Abbas Appeals at UN for End of Israeli ‘Genocide’ in Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Bill Varner - January 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip is “genocide” and appealed for urgent action by the United Nations Security Council to stop the 11-day assault. “The entire world opinion will accept no less than an urgent intervention by the Security Council to stop the fighting and deter the aggressor,” Abbas said at the UN in New York late today. “This is the message I am bearing.”

Israel defers vote on expanding Gaza ground op amid growing truce bids
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 7, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel's security cabinet on Wednesday postponed a vote on whether to expand the Israel Defense Forces 12-day-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, political sources said. The sources said ministers discussed whether to implement the "third stage" of an operation launched on Dec. 27 but decided to defer the decision on whether to approve it to an undisclosed date. Israel's political leadership gathered in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning to discuss widening the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip at a time when most of the aims of the operation have been met.

UN rejects IDF claim Gaza militants operated from bombed-out school
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar, Amos Harel, Amira Hass, Avi Issacharoff, Anshel Pfeffer - January 7, 2009 - 1:00am

The United Nations on Wednesday denied Israel Defense Forces claims that there were Palestinian militants in the Gaza school bombed by Israel on Tuesday. Christopher Gunness of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the organization is 99.9 percent certain there were no militants or military activity in its school. That does not necessarily contradict Israel's claim that the militants were operating close by, Gunness said.

Sarkozy says Israel accepts Gaza truce plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 7, 2009 - 1:00am

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday Israel and the Palestinian Authority had accepted a truce plan for Gaza announced by Egypt on Tuesday. "The president is delighted by the acceptance by Israel and the Palestinian Authority of the Franco-Egyptian plan presented last night in Sharm el-Sheikh by (Egyptian) President (Hosni) Mubarak," said a statement from Sarkozy's office. "The head of state calls for this plan to be implemented as quickly as possible for the suffering of the population to stop."

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