the Palestinian cities of the West Bank, which they control. Protesters accuse Mr. Abbas of not doing enough to stop the carnage in Gaza — indeed, his own police officers have used clubs and tear gas against those same protesters.

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