Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Associated Press reports on warnings by the Red Cross that Gaza's health and sanitary system is on the verge of total collapse unless Israeli eases its total blockade (2.) Reuters looks at the effect to-date on Gaza's sewage system of the tightening Israeli sanctions (4.) In the American Prospect, Israeli author Gershom Gorenberg urges a debate over what it means to be 'pro-Israel' to assist newly elected public leaders in 2009 in making more constructive decisions on Israel-Palestine (5.) A Boston Globe opinion by H.D.S. Greenway urges President Bush to draw lessons from Israel's Mideast experience on the ineffectiveness in using military force to address political issues (6.) BBC (UK) analyzes the impact of the economic blockade of Gaza on Hamas and divisions within the organization on how to address the issue (7.) The Guardian (UK) looks at how the civilian population of Gaza is paying the price of Israel's policy of stopping militant rocket through a total blockade of the territory (9.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) editorial urges Palestinians to unite in order to better confront their current challenges (10.) Haaretz (Israel) looks at a UN report showing a sic percent increase in the number of Israeli barriers to movement in the occupied West Bank (12.) Also in Haaretz, Avi Isaacharoff analyzes Israeli DM Barak's decision to impose a total blockade on Gaza in response to rocket fire (13.)

Red Cross Warns Of Gaza Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Eliane Engeler - January 22, 2008 - 7:00pm

The international Red Cross issued a dire warning on the state of basic services in Gaza on Tuesday, calling on Israel to lift a blockade it has imposed in response to increased rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. Israel eased the siege for a day on Tueday, allowing in shipments of fuel and medicine. But the International Committee of the Red Cross said aid needed to be allowed into the territory on a regular basis to prevent a complete collapse of health and sanitary services.

Palestinian Group Sounds Like Al Qaeda But Forgoes Violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 22, 2008 - 7:01pm

A new fundamentalist player is emerging in Palestinian politics. The group sounds like Hamas – or even Al Qaeda – but doesn't support suicide bombings or secret militias. In recent months, it has shown it can put tens of thousands of supporters into the streets.

Stench Wafts Through Gaza As Sewage System Falters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Rebecca Harrison - January 22, 2008 - 7:04pm

Yussef Al-Jayar jolted awake this week when gallons of raw sewage spewed out of the pumping station next door and started to seep under his door and into his mattress. "We had to grab buckets and get the neighbours to help bail us out," the 74-year-old Palestinian said at his house in Gaza City, pointing to a mark about a metre above the floor where the rancid water reached. "It stank." Jayar and his family have just about scraped all the black slime off their walls since the main pipe burst at Gaza City's water pump no.

A Mideast Lesson For Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by H.d.s. Greenway - (Opinion) January 22, 2008 - 7:06pm

PRESIDENT BUSH'S trip to the Middle East last week seems to have been an effort to blow some air into his sagging, anti-Iranian balloon. His Sunni allies in the region are indeed worried about the rising power and belligerency of Shi'ite Iran, but they also know that it was Bush's war in Iraq that empowered Iran, and they are not sure they trust him to come up with a solution.

Leading Article: An Unlawful Policy Of Collective Punishment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
(Commentary) January 22, 2008 - 7:09pm

The siege of Gaza has reached a vicious new intensity. Last Thursday, Israel blocked the delivery of fuel oil supplies to the Strip. The result is that Gaza's only power station has not functioned since the weekend. Hundred of thousands of homes in the territory have been left without power. Hospitals have been forced to rely on diesel generators. Bakeries and petrol stations have closed. International aid organisations working in the Strip have warned of a threat to sewage and water supplies if the blockade continues.

No Light, No Heat, No Bread: Stark Reality For The Powerless In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory Mccarthy - January 22, 2008 - 7:10pm

When it opened its doors seven years ago, the European Gaza hospital was one of the biggest foreign investments in the long-troubled Gaza Strip and one of the leading medical centres in the Palestinian territories. Yesterday, the 250-bed hospital was sliding rapidly into crisis, turning away patients for routine operations and struggling to manage emergency cases, as the sole power plant in Gaza halted electricity production after Israel stopped all fuel supplies.

Israel Blames Gaza For Power Crisis But Agrees To Allow One Delivery Of Fuel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - January 22, 2008 - 7:11pm

Israel agreed under intense international pressure last night to allow a one-off delivery of fuel and medicines to Gaza to avert a humanitarian crisis. Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister, said that he would allow the emergency shipment after the Gaza Strip's sole remaining power plant shut down for lack of fuel and UN officials gave warning that they would be forced to stop food handouts to about a million Gazans if the total blockade, imposed last week, was not lifted.

Divided They Fall: A Powerful Incentive For Hamas And Fatah To Reconcile
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) January 22, 2008 - 7:12pm

Some of the condemnatory language flowing out of the international community is finally looking commensurate with the appalling tactics employed by Israel's government and military in the Gaza Strip. Direct reprisals against civilians and other forms of collective punishment are war crimes, after all, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator has deigned to sign that part of the Geneva Conventions defining them as such. But it is not enough for outside powers to summon the courage to speak out against Israeli abuses.

Israel Fears Int'l Pressure To Hand Over Gaza Borders To Pa Control
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 22, 2008 - 7:15pm

There is growing concern in Israel that the recent tightening of sanctions against the Gaza Strip will result in international pressure to transfer control of the border crossings into the Strip to the Palestinian Authority.

Siege On Gaza / Paying The Price
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) January 22, 2008 - 7:16pm

Defense Ministry officials yesterday pointed with satisfaction at the low number of Qassam rockets launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip in the past few days. Here was proof of the wisdom of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision last weekend to impose a total blockade on Gaza, in response to the ceaseless fire from Hamas. Just last week there were 42 launches a day on average, whereas in the past two days there were only four.

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