February 22nd

Israel Extends Closure Of Palestinian Offices In East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 22, 2008 - 4:22pm

Israel is keeping Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem shut tight, despite its pledge to reopen them under a recently revived peace blueprint, Palestinian officials said yesterday. This month, the officials said, Israel renewed its order to close the Orient House, the city ‘s Arab Chamber of Commerce and other heavily symbolic buildings that are a rallying point for the Palestinians’ claims to Jerusalem’s eastern sector as capital of a future state.

Hamas Urges Eu To Up Pressure On Israel Over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 22, 2008 - 4:10pm

Hamas called on the European Union on Friday to step up pressure on Israel to lift its economic and military blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Islamist group. "We urge the European Union not to limit its action to purely calling for an end to the siege but also to apply political and practical pressure on Israel," Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Obama's Brain Trust Taking Shape
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Sun
by Eli Lake - February 22, 2008 - 4:09pm

WASHINGTON — When it comes to foreign affairs, Senator Obama's inner circle of advisers includes a Swahili-speaking Air Force general he met on a trip to Africa; a 30-year-old speechwriter who helped draft the final report from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, and President Clinton's first national security adviser, who in 2005 converted to Judaism under the tutelage of the Navy's chief Jewish chaplain.

Arab Leaders Say The Two-state Proposal Is In Peril
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - February 22, 2008 - 4:08pm

Arab leaders will threaten to rescind their offer of full relations with Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal from occupied lands unless Israel gives a positive response to their initiative, indicating the Arab states’ growing disillusionment with the prospects of a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

February 21st

Analysis: Threats Of Unilateral Independence Rocks Sleepy Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - February 21, 2008 - 7:28pm

For a minute it seemed that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the media focus surrounding it, were shaken awake. Following three sleepy months since the end of the Annapolis conference, and with nearly no diplomatic headlines, Yasser Abed Rabbo - the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization central committee, and until recently a member of the negotiating team - managed to bring some drama to the process.

What America Wants From An Operation In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) February 21, 2008 - 7:26pm

As the Second Lebanon War raged, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger paid a visit to Major General Dan Harel, who was then army attache in Washington and is now deputy chief of staff. The war had not yet been described as a failure, nor had anyone thought about setting up the Winograd Committee. But Kissinger already had things to say, and he may not have been the only one.

Israel’s Settlement Activities Under Way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - February 21, 2008 - 7:25pm

The Israeli anti-settlement watchdog, Peace Now, yesterday said that 27 new mobile homes are currently under construction at the settlement of Eli, north of West Bank city of Ramallah, even though Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed publicly after the Annapolis peace conference that any such building would cease.

Economic Reform Key To Mideast Stability - Un
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Linda Hindi - February 21, 2008 - 7:24pm

Delegates attending a UN conference yesterday stressed economic reform as the key for stability in the occupied territories and the basis for building a foundation for a viable two-state solution. But they added that sustainable growth cannot be achieved without a political settlement.

Pa Won't Follow Kosovo Model, All Agree
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 21, 2008 - 7:23pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas quickly dismissed a top aide's call Wednesday for a unilateral declaration of statehood if negotiations with Israel fail. The Palestinians are committed to reaching a negotiated peace agreement this year, Abbas said in a statement. "If we are unable to do that... We will return to our Arab [brothers] to take the appropriate decision," he said. Earlier in the day, Abbas's aide, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Kosovo, which on Sunday declared independence from Serbia.

Correspondence: The Stakes In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Nabil Fahmy - (Opinion) February 21, 2008 - 7:22pm

Crises in the Middle East have a tendency to exhibit a peculiar pattern. While they appear to be limited in scope, they almost invariably reveal a broader dimension, which is what makes such crises potentially so destabilizing. The situation created by Hamas' dramatic breach of the border between Egypt and Gaza, and the ensuing influx of Palestinians into Sinai, presents a clear example of this pattern.

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