Gaza rebuild 'to cost billions'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel's three-week offensive will cost billions of dollars, the UN has warned. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been left homeless and 400,000 people still have no running water, it says. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is currently visiting northern Gaza to see what assistance can be provided. Ceasefires declared by Palestinian militant groups and Israel are holding, and Israeli troops are expected to complete their pull-out later.

Ban urges Arabs to back Abbas in Gaza crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Louis Charbonneau - January 19, 2009 - 12:00am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Arab leaders to join together in backing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his efforts to reunite the war-ravaged Gaza Strip with the West Bank. Speaking a day after Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas announced separate ceasefires, Ban also said that Arab unity was crucial if the three-week Gaza conflict was not to be repeated in the future.

Gaza Clan Finds One Haven After Another Ravaged in Attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Reyham Abdel Kareem, Craig Whitlock - January 16, 2009 - 12:00am

The Abu Nihil clan, all 16 members, huddled on the living room floor of a friend's Gaza City apartment. All the windows were gone, shattered by explosions. Israeli helicopters churned overhead. But the family has decided this is as good a place as any to make its final stand. The Abu Nihils have seen three houses destroyed since Dec. 27, when Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and began a war that has left civilians with no safe place to go.

Progress Reported in Gaza Truce Talks; Palestinian Toll Exceeds 1,000
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Craig Whitlock - January 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Diplomats said Wednesday they were closer to bringing about a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, but fighting in the coastal territory persisted as the Palestinian death toll in the 19-day war passed 1,000.

Crisis Imperils 2-State Plan, Shifting a Balance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - (Analysis) January 11, 2009 - 12:00am

With every image of the dead in Gaza inflaming people across the Arab world, Egyptian and Jordanian officials are worried that they see a fundamental tenet of the Middle East peace process slipping away: the so-called two-state solution, an independent Palestinian state coexisting with Israel.

How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Avi Shlaim - January 7, 2009 - 12:00am

The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders".

Egypt Pressed on Gaza From Without and Within
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - January 3, 2009 - 12:00am

Egypt is the crucial, if reluctant, intermediary between Israel and Hamas, which is no great friend of this moderate secular government. Still, a sustained Israeli ground operation in neighboring Gaza would sharply increase public pressure on President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to do more to help the Palestinians there.

Arabs increasingly accuse Egypt of being complicit in Israel's war on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
January 3, 2009 - 12:00am

As the Palestinian death toll pushes past 420, much of popular anger throughout the Arab world has been directed at Egypt - seen by many as complicit in the Israeli campaign. "Israel would not have hit Gaza like this without a green light from Egypt," Hamdi Hassan, MP for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition movement, told IPS. "The Egyptian government allowed this assault on Gaza in hopes of finishing off Hamas."

No solution without a Palestinian peace plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Roula Khalaf - January 1, 2009 - 12:00am

The residents of Gaza saw in the new year with more Israeli air strikes and the prospect of an imminent ground offensive. Unlike other wars, where populations run out of the conflict zone and refugee crises develop, Gazans have nowhere to go. Long before Israel’s latest offensive, the strip had been locked up from all sides, with no access to the outside world. Six days into the Gaza operation it is already looking like another mindless war, from which no one can emerge a winner. Israel has destroyed a good part of the Hamas infrastructure – it may, in fact, be running out of targets.

Israel Rejects 48-Hour Cease-Fire Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner, Taghreed El-Khodary - January 1, 2009 - 12:00am

After five straight days of punishing air attacks, Israel rejected a proposal for a 48-hour cease-fire in its military onslaught in Gaza on Wednesday, saying it would maintain pressure on Hamas. But it did not rule out future diplomacy and was open to ways of increasing humanitarian aid. The decision was announced after a security cabinet meeting here.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017