Israeli Army, A National Melting Pot, Faces New Challenges In Training Officers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - December 31, 2007 - 6:36pm

The young officer candidates, in uniforms and old American helmets, their M-16s slung over their shoulders, were blowing up balloons. Lilac, blue and red balloons. Then they attached them to targets. The balloons were “hostages,” they said. The point was to hit the target but not a hostage. Of course, since some of these young men and women were training for office jobs, their skills were not always so acute. They did not kill any hostages, but sometimes they did not hit the target, either, their bullets piercing the desert hills.

About That Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) December 31, 2007 - 6:35pm

It didn’t take long for the glow of the Annapolis peace conference to wear off. Israelis and Palestinians have quickly fallen back into predictable destructive patterns. Arab countries have not done anywhere near enough to support the negotiations. Even the United States is behind on its pledges: because of bureaucratic wrangling and Israeli doubts, it has yet to establish a promised “mechanism” to monitor the two sides’ behavior and pressure them into meeting their commitments.

Olmert Curbs West Bank Building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - December 31, 2007 - 6:35pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has barred new construction work, building planning and occupancy tenders at West Bank settlements without his approval, documents show. The move is meant to bolster U.S.-backed peace talks, soured by disputes over Jewish settlement construction, ahead of a visit by President George W. Bush early next month.

Israel, Palestinians Seek Elusive Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Steven Gutkin - December 31, 2007 - 6:34pm

In the afterglow of a high-profile peace conference, Israeli and Palestinian leaders will try in the coming year to resolve issues that have defied solutions for decades. For peace to work, Israel will have to give up most of the West Bank, Palestinians must agree to resettle refugees inside their own state and the two sides must share the holy city of Jerusalem. None of that will come easily _ and prospects for peace are hurt by the growing power of extremists and the weakness of leaders on both sides.

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