An original ATFP translation of an article by Hassan Khader in Al-Ayyam discusses the implications of Hezbollah’s recent announcement of its involvement in Gaza smuggling networks (1); the issue is also discussed in an analysis by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (4). An Israeli government official tells the Associated Press that Israel is ‘unlikely’ to assist with the UN war crimes probe of the Gaza war (2). Egypt detains three Gazan men entering Egypt and finds explosives near the border (3). IPS reports on the thousands of tons of food aid that is not being allowed to enter Gaza (7). Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell is set to arrive in Israel today (10).

What’s important is that we resist… T.V. will take care of the rest!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Hassan Khader - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

When someone challenges you by throwing down the gauntlet, it is an invitation to confrontation and conflict. And that’s exactly what Hezbollah’s Chairman did when he publicly acknowledged, on live television, the involvement of members of his organization in the arms smuggling network operating between Egypt and Gaza. Why didn’t Hezbollah ignore the Egyptian accusations and deny any connection with the accused individuals? Why this bold honesty and transparency in threatening the authority of the Egyptian state and its territorial integrity?

MIDEAST: Aid Rots Outside Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Erin Cunningham - April 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is piling up in cities across Egypt's North Sinai region, despite recent calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. Food, medicine, blankets, infant food and other supplies for Gaza's 1.5 million people, coming from governments and non-governmental agencies around the world, are being stored in warehouses, parking lots, stadiums and on airport runways across Egypt's North Sinai governorate.

Egypt detains Palestinians, finds TNT near Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
April 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptian police detained three teenage Palestinian men Wednesday on suspicion of crossing illegally into Egypt and also found explosives near the border with Gaza, security sources said. Tuesday, Egypt tightened security on its border with Israel to prevent illegal crossings after authorities detained 25 men Egypt said were linked to the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah and who were plotting attacks in Egypt. Police detained the three men, aged 16 to 18, in a dawn raid in the town of Sheikh Zweid, near the border with Gaza, the sources said.

Security forces find bomb lab under mosque
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Security forces in Palestine said Tuesday they uncovered an explosives lab hidden under a mosque in Qalqilya. The Jerusalem Post reported police arrested eight people in connection with the West Bank lab, which was found several days ago. Two bombs were found in the lab, a police spokesman said, adding that the facility was aimed at destabilizing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's administration. A Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip said the arrests were politically motivated, the newspaper reported.

Hezbollah Plot Exposes Egypt's Shared Interests With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leslie Susser - (Analysis) April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The discovery of a Hezbollah terrorist network in Egypt and reports of an Iranian plot to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak have left already strained relations between Egypt and Iran in tatters. The developments have far-reaching implications for the region and for Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Human Tragedy on TV as a Catalyst for Change
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Common Ground News Service
by Yizhar Be'er - (Opinion) April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Almost every violent national conflict is retained in the public consciousness through an emblematic image which captures the essence of the story. The first Gulf war brought us the pictures of the poor oil-coated cormorants trapped in a slick in the waters of the Persian Gulf. In the second Intifada it was the boy, Mohammed al-Dura, who was caught in the crossfire between Israelis and Palestinians at Netzarim junction and killed in front of a French television camera.

Moratinos: We won't let Netanyahu evade peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos met Tuesday with former Minister Yossi Beilin in Madrid and told him that "Europe will not accept a situation in which the Netanyahu government evades its predecessors' decisions in regards to the peace process."

Displaced Christians want pope to help them return
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Displaced during war decades ago, the Christians of Biram have never given up their dream of returning to this destroyed village in the hills of northern Israel. They still hold Easter rites, weddings and funerals in a stone church, the only building left standing. Now, they are pinning their hopes on Pope Benedict XVI, who is visiting the Holy Land in May. Biram's former residents and their descendants, some 3,000 Catholics altogether, are asking their spiritual leader to speak for them.

Mitchell due to arrive in Israel on second leg of Mideast trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - April 15, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell was due to arrive in Israel Wednesday on the second leg of his Middle East trip. Mitchell has already met with a number of Arab leaders during the trip in an effort to revive stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. After meeting with Morocco's foreign minister, Taieb Fassi Fihri, Mitchell reiterated his country's commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict, something that Israel's new government has so far refrained from explicitly backing.

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