February 24th

Why Israel wants to bomb Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Paul Findley - (Opinion) February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

Will Iran bomb Israel into rubble, like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if the Tehran regime is someday armed with nuclear weapons? No one of my acquaintances believes that will ever happen, nor do thoughtful Israelis. But many people believe Israel will soon use conventional bombs to disable Iranian nuclear research facilities. All of us should ponder why.

Hamas Denies Placing Barriers to Unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas officials on Thursday played down reports that the movement was placing barriers in front of a reconciliation deal it signed with Fatah earlier this month. Party spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Hamas was moving forward with the deal in line with the terms agreed in Doha by President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal. Barhoum was responding to reports that a Hamas official said the group was setting new terms for implementing the deal, including demands for certain ministries.

If there were no Iranian threat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Doron Rosenblum - (Opinion) February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

None of the people who, correctly, fear an Israeli attack on Iran and the war that would follow have considered the fact that "the next war" is already here. It has been entrenched in our consciousness and that of our leaders so deeply and for so long that most of the tension concerns its timing, not its probability. What was it that Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was quoted as saying this week?

Palestinian Unity Undermined by Geographic Divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jon Donnison - February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

The two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, are still trying to thrash out the details of a unity deal to end five years of bitter division. Since 2007, Hamas has been in power in Gaza with Fatah left to govern the West Bank. So, Palestinians face not only a political divide, but also a geographical one. "I just want to see my father. We only have photos and phone calls. It's hard to remember what he's like," says 13-year-old, Uday al-Haddar. Sitting alongside his mother, Alya, and two younger brothers, Uday shows me the family album.

Engage Hamas’ moderates and test their newfound flexibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Michael Broning - (Opinion) February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

In the wake of revolutionary change in the Middle East, the forces of political Islam have scored one electoral victory after another. As the West grapples with the rapid rise of moderate Islamists in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, the issue of Hamas’ role in the Palestinian territories looms large. The signing of a new unity deal between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ secular Fatah party earlier this month has heightened an unprecedented struggle within Hamas over its future course as an Islamist movement. How the West responds could very well influence the outcome.

Israel's risky option on Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Los Angeles Times
by Dalia Dassa Kaye - (Opinion) February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

Talk of a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is not subsiding. If diplomacy can't head off Iran's nuclear ambitions, advocates for a military strike in Israel and the United States will only gain strength. While proponents may believe that Israel can endure the short-term military and diplomatic fallout of such action, the long-term consequences are likely to be disastrous for Israel's security.

Israel faces strategic uncertainty over Syrian uprising
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) February 23, 2012 - 1:00am

The unfolding events in Syria have posed a question that Israelis still grapple with: How should Israel react to the crisis in Syria? The public debate in Israel with regard to the best scenario that can happen in Syria is far from conclusive. While, Israelis on the whole find Syria under President Bashar Assad a hard nut to crack, yet his demise is not necessarily in the best interest for Tel Aviv for the short run.

Palestinian Unity Talks in Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - February 23, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian unity talks in Cairo faced a crisis on Thursday as President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal agreed to postpone talks about the formation of a new government, a PA official in Ramallah said. A sharp dispute within Hamas over the recent Qatari-brokered reconciliation deal between Abbas and Mashaal was hindering the establishment of a Palestinian unity government, the official said. On Wednesday, Hamas’s political bureau announced its support for the deal following a 14-hour stormy meeting in the Egyptian capital.

Israeli Warplanes Fire on Gaza City, Injure 2
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli warplanes fired on a Gaza City neighborhood early Friday, lightly injuring two Palestinian fighters. The airstrike on the Zeitoun neighborhood injured two militants who were evacuated to hospital, emergency services' spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said. Their identities and affiliations were not immediately identified. An Israeli army statement said the warplanes hit "two terror activity sites in the northern Gaza Strip...in response to the rockets fired at Israel."

Similarities, but no similar response
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
(Interview) February 23, 2012 - 1:00am

An interview with John Dugard Bitterlemons-InternationaI (BI): You wrote recently that, while there are differences in Israel's practices and those of apartheid South Africa (namely that black South Africans were citizens), there are similarities in the areas of discrimination, repression and territorial fragmentation. Can you touch briefly on those areas?

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