Reuters reports on talks between the Palestinian government and Egypt over the Gaza border with Hamas seeking a role in any future arrangement (1.) In Salon, Gary Kamiya argues that the Gaza border crisis is a result of failed U.S. and Israeli policies regarding Hamas (3.) In Inter Press Service, Jim Lobe finds little prospect for major U.S. Mideast foreign policy change in the last year of the Bush presidency (5.) An IHT opinion by famous Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim urges Israelis to be sensitive to the rights of the Palestinian people as partners sharing the same land (7.) The Independent (UK) reports from Gaza on how power cuts are affecting one Palestinian family who has a son on a respirator (9.) The Telegraph (UK) reports on the halting of the building of a new sewage plant in Gaza, one of Quartet envoy Blair's main projects, due to Israel's refusal to allow the delivery of construction materials (10.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by Daoud Kuttab, published in collaboration with Project Syndicate, analyzes how the collective punishment of Gaza's population weakens the moderate majority and strengthens the extremist minority (12.) Haaretz (Israel) looks at a UN report on growing religious intolerance in Gaza (13.) Also in Haaretz, an editorial warns of the consequences of the smear campaign directed against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama by certain right-wing elements in the Jewish American community (15.)

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