Israel's Barak: Must look beyond risks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's defense minister said Monday that his country would be ready to talk peace with Syria if Damascus were serious about doing so — a sharp departure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's go-slow approach to peacemaking while the Middle East is in turmoil . Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel must look beyond the risks arising from the changes sweeping the Middle East, where longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt have been toppled and the 42-year dictatorship of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi is under assault from opposition forces.

Hamas quashes small pro-unity rally in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

A Hamas security man surveyed the scene on Monday -- 10 activists drawn by a Facebook page invitation to a Gaza rally for Palestinian unity. "Where's the revolution?" he asked with a note of sarcasm. Within minutes, security forces of the enclave's ruling Islamist movement moved into Gaza's main square. Witnesses said one of the security men punched the organiser of the rally and the other nine protesters obeyed orders to disperse.

Fatah sets new standards for cabinet selection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

The Fatah party's top governing body announced Sunday that it had set standards for the selection of cabinet ministers as freshly appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad continues consultations ahead of announcing a new line-up. While the Fatah party holds power in the West Bank, it has no jurisdiction over policy, and it remains unclear to what extent the announced standards will be adopted by Fayyad, an independent, who was tasked by Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas to form a new Palestinian Authority cabinet.

Israeli artillery fire injures 1 in Rafah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

At least one man was injured Monday, medics told Ma'an, in what witnesses near the Gaza International Airport said was a volley of artillery fire from an Israeli tank operating near the Rafah border area. Medics said teams were dispatched to the area to evacuate the wounded, while witnesses said ambulances were seen arriving at the airport, following the firing of several shells.

An old Jerusalem road gets a high-tech makeover
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - February 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Jaffa Road has witnessed empires come and go, watched camel caravans give way to stagecoaches and automobiles, seen pilgrims and pioneers, businessmen and bombers. Now change is coming once again to the iconic Jerusalem route. Supplemented by a network of designated buses and pedestrian malls, a new light-rail train along the city's main thoroughfare will "revolutionize transportation and the city too," said Nadav Meroz, acting director of the Jerusalem Transportation Master Plan.

How the Arabs Turned Shame Into Liberty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fouad Ajami - (Opinion) February 26, 2011 - 1:00am

PERHAPS this Arab Revolution of 2011 had a scent for the geography of grief and cruelty. It erupted in Tunisia, made its way eastward to Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain, then doubled back to Libya. In Tunisia and Egypt political freedom seems to have prevailed, with relative ease, amid popular joy. Back in Libya, the counterrevolution made its stand, and a despot bereft of mercy declared war against his own people.

Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Wound Man and Baby
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ben Weyl - February 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli warplanes bombed a half-dozen targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, wounding a 7-month-old girl and a Palestinian man, medics in the coastal territory said. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that there were at least two airstrikes aimed at militant targets, saying they were in response to rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. Medics said one strike was carried out on a military post of Hamas, the Islamic militant group, in Rafah, which is on Gaza’s border with Egypt. In a home nearby, a baby was hit in the head by fragments, though medics said the injury was slight.

Israeli Panel Finds No Crime in 2002 Assassination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - February 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Nearly nine years after an Israeli assassination of a Hamas leader in Gaza killed at least 13 civilians and led to widespread international condemnation, a government-appointed panel of inquiry concluded Sunday that the operation was flawed but that the consequences “did not stem from disregard or indifference to human lives.”

Palestinians Seek New Path to State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Richard Boudreaux - February 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian leaders here say they have lost faith in U.S. mediation with Israel and are weighing a new strategy to press for independence, including an appeal for United Nations recognition of a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The evolving strategy, inspired in part by uprisings across the Middle East, also envisions stepping up nonviolent protest against Israeli occupation and trying to end a deep schism between the West Bank's secularist-led Palestinian Authority and the Islamist group Hamas that governs Gaza.

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