February 21st

Israel Extends Closure Of Palestinian Offices In Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 21, 2008 - 7:19pm

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 Thursday.

Eu Lawmakers Lambast Israel Over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 21, 2008 - 7:17pm

European Union lawmakers urged Israel on Thursday not to inflict "collective punishment" on Gaza's population, saying its isolation of the territory had failed and its actions were endangering civilians.  

Palestinians' Home Permit Pleas Rejected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 21, 2008 - 7:15pm

Occupied Jerusalem: Israel denied 94 per cent of the building permit requests West Bank Palestinians submitted over the past seven years, the anti-colonisation Peace Now group reported yesterday. In all, 91 of 1,624 requested permits were approved, Peace Now said. By contrast, 18,472 apartments and homes were built between 2000 and September 2007 in Jewish West Bank colonies, the group said, citing Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. Military officials in the West Bank responsible for construction said the figures were distorted.

The Gaza- Sinai Terror Connection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
(Editorial) February 21, 2008 - 7:13pm

The recent violence and chaos on the border separating Gaza from Egypt should serve in part as a wake-up call about the jihadist threat emanating from the Sinai Peninsula, which has become a recruiting ground for al Qaeda and, increasingly, an infiltration route into Israel. After months of plotting, the Hamas regime that controls Gaza engineered the destruction of part of the border fence with Egypt on Jan. 23, opening a gap that permitted the flow of weapons and upwards of 200,000 people across the border.

February 20th

Abbas Cool To Aide's Call For Kosovo-like Declaration Of Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 20, 2008 - 6:55pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responding to an aide's call on Wednesday for a unilateral declaration of statehood if peace talks with Israel continued to falter, ruled out taking any such step soon. "We will pursue negotiations in order to reach a peace agreement during 2008 that includes the settlement of all final status issues including Jerusalem," Abbas said in a statement.

Netanyahu: Olmert Government Taking Measures To Cede Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
February 20, 2008 - 6:54pm

Likud leader and chairman of the opposition MK Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the Olmert government is taking measures to divide Jerusalem, and urged the key Shas party to bolt the coalition and topple the government in order "to save Jerusalem." Netanyahu was reacting to ongoing wrangling between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over Olmert's assertion that the sides had agreed to defer discussions over the status of Jerusalem to a future final phase of negotiations.

Construction Continuing In West Bank Settlements Despite Pm's Pledge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel - February 20, 2008 - 6:53pm

A new neighborhood comprising 27 trailers is currently under construction at the settlement of Eli, north of Ramallah, even though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed publicly after the Annapolis conference that any such building would cease. Even though some of the trailers are being set up on land privately owned by Palestinians, the authorities are taking no action. Similar unauthorized construction has taken place in the settlement of Maskiot in the northern Jordan Valley.

Op-ed: Hezbollah Will Strike Back, Question Is Where And When
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Yehudit Barsky - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:52pm

For many of his victims around the world, the recent car-bomb assassination of Imad Fayez Mughniyeh -- one of the world’s most wanted terrorists for two decades -- has the ring of true justice. At least in the short term, the killing of Mughniyeh will have a deterrent effect and hamper Hezbollah’s capability to carry out a revenge attack.

Jordan Warns Israeli Practices Yeild To Extremism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
February 20, 2008 - 6:51pm

Jordan on Tuesday warned of Israeli measures that lead to exacerbating the living conditions in the Palestinian territories, describing these practices as a recipe for extremism. Israeli sieges and closures of roads contribute only to worsening the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nasser Judeh told the opening session of a two-day seminar by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Humbling Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:49pm

The most acute problem facing Israeli officials today is how to end the daily Qassam rocket attacks intended to demoralize Israelis and to undermine the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel insists – rightfully – that Hamas, as the self-proclaimed authority in Gaza, is to blame and must suffer the consequences. The question is what to do so that Hamas is weakened rather than strengthened by the Israeli punitive countermeasures while progress continues in the peace negotiations.

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