Olmert Hints Major Gaza Operation Is Imminent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 6, 2008 - 3:10pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters on his plane bound for Israel on Thursday just prior to departure that "it would appear we are very close to a decisive crossroads in Gaza," intimating that a major military operation is in the offing. "The people of Israel have reason to be pleased with the results of the visit to the U.S. in relation to all sensitive security matters concerning the future of the state," Olmert said.

Idf Soldier Wounded, Militant Killed In Gaza Border Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Mijal Grinberg - June 6, 2008 - 3:06pm

A barrage of four Qassam rockets and five mortar shells fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip slammed into the western Negev on Friday. No injuries were reported, but several people were treated for shock and cars in the area sustained damage. Another Qassam rocket struck an open area in the Eshkol region in the western Negev. No injuries or damage were reported. Earlier Friday, an Israel Defense Forces soldier was wounded and a Palestinian gunman was killed in clashes near the Gaza Strip border fence.

Israel, Pa Look At Gaza Crossing Options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon And David Horovitz - June 6, 2008 - 2:59pm

  Amid increasing international impatience with the policy of isolating Gaza, both Israeli and Palestinian officials are floating ideas to enable the opening of one or more of the four crossings from Israel into the Strip. "There has been an evolution in the international community on how to handle the Gaza Strip," a Western diplomatic official said Thursday. "There is a consensus that the current strategy that is being pursued is not achieving that much that is positive, whether for Israel, the Palestinian Authority or Egypt."

Hamas Hails Fateh Call For Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
June 6, 2008 - 2:55pm

The rival Fateh and Hamas factions were set to start reconciliation talks after the Islamists in the Gaza Strip on Thursday welcomed a call from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for national dialogue. A year after the Islamists seized power in Gaza causing a political and territorial split, their political head in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said he welcomed the chance to talk as soon as possible.

Israeli Settlement Policies Threaten Palestinian Rights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
June 6, 2008 - 2:53pm

His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday warned that continued Israeli settlement policies threaten Palestinian rights to an independent state. During talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, King Abdullah said achieving peace and living in security and stability in the region will not be realised through settlement construction or by ignoring historic rights of the Palestinian people.

Obama Defends Jerusalem Remarks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
June 6, 2008 - 2:51pm

Democratic White House candidate Barack Obama on Thursday defended his remarks that Jerusalem should not be divided under any Israeli-Palestinian peace pact, saying a divided city would be "very difficult to execute." A day after sparking outrage among Palestinians when he told a Jewish group that Jerusalem must remain the "undivided" capital of Israel, Obama told CNN that the issue is still up to the two sides.

Hamas Member Killed, 10 Palestinians Hurt In Israeli Gaza Raids
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
June 6, 2008 - 2:48pm

A Palestinian militant was killed and an Israeli soldier was wounded in clashes Friday just inside Gaza following a deadly mortar attack on the Jewish state, medical and military officials said. The member of the armed wing of Hamas died in an exchange of fire between militants and an Israeli military unit near the border, Gaza emergency medical services said. Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the impoverished territory, said in a statement its fighters had fired anti-tank rockets at the troops.

An Israeli-syria Deal Is Strategically Vital For Both
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shlomo Ben-ami - June 6, 2008 - 2:46pm

The resumption of peace talks between Israel and Syria after eight years of saber-rattling is not a diversion from the political troubles of Israel's lame-duck prime minister. Nor are the talks a Syrian ploy to avoid facing a Lebanese-international tribunal on the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. An Israeli-Syrian peace deal is strategically vital for both sides, and both sides know it.

War Clouds Recede In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al Hayat
by Patrick Seale - June 6, 2008 - 2:41pm

The troubled Middle East seems to be entering a period of relative calm. It could be no more than a temporary lull, but it is nevertheless more than welcome to its much-tried inhabitants, who have been living on jagged nerves for the past several years. The most important single development is probably the growing improbability of a U.S./Israeli strike against Iran. Fear of such a strike - and of its predictably catastrophic regional and global consequences - has kept the region in a state of nervous alert.

Confident Tony Blair Sells His Step-by-step Middle East Remedy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Bronwen Maddox - June 6, 2008 - 2:37pm

Tony Blair made a strong case yesterday for why it might be possible for outside brokers — such as himself — to lessen the damage done by the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock, even if they cannot yet resolve it. Speaking to a House of Commons committee, with many references to Northern Ireland (and, he might have added, to his creation of new Labour) he clearly drew on his belief in his personal ability to bridge incompatible positions.

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