June 20th

Egypt Back In Diplomatic Saddle With Gaza Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Alain Navarro - June 20, 2008 - 3:15pm

CAIRO - Egypt is firmly back in the diplomatic saddle after having played the central role of mediator in securing a truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, analysts say. After months of talks, it was Cairo that announced the agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on Tuesday. Hours before the truce was to be implemented at 0300 GMT on Thursday, Israel, which blacklists Hamas as a terror group, maintained a cautious tone.

Abbas Overhauls His Security Forces, By Decree
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 20, 2008 - 3:13pm

Ramallah: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing through an overhaul of his security forces by decree, retiring old-guard commanders and giving broad law enforcement powers to a secretive special unit. Several thousand top officers who rose through the ranks under the iconic late guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat have so far given up command with Abbas offering pre-retirement promotions and pensions equal to their full wages, according to interviews and presidential orders seen by Reuters.

U.s. Says Exercise By Israel Seemed Directed At Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Michael R. Gordon And Eric Schmitt - June 20, 2008 - 3:13pm

WASHINGTON: Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military's capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran's nuclear program.

Cease-fire: No Small Thing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - June 20, 2008 - 3:11pm

The cease-fire is still in effect, which is something of a surprise. After all, this is a cease-fire few like -- especially in Israel. Some of the same government officials who secured it wasted little time in saying that they did not expect it to last and that, when it did collapse, Israel would launch its long-deferred invasion of Gaza.

Reviving U.s. Leadership In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by Brian Katulis & Mara Rudman - (Commentary) June 20, 2008 - 3:10pm

The tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, negotiated by Egypt, that began this morning in Gaza represents a tentative step forward in managing and ultimately resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the period of calm is used to make progress on negotiations, implement obligations and improve the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians, then the ceasefire can help lay the foundation for final resolution.

The Cease Fire In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) June 20, 2008 - 3:08pm

IF IT HOLDS, the cease-fire that took effect yesterday between Israel and Hamas in Gaza will be a welcome boon for Israelis exposed to rockets fired from Gaza and for Palestinians liable to be caught in retaliatory attacks. But for the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire to become something more than a temporary pause in a chronic conflict, both sides will have to enforce its terms rigorously. And Israel, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt, and the United States will have to make the cease-fire a stepping-stone to a durable two-state peace agreement. 

June 19th

Politics Is The Art Of The Possible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al- Quds
by Atta Allah Mansour - June 19, 2008 - 2:56pm

The next election for the Knesset is on the horizon, and the condition of the Arab parties is dismaying. The Arab share of Israel’s electorate ranges between sixteen to twenty percent of the total eligible to decide the election and set government policy – however, the conventional wisdom is that Arab influence in the Israeli election will be one tenth that of Jewish influence in the American presidential election, even though Jews only compose three to four percent of those who are eligible to vote in the United States.

Humanitarian Organizations Keen To Jump-start Gaza Initiatives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Tal Rabinovsky - June 19, 2008 - 2:54pm

Israel and Hamas may remain doubtful as for their ceasefire's chances of being a a long-lasting one, but the humanitarian organizations are optimistic, eager to take advantage of the clam to ship essential equipment into Gaza.

Negotiations To Release Gilad Shalit To Resume Next Week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - June 19, 2008 - 2:50pm

  Defense Minister Ehud Barak has announced that he will meet with the families of the three kidnapped soldiers Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, and Gilad Shalit on Friday, due to the recent developments in negotiations with Hizbullah and Hamas.  Ofer Dekel, the Prime Minister\\\'s Office emissary in charge of Israel\\\'s efforts on behalf of its missing and captive soldiers is scheduled to leave for Cairo next Tuesday in order to renew the negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit.

Amount Of Goods Transferred To Gaza To Rise By 30% On Sunday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hanan Greenberg - June 19, 2008 - 2:47pm

The amount of commodities transferred into the Gaza Strip is set to increase by 30% on Sunday, due to the ceasefire that took hold on Thursday. The commodities will be made up mostly of clothing, shoes, and food. In one week Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai is scheduled to hold a discussion on transferring cement and gravel to the Strip. Vilnai has also directed forces to investigate other ways to transfer goods into Gaza, apart from Sufa crossing.

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