UN halts Gaza aid over 'thefts'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
February 6, 2009 - 12:00am


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.


Gaza aftermath: IDF bides its time, Hamas leaders hide out, everyone awaits truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - February 6, 2009 - 12:00am


Just days before the Knesset elections, the decision on whether to continue the confrontation in the south lies in the hands of Hamas. If the organization accepts the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, this will likely restore calm to the region along the border with the Gaza Strip, at least for a few months; a negative reply will set Israel back on the road of assassinating Hamas leaders, eventually leading to a new round of hostilities.


UN to probe Hamas for use of children
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ruth Eglash - February 6, 2009 - 12:00am


The United Nations is ready to address Hamas's use of children as human shields during last month's IDF offensive in Gaza, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "We have not yet dealt directly with the human shield issue, but we will now mention it in our reports," Radhika Coomaraswamy said in an exclusive interview following a four-day visit to the region.


After the war, Gazans seek answers on white phosphorus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - February 5, 2009 - 12:00am


When Nafiz Abu Shabam received a 5-year-old patient at the Shifa Hospital early in the war between Israel and Hamas, he dressed her burns and sent her for tests. Three hours later, when he and other medical staff redressed the wound, they saw smoke coming from it. "We found small pieces of foreign material in her body, and even when we picked it out, the wound was still smoking," he says. "We were later told [by foreign doctors and human rights workers who arrived after the war started] that it was white phosphorus."


UN backtracks on claim that deadly IDF strike hit Gaza school
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - February 2, 2009 - 12:00am


The United Nations has reversed its stance on one of the most contentious and bloody incidents of the recent Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, saying that an IDF mortar strike that killed 43 people on January 6 did not hit one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools after all.


Winners and losers in Gaza: A Palestinian perspective
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Daoud Kuttab - February 1, 2009 - 12:00am


Unlike times of tranquility, wartime brings out the best and worse in many people. Wars are also an opportunity for people to shine or to fail. The Israeli war on Gaza certainly has its winners and losers, although the list could change and protagonists can swap from one side to the other. Here is my preliminary list of winners and losers.


US 'actively seeks' Mid-East deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


The US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has said Washington is committed to "actively and aggressively" seeking lasting peace. He announced that President Barack Obama had directed him to spend $20.3m (£14.1m) on food and medical aid to the wounded and displaced in Gaza. Mr Mitchell is on a regional tour aimed at consolidating ceasefires declared by Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza. Earlier, Mr Mitchell met Israeli politicians and intelligence officials.


The Limits of International Public Opinion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Hassan Haidar - (Opinion) January 30, 2009 - 12:00am


Both inside and outside the Arab World, there are an increasing number of calls to prosecute Israeli government and army officials before international courts, because of the war crimes and the crimes against humanity witnessed during their latest military campaign in the Gaza Strip.


Gaza: Humanitarian situation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 22, 2009 - 12:00am


Gaza: Humanitarian situation Aid agencies are battling to meet the urgent needs of tens and thousands of displaced, homeless and injured people in Gaza, as well as to get damaged water, power and sewage infrastructure back even to their ailing pre-war levels. That stage alone will cost "hundreds of millions" of dollars, while long term reconstruction will run into "billions," the UN has said. Two separate Palestinian surveys have put the cost of the damage just under $2bn.


IDF probes improper use of phosphorus shells in Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - January 21, 2009 - 12:00am


The Israel Defense Forces is investigating whether a reserve paratroops brigade made improper use of phosphorus shells during the fighting in Gaza. The brigade fired about 20 such shells in a built-up area of northern Gaza. Aside from this one case, the shells were used very sparingly and, in the army's view, in compliance with international law.



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