Fayyad: Israel Must Open Gaza Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
June 26, 2008 - 4:35pm

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Thursday called on Israel to reopen border crossing with the Gaza Strip which were shut after Palestinian rocket attacks violated the shaky truce with Hamas. "We have 1.5 million of our people with a sense of not having much to lose. That situation must end," Fayyad told a news conference in Prague with Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

Sarkozy's Ambition In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) June 26, 2008 - 4:34pm

The visit by French President Nicholas Sarkozy to Jerusalem and Bethlehem proves that France has not changed its policy vis-à-vis the Middle East conflict. It proves that the fundamental principles that differentiate it from the US policy remain intact, with an insistence that Jerusalem should be the capital of two states, that a Palestinian state should be established, the Israeli settlement activity halted, and the obstacles before the Palestinian people removed.

The Oily Maze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) June 26, 2008 - 4:33pm

One would think that Arab leaders would have learned a lesson (or two) after failing to tell the Arab side of the conflict with Israel since the establishment of the Jewish state on Arab lands in Palestine in 1948, a loss the Arabs describe as the Nakba or catastrophe. Once again the oil-rich Arab leaders are disappointingly unable so far to convince the world of the reasons, as they see them, that led to the skyrocketing price of oil which had more than doubled in one year; now over $140 a barrel.

Israeli Politicians Avert Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - June 26, 2008 - 4:31pm

Israel stepped back from the brink of political turmoil Wednesday after the two main parties in the ruling coalition hammered out a last-minute compromise to prevent the passage of a bill calling an election. This gives Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a few more months to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians and to try to win release of three captured soldiers. But the price was agreeing to a primary election in September that is likely to end his reign.

Gaza Truce Strained By Rocket Fire, Closure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-mughrabi - June 26, 2008 - 4:29pm

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a makeshift rocket into southern Israel on Thursday, putting further strain on a week-old truce as Israel kept border crossings into the Hamas-ruled territory closed. Both sides traded blame for violations of the ceasefire Egypt had brokered in the hope of furthering U.S.-backed peace talks that have shown little sign of progress.

Last-minute Deal Saves Olmert's Government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
June 26, 2008 - 4:27pm

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert averted a major crisis on Wednesday, reaching agreement with his Labour allies for them to reverse a decision to vote to dissolve parliament, a move that could have brought down the government. Under the accord, Olmert agreed to a demand that his Kadima party hold primary elections by September 25 and Labour undertook not to back opposition efforts to bring down the government, parliamentary sources said.

Israel Keeps Gaza Crossings Closed After Rocket Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - June 26, 2008 - 4:26pm

Israel will keep Gaza border crossings closed another day in response to Palestinian rocket fire that had violated a new cease-fire, the Defense Ministry said late Wednesday. The decision came after Gaza's Hamas rulers said they would not police other militant groups that break the truce that went into effect last Thursday. It was the first major hitch in the truce and raised questions about its ability to hold.

Palestinian Conference In Berlin Falls Flat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Der Spiegel
by Michael Scott Moore - June 26, 2008 - 4:21pm

Everyone agreed on Tuesday that the Palestinians need help. And dozens of nations agreed in Berlin to donate money. But the Palestinians still don't have a state, and the Middle East is still a powderkeg.

The Brass Ring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Yorker
by Connie Bruck - June 26, 2008 - 4:16pm

Last October, Sheldon Adelson, the gaming multibillionaire, accompanied a group of Republican donors to the White House to meet with George W. Bush. They wanted to talk to the President about Israel. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was organizing a major conference in the United States, in an effort to re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and her initiative had provoked consternation among many rightward-leaning American Jews and their Christian evangelical allies.

Movement On Both Sides
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Fadi Elsalameen - (Opinion) June 26, 2008 - 4:13pm

After many years of deepening suspicion and estrangement, dramatic political developments in both the Middle East and the United States are starting to improve the perceptions Arabs and Americans have of each other. Arab states are beginning to rethink their national interests, especially regarding Israel. At the same time, across the Atlantic, our own country stands on the brink of a parallel transformation, one that bodes well for the Middle East and its future.

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