June 19th

The Hump On The Back Of The (u.s.) Camel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by George Hishmeh - June 19, 2008 - 2:45pm

One could hardly believe upon reading or hearing the statement by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after her talks with Israeli leaders last Sunday when she "pressed" them to halt settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, two Israeli-occupied areas where the Palestinians hope to establish their independent state along with the Gaza Strip.

Gaza Truce Could Create Conditions For Un Force
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 19, 2008 - 2:44pm

JERUSALEM - An Egyptian-brokered truce and reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions could create conditions for the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the Gaza Strip, the United Nation\'s envoy said on Thursday. Robert Serry, the world body\'s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said the idea of sending peacekeepers was ‘premature’ at this stage but that it could become ‘very practical’ later if security and political conditions improve.

Israel And Hamas Remain On War Footing Despite Ceasefire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Sheera Frenkel And David Byers - June 19, 2008 - 2:43pm

Israel and the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers remained firmly on a war footing today, despite a truce between the sides coming into effect. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, confirmed that his country's military was on high alert despite the ceasefire, and predicted that the halt in violence would be fragile and may be "short-lived".

Israel's Broad American Base
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Walter Russell Mead - June 19, 2008 - 2:41pm

Many observers attribute U.S. support for Israel to the financial and political clout of the American Jewish community. In fact that is only a small part of the story. For the last 60 years, non-Jewish Americans have overwhelmingly sided with the Jewish state rather than its enemies. Washington's pro-Israel stance in the Middle East reflects the wishes, above all, of American gentiles.

Israel And Hamas Ceasefire Begins
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
June 19, 2008 - 2:39pm

The truce is designed to halt Israeli incursions into the Gaza Strip, and to stop missiles being fired from Gaza into southern Israel. If it holds, Israel will ease its blockade on Gaza and there may be further talks on a prisoner exchange. Correspondents say the eve-of-truce attacks underline how fragile the agreement could be. There were no reports of fire from either side on Thursday morning.

Truce In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) June 19, 2008 - 2:37pm

ATRUCE between Israel and Hamas was to begin this morning in the Gaza Strip, ending daily barrages of rockets that have terrorized nearby Israeli towns as well as counterstrikes that have killed more than 350 Palestinians this year. In accepting the Egyptian-brokered deal, Israel embraced the least bad of the limited options it has for countering Hamas, which has been turning Gaza into a fortified base for advancing the cause of Islamist extremism in the region -- a cause it shares with Iran.

Strengthening Extremists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Nicholas D. Kristof - (Opinion) June 19, 2008 - 2:35pm

The yearlong siege of Gaza may soon end with the new cease-fire there, marking the eclipse of one more American-backed Israeli policy that backfired by strengthening extremists.

Analysis: Small Steps A Way To Broader Mideast Peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Cnn
by Tricia Escobedo And Kevin Flower - June 19, 2008 - 2:33pm

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel has been making small steps toward reconciling with its neighbors -- including this week's planned truce with Gaza's Hamas leaders -- raising questions about whether those steps could lead to a broader peace deal. Last month, Israel confirmed it had been indirectly negotiating a deal with Syria for more than a year. And on Wednesday it announced it hoped to hold similar peace talks with Lebanon. The Jewish state is under pressure from the United States to reach an agreement outlining a future Palestinian state by the end of the year.

June 18th

A Year After The Takeover: “hamas” Birds On The Tree!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-ayyam
by Rajab Abu Sariya - June 18, 2008 - 4:52pm

Not only did President Mahmoud Abbas’ popularity rise since his calls for Palestinian dialogue, but also his political savvy has become evident, on both the domestic and diplomatic fronts. The timing and form of the presidential initiative didn’t allow Hamas to stall or refuse to negotiate, and that is what explains the talks in Cairo and Dakar and the resurgence of hope and optimism, despite wariness and caution shared by both observers and citizens.

Idf To Remove Kalkilya Roadblocks As 'reward'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - June 18, 2008 - 4:51pm

The Civil Administration in the West Bank has negotiated a deal with a number of Palestinian villages in the Kalkilya region in which dirt roadblocks cutting off their access to nearby cities and roads would be lifted in exchange for the cessation of local terror activity, a senior IDF commander told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

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