Syria Wants Golan Heights On Middle East Agenda
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 1, 2007 - 12:00am

Syria will not attend a Middle East peace conference set for next month unless the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are on the agenda, President Bashar al-Assad said in comments broadcast on Monday. "If they don't talk about the Syrian occupied territory, no, there's no way for Syria to go there," Assad told the BBC, referring to the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. "It should be about comprehensive peace, and Syria is part of this comprehensive peace. Without that, we shouldn't go, we wouldn't go."

Shifting Targets: The Administration’s Plan For Iran.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Yorker
by Seymour M. Hersh - October 1, 2007 - 12:00am

In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. “Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. “The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions.

A Small Outbreak Of Mideast Hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jim Hoagland - September 30, 2007 - 12:00am

Hopes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that will isolate the Hamas radicals who control the Gaza Strip have brightened measurably in recent days, according to European officials visiting here. The real news is that the Europeans report this possible outcome without a frown. Their cautious but clear optimism is based primarily on movement in the private preparatory talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who are both so weakened politically that they may have no place to go but toward peace.

A Conversation With Mahmoud Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
September 30, 2007 - 12:00am

When the Islamic radicals of Hamas kicked their more secular Fatah rivals out of the Gaza Strip in June, it looked as though the peace process was dead. But surprisingly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have held a series of in-depth talks that U.S. officials hope may culminate in some kind of deal or framework to be presented at a proposed meeting of Middle East leaders in Washington in November. Last week, the Fatah chief attended the opening of the U.N.

Wanted Palestinians Cross Into Gaza From Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - October 1, 2007 - 12:00am

In a surprise move, about 80 Palestinians, including Hamas members and militants from other factions wanted by Israel, crossed from Egypt into the Gaza Strip before dawn on Sunday, according to Hamas and Israeli officials. The entry, through the closed Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border, was the result of what Hamas said was an agreement it made with Egypt.

Twilight Zone / The Children Of 5767
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

It was a pretty quiet year, relatively speaking. Only 457 Palestinians and 10 Israelis were killed, according to the B'Tselem human rights organization, including the victims of Qassam rockets. Fewer casualties than in many previous years. However, it was still a terrible year: 92 Palestinian children were killed (fortunately, not a single Israeli child was killed by Palestinians, despite the Qassams). One-fifth of the Palestinians killed were children and teens - a disproportionate, almost unprecedented number. The Jewish year of 5767.

Three U.S legislators, including Senator John Kerry, visit Gaza (1), where Hamas has reportedly given them a letter to deliver to President Obama (2). Prime Minister hopeful and Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu wins the important backing of a leading right-wing Israeli party (3). The Christian Science Monitor looks at the possible prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel (4). The classified Israeli government settlement data made public last month has prompted discussion of Palestinian lawsuits (6). Le Monde Diplomatique examines the political fallout of the Gaza war (7). The Media Line interviews the famously bereaved Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish who lost several daughters in an Israeli attack on his home during the Gaza war (11).

Hamas 'sends Barack Obama letter'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
February 19, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian group Hamas has sent a letter addressed to the US president via a US politician visiting Gaza, a senior UN official has said. UN relief agency chief Karen Abu Zayd told the BBC the letter had been received by the UN and passed on. She did not say if Senator John Kerry had accepted it, and there were no details about the letter's contents. The US views Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, as a terrorist organisation and will not deal with it.

Gaza war changes Middle East equation at Israel’s expense
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Le Monde Diplomatique
by Alain Gresh - February 19, 2009 - 1:00am

“They’re still living in the War of Independence (1948) and the Sinai campaign (1956). With them, it’s all about tanks, about controlling territories or controlled territories, holding this or that hill. But these things are worthless. (…) The Lebanon war (2006) will go down in history as the first war in which the military leadership understood that classical warfare has become obsolete” (1).

U.S. to Send Clinton to Cairo Donors Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
February 19, 2009 - 1:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will represent the United States at the donors’ conference in Cairo next month to raise money for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. Clinton told reporters her goal was “to try to get humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, host of the conference, says at least 70 nations will be in attendance at the conference. Meanwhile, the first of back-to-back congressional visits to Damascus was held on Wednesday when Maryland Senator Ben Cardin met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad.

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