January 27th

Turkey calls on Hamas to pick politics over arms
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Turkey's government, accused of siding with Hamas during Israel's Gaza offensive, has called on the Islamist group to use peaceful means to achieve its aims rather than armed struggle, its foreign minister said. The government has come under criticism for the strong rhetoric it used against Israel during the offensive in the Gaza strip. Turkish opposition parties, ex-diplomats and columnists have accused the government of taking a pro-Hamas stance.

Gaza: Humanitarian situation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 22, 2009 - 1:00am

Gaza: Humanitarian situation Aid agencies are battling to meet the urgent needs of tens and thousands of displaced, homeless and injured people in Gaza, as well as to get damaged water, power and sewage infrastructure back even to their ailing pre-war levels. That stage alone will cost "hundreds of millions" of dollars, while long term reconstruction will run into "billions," the UN has said. Two separate Palestinian surveys have put the cost of the damage just under $2bn.

Israel 'must sack' military rabbi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 26, 2009 - 1:00am

A human rights group in Israel has called for the military's chief rabbi to be dismissed for alleged incitement against Palestinians. The group, Yesh Din, said Rabbi Avichai Rontzki distributed a booklet to troops in the Gaza offensive, which advised them they were fighting "murderers". The booklet, citing an ultra-nationalist rabbi, told soldiers to show no mercy to a "cruel enemy". The Israeli military has not yet commented on the issue.

Did Israel Commit War Crimes in Gaza?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Speigel International
by Thomas Darnstadt, Christoph Schult - January 26, 2009 - 1:00am

Did Israel violate international law in Gaza? The immense number of Palestinian civilian casualties suggests that it did. But can the laws of war really be applied to asymmetrical conflicts such as Israel's war with Hamas? The Palmachim air force base is 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Tel Aviv, tucked away in the dunes along the Mediterranean shore. A thin, bald man wearing rectangular, rimless glasses is standing in front of half a dozen combat helicopters on the airfield at the base.

Gaza situation could ‘complicate’ Pope’s Israel trip - prelate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

A planned trip by Pope Benedict XVI to Israel could be “complicated” by the situation in Gaza, but not by a controversy over his decision to reverse the excommunication of an apparent Holocaust denier, a high-ranking prelate said Monday.

Egypt: Palestinian reconciliation talks to begin on February 22
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 20, 2009 - 1:00am

Egypt has proposed Feb. 22 as the date for the start of a dialogue between Palestinian groups, several of the groups said in reports published on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit of Egypt, which has been mediating between the groups, told reporters: "We will invite the Palestinian groups. We hope we will succeed in this in the third week or at the end of the third week of February."

Public gives £600,000 to Gaza appeal before broadcasts are aired
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Jerome Taylor - January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

The Gaza appeal which the BBC is refusing to broadcast raised £600,000 before it was shown. Donations flooded in to the Disasters Emergency Committee website before the initial transmission of the two-minute appeal on ITV1 last night. On previous occasions the DEC has not accepted donations until an appeal has gone out live but members of the public have been able to donate to the Gaza appeal since Thursday. Charity chiefs will be hoping that the controversy over the broadcast has increased public awareness that a way of donating to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is available.

Obama envoy Mitchell in Cairo on first leg of Mideast tour
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama's new Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, arrived in Cairo on Tuesday as he embarked on a week-long tour to the region and Europe. The trip kicks off the new administration's efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and shore up a shaky Gaza truce. Mitchell, a former U.S. senator, was to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday at the start of the trip, which will also take him to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France and Britain.

Israel launches attacks in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel launches attacks in Gaza Israel has carried out an air attack in the Gaza Strip and launched an incursion with tanks and bulldozers across the border. Palestinian sources say there has been fighting near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, with people fleeing their homes. The incursion follows a bomb attack which killed one Israeli soldier and wounded three near the Gaza border. It is the worst violence since Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza ended with both sides declaring ceasefires.

Obama tells Al Arabiya peace talks should resume
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
(Interview) January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

In his first interview since taking office, President Barack Obama told Arab satellite station Al Arabiya that Americans are not the enemy of the Muslim world and said Israel and the Palestinians should resume peace negotiations. “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,” Obama told Al Arabiya’s Hisham Melhem in an interview broadcast Tuesday morning.

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