December 23rd

Palestinian, Russian presidents talk Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 22, 2008 - 1:00am

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday discussed ways to cooperate on Middle East peace. Medvedev said Russia was ready to continue working with the Palestinian authorities to help peace efforts. "We hope we will continue to cooperate productively, especially as the number of problems we are facing haven't become smaller," Medvedev said at the start of his Kremlin talks with Abbas. "We need to move forward, so we will discuss issues related to the Middle East settlement and the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue."

Abbas: Hamas' abuse of religion for political end is unacceptable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
December 21, 2008 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on a visit to Russia, strongly criticized the radical Islamic Hamas movement on Sunday, saying the organization's "abuse of religion for political ends" was unacceptable, Russia's Interfax news agency reported. Speaking in Grozny, the capital city of the Chechen Republic in Russia, Abbas said that extremists were to blame for Islam receiving so little respect in the world at present. In reality, terrorists have no relationship with religion, he declared.

Domestic politics fuels Gaza conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 23, 2008 - 1:00am

The collapse of a six-month Israel-Hamas calm last Friday unleashed a new wave of cross-border attacks and a spate of threats from leaders on both side about worsening violence. And although the Islamist militants called for a 24-hour halt in attacks on Monday for mediation, the region seems once again to be at the brink of another escalation over Gaza.

Hamas says it may consider new truce with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 23, 2008 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY - A tense calm reigned over the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday as the Palestinian Islamist group said it might be willing to agree to a new truce with Israel. Gaza militants fired one rocket which hit without causing damage or injury, and Israel did not launch any raids on the territory after Hamas announced on Monday that it would not launch rockets or fire mortars for 24 hours.

December 22nd

Loving The Two-State Solution to Death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - December 19, 2008 - 1:00am

It didn’t take long for the “two state solution” to move from the category of radical to banal, but that is what has happened. Today the “two-state solution” is everyone’s favorite remedy. And yet it is farther from realization than ever. Its fate may, in fact, be that rare instance of a concept being killed by kindness.

Ignoring the plight in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by Yousef Munayyer - (Opinion) December 21, 2008 - 1:00am

The lights are out in Gaza again and few are paying attention. The 1.5 million Palestinians living in the densely populated strip are being collectively punished once more, while Israel attempts to strangle the Hamas government. The UN agency that feeds hundreds of thousands of people is unable to get supplies in because the border is closed, and a plea from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has been ignored.

West Bank settler eviction offers warning, hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - December 21, 2008 - 1:00am

HEBRON, West Bank -- Israel's swift eviction of Jewish zealots from one of the most volatile West Bank flashpoints offers encouragement to people both inside and outside Israel who hope it is still possible to uproot settlers to make room for a Palestinian state. Israeli police and soldiers encountered little resistance this month when they expelled some 200 extremists from a contested house in Hebron, near the traditional burial site of Abraham, the shared patriarch of Muslims and Jews.

World Bank calls for steps to ease West Bank trade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 22, 2008 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank: The Palestinian private sector won't prosper as long as trade in the West Bank is hampered by Israeli checkpoints and cumbersome cargo crossings, the World Bank said in a report Monday. Israel has been slow in easing its tight restrictions on Palestinian movement, citing security concerns. However, the World Bank said Israel could make improvements even within those restrictions. It singled out the Israeli-run Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, the main route for Palestinian exports to the Arab world.

Gaza Incursion Nears; Hamas Mulls Renewal of Suicide Bombing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - December 22, 2008 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM -- Over the weekend, a barrage of rockets hit Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip following the end of a six-month truce between Israel and the Islamic resistance movement Hamas. While Israeli security officials prepare for a possible large-scale military invasion into Gaza, Hamas officials have said that they may renew suicide bombings. Hamas accused Israel of reneging on promises to open Gaza crossings and lift the economic blockade that has caused major suffering to the coastal territory's 1.5 million citizens, the vast majority of them civilian.

Israel Strikes Gaza Day After Truce Expires
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 20, 2008 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- An Israeli airstrike against a Palestinian rocket squad killed a militant Saturday, the first death in Gaza since Hamas formally declared an end to a six-month truce. Palestinians fired 10 rockets and at least 23 mortar shells from Gaza into Israel, causing some property damage but no casualties, the Israeli military said. An Israeli airstrike at one of the rocket squads in northern Gaza killed a militant, said the army and Palestinian medics.

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