Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Reuters reports on criticism by Palestinian PM Fayyad of continuing raids by the Israeli military into the West Bank city of Nablus that are ruining his security plan for the city (2.) Also in Reuters, in an interview President Bush calls ISraeli settlement expansion as an 'impediment' to current peace efforts (3.) The Christian Science Monitor examines the different challenges and responsibilities facing the Palestinians in disbursing the funds pledged recently by the international community (5.) In the National Interest, USIP fellow Barbara Slavin suggests a new course for U.S. Mideast foreign policy (6.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency examines comment by President Bush and his national security advisor Hadley on the issue of settlements and other obstacles to Mideast peacemaking (8.) In Israel Policy Forum, MJ Rosenberg analyzes how the one uniting issue for Arab and Muslim anger worldwide is the issue of Palestine, and how the exercise of U.S. presidential will can address that issue (9.) The Economist (UK) assesses the prospects for President Bush of nudging along Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts during his trip to the region next week (11.) An Arab News opinion by Fred Schlomka, board member of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, reports on Israeli policies detrimental to its Bedouin citizens (13.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Century and New America Foundation senior fellow Daniel Levy suggests a list of talking points for Israeli PM Olmert's upcoming meeting with President Bush (14.) A Yedioth/Ynet News (Israel) opinion by Sever Plocker cautions that the time for implementing a two-state solution is running out as the bi-national state concept is gaining ground (15.)

Israeli Operations Kill 9 In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jonathan Finer - January 4, 2008 - 2:21pm

Israeli forces launched military operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank early Thursday, hours before a Katyusha rocket fired from Gaza crashed down harmlessly near the Israeli city of Ashkelon. At least nine Palestinians were killed during Israeli tank and helicopter attacks in Gaza, including five members of a family killed near the central city of Khan Younis, Palestinian officials said.

Palestinian Pm Assails Israel Over West Bank Raids
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - January 4, 2008 - 2:22pm

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad criticized Israel on Friday for mounting a major military sweep in the West Bank, saying such intervention was ruining a Western-backed internal Palestinian security plan. Hundreds of Israeli troops flooded Nablus on Wednesday, conducting house-to-house searches, detaining at least 6 Palestinians. The move triggered a confrontation with stone-throwing youths in which, hospital officials said, at least 29 people were injured.

White House Downplays Bush Mideast Trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Jennifer Loven - January 4, 2008 - 2:26pm

President Bush's aides all but ruled out a three-way meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his upcoming Mideast visit and dampened hopes that the president's high-profile travels would make tangible progress toward peace. "Just his going there is going to advance the prospects," Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, said Thursday. "We're not looking for headline announcements."

What Palestinians Will Do With $7.4 Billion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 4, 2008 - 2:27pm

When donors met in Paris last month and awarded $7.4 billion in aid to the Palestinians, a larger-than-expected package to be distributed over the next three years, many in the international community showed a new readiness to support the new Israeli-Palestinian peace push and provide a safety net for it in the form of economic stability.

Ahead Of Visit, White House Talks Friendship With Israel — And Pressure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - January 4, 2008 - 2:30pm

The message from the White House on the eve of President Bush's first presidential visit to Israel is that his staunch support for the Jewish state has set the stage for peace — and given him room to exert some pressure on Jerusalem. Bush launches an eight-day tour of the region next Wednesday, beginning with three days in Israel and the West Bank and continuing to Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Pakistan, Palestine, And Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Analysis) January 4, 2008 - 2:32pm

A few hours after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, I happened to catch an interview with a group of Pakistani university students who were part of a stunned mass of grieving people on the streets of Karachi.  They all looked and sounded secular, educated and western.  The reporter asked them about Bhutto's death, prospects for democracy in Pakistan, and what they thought about the United States.

Bush Calls On Israel To Dismantle Wildcat Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
January 4, 2008 - 2:33pm

US President George W. Bush called on Israel to dismantle wildcat settlement outposts on occupied Palestinian land, in an interview published on Friday ahead of his visit to the region next week. "We expect them to honour their commitments," Bush said in the interview with Israel's mass-selling Yediot Aharonot daily.

Lurching From Crisis To Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al- Ahram
by Marian Houk - January 4, 2008 - 2:40pm

The Israeli Defence Ministry's programme to punish all Gazans for Qassam missiles fire into Israeli territory is apparently moving into a new phase. A second round of fuel cuts reportedly started on 30 December, with a military-ordered reduction of some 35-43 per cent (depending on what numbers are used as the baseline) in the amount of gasoline that will now be supplied to the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Quiet War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Fred Schlomka - (Opinion) January 4, 2008 - 2:41pm

While Ehud Olmert and Abu Mazen were wheeling and dealing at Annapolis, several Israeli government ministries and security agencies were deploying their combined resources in a massive operation aimed at Israel’s southern Negev Desert. While the eyes of the world are on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel is in the middle of a campaign to complete the displacement of Palestinian Arabs who also are Israeli citizens.

When Ehud Meets George
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Daniel Levy - (Opinion) January 4, 2008 - 2:42pm

The finishing touches are being applied to preparations for next week's presidential visit. After more than 2,500 days in the White House, George W. Bush will grace the Holy Land with his presence, and Ehud Olmert can notch up an achievement denied to his predecessor, Ariel Sharon - of hosting an American president. The script for such an occasion almost writes itself. The president will visit all the usual Israeli and Jewish sites of history, heartbreak and heroism, identifying with our suffering and marveling at our achievements.

Time For Deal Running Out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Sever Plocker - (Opinion) January 4, 2008 - 2:44pm

For several years now, and certainly since the second Intifada’s outbreak, Palestinian economist demanded in every forum that the Paris Agreement, which in 1994 created a uniform external border for Israel and Palestinian for the purpose of duty collection, be annulled. The Palestinians viewed this duty collection amalgamation as a tangible and irritating expression of Israeli occupation.

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