February 27th

Integrate Settlements And Security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 27, 2008 - 6:43pm

Under the circumstances, and by comparison to its predecessors, the current Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah led by President Mahmoud Abbas and PM Salam Fayyad is making reasonable progress toward fulfilling its roadmap phase I security obligations. Of course there is still a lot to be desired--but the PA deserves better than the degree of reciprocation it has received thus far from Israel.

Why Lebanon Hasn't Slipped Into Civil War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Helena Cobban - (Opinion) February 27, 2008 - 6:42pm

Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was killed by a huge explosion near downtown Beirut in February 2005. Since then, the country has seen – in addition to the Israeli bombardments of summer 2006 – more than a dozen other mysterious assassinations. Nearly all those killed were, like Mr. Hariri, outspoken critics of the strong role that Syria plays inside Lebanon. Ever since 2005, analysts have speculated that Lebanon might be headed back into the civil war from which it extricated itself, with much difficulty in 1989.

Palestinians Mull A Majority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Joshua Mitnick - February 27, 2008 - 6:41pm

New population data have some Palestinians contemplating an unorthodox formula for Middle East peace — a single democratic nation of Arabs and Jews, in which Palestinians would be the majority. "If Israel wants to call it Israel from Jordan to the Mediterranean, I accept it. So we'll be equal to them," said Saeb Erekat, a negotiator who has been at the center of negotiations to set up a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

February 26th

Olmert: I'm Unsure Peace Deal With Pa Possible In 2008
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 26, 2008 - 7:06pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that he is not certain Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be able to reach a peace agreement by the end of 2008, as they committed themselves to doing in the November U.S.-sponsored Annapolis conference. "We have a desire to reach an agreement within the year 2008," Olmert told a business conference in Tokyo, where he is making his first visit as prime minister. "I am not sure we will make it, but we are determined to make a giant step forward to end this dispute once and for all."

Abbas Urges For Early Settlement Of Control Over Border Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
February 26, 2008 - 7:05pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed on Tuesday the importance of ending the dispute over controlling the border crossing points between Gaza Strip and Egypt as early as possible amidst the Israeli self-imposed blockade on the strip. The issue is being thoroughly discussed by the Palestinian, the Egyptian and the Israeli leaders, Abbas said in a press release after his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Israel: Recognition Of 'palestine' State By Costa Rica Sparks Diplomatic Row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Adnkronosinternational
February 26, 2008 - 7:03pm

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations by Costa Rica with what it calls "The State of Palestine" on 5 February 2008, the Israeli authorities have decided to postpone a meeting between Costa Rican president Oscar Arias and Israel's deputy minister of foreign affairs Majalli Whbee. The meeting was due to take place on Wednesday. Agreement between Costa Rica and the Palestinian Authority was reached in early February by Palestinian observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, and Costa Rica's ambassador to the UN, Jorge Urbina.

A Time For Fresh American Eyes In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Akram Baker - (Opinion) February 26, 2008 - 7:02pm

One of the more vexing questions these days is how each of the leading presidential candidates in the United States would deal with the tumult in the Middle East. Would an Obama, Clinton or McCain administration be able to tame the raging fires in Iraq and Palestine and prevent the one that may be ignited in Lebanon? Or would it all be more of the same regardless of who is the new tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? There is qualified good news and unqualified bad news.

Gaza's Christians Fear The Future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - February 26, 2008 - 7:01pm

Fourteen masked gunmen burst into Gaza City's YMCA library last week, overpowered two guards and laid explosive charges. One of the bombs later exploded, engulfing the building in fire, destroying most of the library's 10,000 books, which were used mostly by high-school and university students. The other explosive charge was later safely defused by police while the guards were released unharmed in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Pm Seeks To Reach Agreement With Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
February 26, 2008 - 7:00pm

Tokyo: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday he would make every effort to reach an agreement with Palestinians that would lead to a two-state solution resolving decades-old conflict. "In these days we are making exceptional efforts to conclude all differences with our neighbours and to resolve outstanding disputes with our Palestinian neighbours," Olmert told a business conference in Tokyo, where he is making his first visit as Prime Minister.

' Financing Secured To Hook Gaza To Egypt's Electricity Grid '
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 26, 2008 - 6:58pm

The Palestinian government plans to connect more areas of the Gaza Strip to the Egyptian electricity grid, the head of the Palestinian Energy Authority said Tuesday, a move that would reduce the area's reliance on Israel for power. The proposal also would bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' claim to represent Gaza, which was taken over last June by the Hamas militant group after routing Abbas' forces. Abbas now rules from the West Bank and wields little control over Gaza.  

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