Abbas: Hamas must recognize Israel to gain world legitimacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday a new national unity government that includes rival Hamas must be in place and internationally recognized to manage humanitarian aid for Gaza and the West Bank. Abbas said he hopes the upcoming round of reconciliation talks would lead Hamas to accept deals with Israel agreed to by previous Palestinian administrations even if they are not in line with the group's own political platform.

State Department: Special U.S.-Israel ties will no doubt stay strong
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Yoav Stern - February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

The State Department on Tuesday reaffirmed its support for Israel, telling Haaretz that the U.S. viewed its relations with Jerusalem as "special" and lasting. When asked whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's declaration that "There will be no pigeion-holing, no exclusivity, we're reaching out to the entire world" could affect the U.S.' ties with Israel, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said: "U.S. has special relations with Israel, it will continue strong with no doubt."

U.S. Middle East envoy takes second trip to region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

U.S. special Middle East envoy George Mitchell has embarked on his second trip to the region to further President Barack Obama's pledge to work for Arab-Israeli peace, the State Department said on Tuesday. Mitchell was in London on Tuesday for talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and would also visit the Turkish capital Ankara, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Israel and the West Bank before returning to Washington on March 4.

Hamas rival says Gaza aid should go directly to the needy, not militants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Karin Laub - February 18, 2009 - 1:00am

International donors should send Gaza reconstruction money directly to property owners, the Palestinian prime minister said Wednesday, offering a plan that effectively bypasses the territory's Hamas rulers — his political rivals. The Islamic militants want a say over how the money is given out. However, the international community is unlikely to hand hundreds of millions of dollars to the militants, still shunned by most of the world. The United States and the European Union consider Hamas to be a terrorist group.

UN halts Gaza aid over 'thefts'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
February 6, 2009 - 1:00am

The UN aid agency in Gaza says it has suspended all aid shipments, accusing the Hamas government of seizing hundreds of tonnes of food supplies. Ten lorries carrying flour and rice were taken from the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the UN's Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) said. Hamas admitted a "mistake" had been made and says it will return the goods. But Unwra says deliveries will not restart until it has assurances that such seizures will not happen again. Gaza is facing a humanitarian crisis after Israel's three-week offensive.

The Obama Administration and the Unavoidable Issue of Palestine
Policy Focus by ATFP - February 5, 2009 - 1:00am


Abbas government announces $600 million Gaza aid project
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - February 4, 2009 - 1:00am

The government of Western-back Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Wednesday a $600 million reconstruction program for the war-battered Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who heads Abbas's West Bank-based government, said the program would cover all Palestinian houses destroyed or damaged during Israel's 22-day military offensive in the Hamas-ruled enclave.

Gaza and Israel brace for violence as truce nears end
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - December 18, 2008 - 1:00am

As a six-month ceasefire with Israel neared its end on Thursday Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were divided on whether they wanted it renewed. But the majority seemed braced for a surge of violence. On its side of the tense border, Israel insisted the "lull" was in the Palestinians' interest and ought to continue indefinitely. But Israelis in the firing line of rockets from Gaza were also worried that the truce would soon be over.

UN aid agency suspends food supplies to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
December 18, 2008 - 1:00am

A United Nations aid agency has suspended food deliveries to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip because it has run out of flour, the group said on Thursday. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provided crucial supplies to 750,000 Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after Israel closed border crossings. "Food distribution for both emergency and regular programmes will be suspended ... until further notice," the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement.

Israel reopens crossings with Gaza to aid, fuel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 9, 2008 - 1:00am

Israel has reopened its crossings with Gaza to shipments of humanitarian aid and fuel. International journalists are also being allowed in. The Israeli military says 45 trucks of food and medical supplies are to pass through on Tuesday, along with shipments of cooking gas and fuel for Gaza's power plant. The military says cargo and passenger crossings were reopened because of a lull Monday in attacks by Gaza militants on Israel.

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