March 19th

Mccain Supports Israeli Response
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
March 19, 2008 - 7:26pm

US presidential hopeful John McCain says he understands Israel's response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militant groups. Mr McCain was speaking in the Israeli town of Sderot, which has often been hit by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. "No nation in the world can be attacked without responding," he told reporters. Mr McCain, a Republican senator who looks set to become the party's presidential candidate this autumn, also called for progress towards peace.

Jailed Palestinian Barghouthi Eyes P.a. Leadership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Media Line Staff - March 19, 2008 - 7:24pm

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi is not ruling out his candidacy in the Palestinian Authority elections for chairmanship, he told an Italian news agency.   "When a date is agreed upon for the presidential elections, I'll make the appropriate decision," he said through his lawyers.   Barghouthi is serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli jail for his involvement in terror attacks against Israelis.   According to a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR,), Barghouthi has a better chance of beatin

Hamas Refuses Fatah Demand It Cede Gaza Control For Reconciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 19, 2008 - 7:23pm

Hamas voiced willingness on Wednesday to talk to Fatah as part of a Yemeni reconciliation initiative but said the secular faction must drop its demand the Islamist group first give up control of the Gaza Strip. "We do not accept it as a condition to restore dialogue," Hamas spokesmanAyman Taha said. "[The Gaza Strip] is only an item that can be discussed within the agenda of the talks."

Mubarak: 'no Occupation Lasts Forever'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 19, 2008 - 7:21pm

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Israel on Tuesday that history shows no occupation lasts forever. "Your people's security cannot be attained by exercising a policy of collective punishment, aggression, siege, walls and building settlements," he said in comments broadcast live on state television. Mubarak added that for their part, the Palestinians needed to unify their ranks and consider their actions for the sake of their suffering children.

Israel Bars Access From W. Bank, Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 19, 2008 - 7:19pm

Israel declared a heightened security alert on Wednesday and barred Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip from entering the country, fearing Hezbollah guerrillas may try to carry out a major attack during holiday celebrations this week. The Purim holiday coincides with the end of a 40-day mourning period for Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing in Syria last month. Israel has denied involvement, but the Lebanese guerrilla group has blamed Israel and vowed revenge.

U.s. To Transfer $150 Million In Aid To The Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 19, 2008 - 7:07pm

The U.S. is transferring $150 million in aid to the Palestinian government in coming days, the Palestinian Prime Minister announced Wednesday. The payment is part of a total of $550 million the U.S. pledged to pay to the Palestinians over three years, part of a total of $7.7 billion in pledges from international donors made at a conference in Paris in December.

Jerusalem's First Palestinian Latin Patriarch To Retire This Year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 19, 2008 - 7:03pm

Michel Sabbah, the Holy Land's top Roman Catholic clergyman, is to retire this year. The Latin Patriach is turning 75 on Wednesday - the traditional retirement age of church officials. Sabbah is the first Palestinian to hold his position. Throughout his tenure, he has been a vocal advocate for the Palestinian cause. At the same time, he has been an outspoken critic of violence.

The Final Straw
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Elie Fawaz - (Opinion) March 19, 2008 - 7:01pm

America is always looking for ways to weaken Hezbollah and end its violent operations. The good news is that Hezbollah may now finally be undermining itself from within. Trapped between Israel's wrath and the disillusionment of the Lebanese people, the "Party of God" is bringing about its own destruction and damaging its credibility by openly taking on the world.

March 18th

An Unwelcome Welcome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yehuda Lankri - (Opinion) March 18, 2008 - 7:02pm

Maariv recently wrote about "disappointment in the Foreign Ministry" concerning the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, whose appointment is described by Israeli "diplomatic sources" as a weak and strange choice of "a diplomatic bureaucrat" who lacks understanding of, and diplomatic background in, the Middle East.

Wait For A New Us Administration Before Panicking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Yossi Beilin - (Opinion) March 18, 2008 - 7:00pm

Before everyone starts considering closing down the Palestinian Authority (PA), ending peace talks, unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state or deciding to opt for a one-state solution, we should all calm down and wait another 10 months until January 2009, when a new administration takes office in the United States.

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