January 30th

Spanish FM: We'll act to prevent war crimes probes against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos informed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday of Spain's plan to amend legislation that granted a Spanish judge the authority to launch a much-publicized war crimes investigation against senior Israeli officials. Judge Fernando Andreu launched an investigation Thursday into seven current or former Israeli officials over a 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed a top Hamas militant, Salah Shehadeh, and 14 other people, including nine children.


The Limits of International Public Opinion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Hassan Haidar - (Opinion) January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


Both inside and outside the Arab World, there are an increasing number of calls to prosecute Israeli government and army officials before international courts, because of the war crimes and the crimes against humanity witnessed during their latest military campaign in the Gaza Strip.


Post-Gaza Sea Change
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


Israel is just over a week away from elections so it is no surprise that its people are not focusing on whether or not the Gaza war was worth the price. Of course, the price was mostly paid by Gazans rather than by Israelis. It is infinitely easier for Israelis to forget about it, and move on, than for Palestinians.


U.S. says open Gaza border to choke arms smuggling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Andrew Hammond - January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


U.S. envoy George Mitchell said on Thursday opening the Gaza Strip to commercial goods would help to choke off the smuggling that Israel fears could replenish Hamas's weapons stocks. But he said the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas must help to supervise the crossings, a demand that has been a major sticking point in Egyptian-brokered negotiations with the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers for a long-term ceasefire.


Hamas wants new leadership for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


The Islamist Hamas group is calling for new leadership for Palestinians to replace the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) dominated by its arch-rival President Mahmoud Abbas and the factions loyal to him. Claiming victory in a devastating 22-day war with Israel in which 100 Palestinians were killed for every Israeli who died, the militant group is reasserting control over the enclave and resuming its central political challenge to the moderate Abbas.


Turkish PM returns to hero's welcome after Gaza row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan received a hero's welcome on his return to Istanbul on Friday after accusing Israel of "knowing very well how to kill" during a heated debate at the World Economic Forum. President Shimon Peres had launched a fiery defence of his country's offensive in Gaza over the past month, and with a raised voice and pointed finger, questioned what Erdogan would do if rockets were fired at Istanbul every night.


Dozens believed dead in reprisal attacks as Hamas retakes control
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


Evidence is emerging of a wave of reprisal attacks and killings inside Gaza that have left dozens dead and more wounded in the wake of Israel's war. Among the dead are Palestinians suspected of collaborating with the Israeli military. Others include criminals who were among the 600 prisoners to escape from Gaza City's main jail when it was bombed as the war began. Their attackers are thought to be their victims' relatives. Rory McCarthy on Hamas staging victory celebrations in Gaza Link to this audio


US 'actively seeks' Mid-East deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


The US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has said Washington is committed to "actively and aggressively" seeking lasting peace. He announced that President Barack Obama had directed him to spend $20.3m (£14.1m) on food and medical aid to the wounded and displaced in Gaza. Mr Mitchell is on a regional tour aimed at consolidating ceasefires declared by Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza. Earlier, Mr Mitchell met Israeli politicians and intelligence officials.


A long and bumpy road
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


AS AN array of diplomats intensify their efforts to consolidate the ceasefire that took hold in the Gaza Strip after January 18th, the battered territory’s 1.5m people were still gasping for desperately-needed help. Gazans are terrified that violence might return, as tit-for-tat attacks resumed at a relatively low but still dangerous level. Most Gazans now rely on food handouts to survive.


U.S. envoy Mitchell: Mideast peace process faces substantial hurdles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


United States Mideast envoy George Mitchell said on Friday the new U.S. administration's push for Israeli-Palestinian peace after the war in the Gaza Strip faced substantial hurdles, and he predicted further setbacks. The somber assessment by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell followed two days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders about shoring up a shaky cease-fire that ended Israel's 22-day offensive on Gaza. Mitchell said consolidating the truce and "addressing immediately the humanitarian needs" of Gaza's 1.5 million residents were the Obama administration's priorities.



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