December 28th

White House Puts Onus on Hamas to End Violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Pear - December 28, 2008 - 1:00am

CRAWFORD, Tex. — As world leaders called on Saturday for an end to the Middle East violence, the Bush administration issued blistering criticism of Hamas, saying the group had provoked Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza by firing rockets into southern Israel. Gordon D. Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said that Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, was responsible for the outbreak of violence and called its rocket attacks ”completely unacceptable. These people are nothing but thugs,” he said. “Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas.”

Israel Defends Action In Gaza, Says No Plans To Reoccupy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
by Paula Wolfson - December 28, 2008 - 1:00am

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is defending the country's massive attack on Gaza, but says there are no plans to reoccupy the Hamas controlled territory. Just hours after a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, the Israeli foreign minister appeared on American television to explain and defend the assault on the Gaza Strip. In addition to hundreds of airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza, Israel has also called up army reservists, triggering fears of a ground assault. But speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Livni denied Israel plans to re-occupy Gaza.

'Little Baghdad' in Gaza - bombs, fear and rage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - December 28, 2008 - 1:00am

There are many corpses and wounded, every moment another casualty is added to the list of the dead, and there is no more room in the morgue. Relatives search among the bodies and the wounded in order to bring the dead quickly to burial. A mother whose three school-age children were killed, and are piled one on top of the other in the morgue, screams and then cries, screams again and then is silent.

Gaza humanitarian plight 'disastrous,' U.N. official says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CNN
December 28, 2008 - 1:00am

(CNN) -- Israeli airstrikes pounding Gaza are deepening the humanitarian crisis in an area that was already in deep distress, according to a United Nations aid official. "The situation is absolutely disastrous," U.N. official Christopher Gunness told CNN on Sunday, as a second day of aerial attacks brought the death toll in Gaza close to 300. Hundreds more people have been injured.

Israeli Attacks in Gaza Strip Continue for Second Day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner, Taghreed El-Khodary - December 28, 2008 - 1:00am

GAZA — Israeli airstrikes against Hamas facilities in Gaza continued for a second day on Sunday and the death toll rose to more than 280 as Israel retaliated for rocket fire from the area with its most severe campaign against Palestinian militants in decades. The Palestinian groups again launched barrages of rockets and mortars into Israel on Sunday, extending their reach further than ever before, and the Israeli government approved the emergency call up of thousands of army reservists in preparation for a possible ground operation.

December 23rd

Gaza between Haniyeh and Barak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) December 22, 2008 - 1:00am

Marwa Abu Shawab, a mother of five in the Jabalia camp, summarizes in her words the tragedy of Gaza's inhabitants, between Israel's aggressions and Hamas's policies. This lady, who lost two of her children in the clashes between the two sides, today says: "We want to live. If Hamas wishes to end the ceasefire and return to fighting, it at least has the obligation to protect us from Israel's counterattacks, which do not distinguish between fighters and civilians".

Israel Embarks on Global PR Campaign To Recruit Support for Gaza Raids
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jack Khoury, Barak Ravid - December 22, 2008 - 1:00am

Israel is kicking off a public relations campaign with the intention of widening a basis for international support of a military offensive on the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has instructed Israeli representatives abroad to begin diplomatic efforts focused on members of the United Nations Security Council and Europeans states.

Abbas: We won't agree to Israeli invasion of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - December 23, 2008 - 1:00am

"We won't agree to an Israeli invasion in Gaza or even an aerial attack," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday during a joint press conference in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The Palestinian president said Egypt will push for a new truce between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Strip, and referred to the rocket fire on the Jewish state as "foolish". The six-month-old truce, mediated by Mubarak, expired last Friday. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is scheduled to come to Cairo Thursday for talks with Mubarak about a new truce.

The Gaza Time Bomb
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Patrick Seale - December 23, 2008 - 1:00am

PARIS -- With the ending of the truce between Israel and Hamas, Gaza is now one of the Middle East's most dangerous flashpoints. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued a cry of alarm, while Tony Blair, the Quartet's Middle East envoy, has urged Israel to defuse tensions by lifting the siege of Gaza. Everyone is aware that it would take only a spark - such as a Qassam rocket landing on a house in Sderot - to trigger a full-scale war. The paradox is that neither side really wants this to happen.

Have politicians pushing for Gaza war forgotten Lebanon debacle?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) December 23, 2008 - 1:00am

As of writing these lines, no one had been killed by the rocket barrages after the official end of the cease-fire. This doesn't mean the situation is possible to live with, but it appears the hysterical reaction by the public as a whole and politicians in particular stems mainly from the fact that the country is in an election period. And when elections are in the offing people speak from the gut rather than the brain and demagoguery is rampant.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017