Egypt’s Steel Wall Sparks ‘Fatwa War’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Rachelle Kliger - January 3, 2010 - 1:00am


A religious ruling in support of the construction of a massive steel wall on the Egypt-Gaza border is drawing fire from fellow clerics. The steel wall intended to stop smuggling across the Egypt-Gaza border was declared permissible in a religious ruling, or fatwa, by the Islamic Studies College of the renowned Al-Azhar institution, drawing angry responses from other Muslim figures in Egypt, including from within Al-Azhar itself.


‘No one can take me away from Gaza’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hamida Ghafour - January 2, 2010 - 1:00am


For weeks the defining image of Israel’s military siege of the Gaza Strip was a distant haze of smoke rising from the ground, sanitised footage that told nothing of the horrors of war. But in the late afternoon of January 16, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish broke through the silence imposed by the Israeli government’s news blockade and for a few minutes the raw, unfathomable grief of a father whose three daughters and niece had been killed minutes before rang out to the world.


Gaza remains under pressure and ‘waiting to explode’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - January 2, 2010 - 1:00am


A year on from Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s offensive in Gaza, the threads of a possible Middle East peace are so knotted that they look impossible to disentangle. A right-wing government in Tel Aviv has dared to snub the US administration by barely enforcing what has become a partial and very temporary freeze on the expansion of its settlement programme in the West Bank. Israeli generals, meanwhile, proclaim that they are gearing up for an even fiercer repeat of the attack on Gaza last winter that killed around 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians.


Abbas: Gaza's suffering is our suffering
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 1, 2010 - 1:00am


Bethlehem – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Thursday to spare no effort in supporting Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. “Your suffering is ours – we will continue supporting you. We will offer every possible means of support,” he said, speaking at a ceremony in Ramallah marking the 45th anniversary of the founding of his Fatah movement. He touted the role of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) in supporting Gazans. He said the PA still pays the salaries of 77,000 employees in Gaza, devoting 55% of its budget to the territory.


Smuggling fuels Gaza's stalled economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Heather Sharp - December 31, 2009 - 1:00am


The day Israel launched its 22-day offensive on Gaza , a year ago, Osama and his family lost most of their $70,000 life savings. The Gaza accountant, who gives only his first name, had put his money into a local investment scheme - even selling an apartment and his wife's jewelry to do so. The scheme initially produced excellent returns, which Osama understood came from trade through the smuggling tunnels from Egypt to the blockaded Gaza Strip.


Gaza: where there’s a will to help, there’s a way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
December 31, 2009 - 1:00am


ABU DHABI // This week, a convoy of 18 ambulances completed a long and arduous journey from Abu Dhabi to the Gaza Strip. The “caravan of ambulances”, as the UAE Red Crescent Authority’s secretary general adviser, Dr Saleh al Taei, described the convoy, set off from the capital to Jeddah, then sailed to the Egyptian port of Nuweiba, before moving on to Al Arish and finally to Rafah on the Gaza-Egyptian border.


Rattling the Cage: A taboo question for Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) December 31, 2009 - 1:00am


There's a question we Israelis won't ask ourselves about the Palestinians, especially not about Gaza. The question is taboo. Not only won't anyone ask it out loud, but very, very few people will dare ask it in the privacy of their own minds. However, I think it's time we start asking it, privately and in public. If we don't, I think there's going to be Operation Cast Lead II, then Operation Cast Lead III, and each one is going to be worse than the last, and the consequences for Palestinians and Israelis are going to be unimaginable.


Cruel onslaught on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) December 30, 2009 - 1:00am


Sunday, the 27th of December, marked one year since Israel’s military launched Operation Cast Lead that robbed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians including 318 children, leaving 5,300 wounded. The cruel onslaught on Gaza that relentlessly continued until Jan. 18, 2009, destroyed United Nations facilities, hospitals, schools, ministerial buildings and 3,500 houses, leaving 20,000 homeless.


Protesters Gather in Cairo for March to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mona El-Naggar - December 29, 2009 - 1:00am


More than 1,000 people from around the world were gathered here on Tuesday for a solidarity march into Gaza despite Egypt’s insistence that the Gaza border crossing that it controls would remain closed to the vast majority of them.


This is not humane. We need dignity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Sami Abdel-shafi - (Opinion) December 29, 2009 - 1:00am


On my way to visit a friend in the Abed Rabbo district, north of the Gaza Strip, the taxi driver handed me a small pack of biscuits for change. There are nearly no copper coins left here so cab drivers barter a half Israeli shekel for biscuits brought in from the tunnels between the southern city of Rafah and Egypt's northern Sinai. Some Gazans, who once earned a respectable living, resorted to melting coins and sold the copper for food supplies.



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