Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Angus Reid Global Monitor reports on a Palestinian survey by An-Najah university showing 80% of Palestinians skeptical of President Bush's pledge to secure a Palestinian state (2.) Reuters examines the conditions set by Palestinian president Abbas for talks with Hamas (4), while Al-Jazeera (Qatar) reports on Hamas conditions for the Gaza border with Egypt (11.) The Forward looks at renewed tensions between Jewish American organizations and mainstream Protestant churches over a re-emerging divestment drive (6.) A Guardian (UK) editorial is critical of the just-released Winograd Report in Israel for not promoting new thinking regarding the use of military force (8.) China View (China) also looks at the An-Najah poll, focusing on results showing a majority of Palestinians in favor of the Gaza border crossings being controlled by Palestinian Authority forces as opposed to Hamas (10.) A Gulf News (UAE) opinion by George Hishmeh analyzes how the Gaza situation has changed regional calculations (12.) A Jerusalem Post (Israel) opinion by Sheldon Schreter outlines how Israel's settlement enterprise on the occupied Palestinian territories is greviously harming Israel on two levels (14.)

Palestinians Feud, But Egypt And Hamas Working More Closely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Dan Murphy - January 31, 2008 - 5:54pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dug in his heels Wednesday after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to address the crisis over the Gaza border, publicly refusing to work with his Palestinian rival Hamas and calling for forces loyal to his government to take control of the border. While his defiant tone favors the status quo – he called the Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip last June "a coup" – it came in the face of changing realities on the ground.

Bush Has Little Credibility Among Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
January 31, 2008 - 5:57pm

Few residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank believe George W. Bush actually intends to assist in the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of this year, according to a poll by An-Najah National University. 80.3 per cent of respondents think the United States president is not faithful in his promise.

No Progress On Gaza Border Breach
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman - January 31, 2008 - 6:01pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday underscored the complexity of resolving the Gaza Strip crisis when he insisted anew that his administration alone should be responsible for the coastal enclave's border crossings. Speaking to reporters after meeting here with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Abbas said he would not negotiate with Hamas, the militant party that controls the Gaza Strip, to end a security breach that has allowed more than 500,000 Palestinians to cross into Egypt through the Rafah post in the last week.

Olmert Survives, For Now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
January 31, 2008 - 6:04pm

The retired justice Eliyahu Winograd, who headed the panel investigating Israel's 34-day war in Lebanon in 2006, said yesterday what everybody already knew. The ground offensive launched in the last 60 hours of the war "did not achieve any military objective, nor did it fulfil its potential". A total of 33 Israeli soldiers died, but the offensive did not reduce the number of Katyusha rockets falling on northern Israel, and it was also unclear how it affected the position of the Lebanese government or Hizbullah on a ceasefire.

Leading Article: A Disastrous War And A Weakened Leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
(Editorial) January 31, 2008 - 6:04pm

The Winograd Commission into the 2006 Lebanon war has already drawn blood in the form of the departure of the Israeli Defence minister and Chief-of-Staff who were in office at the time of the operation. But Winograd looks unlikely to force the resignation of the man many Israelis hold responsible above all others for the debacle: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Poll: Palestinian Majority Wants Pro-abbas Forces On Gaza Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from China View
January 31, 2008 - 6:05pm

Majority of Palestinians support that President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces take control on Gaza Strip crossing points, a poll showed on Wednesday.     According to the poll, conducted two days ago by An-Najah University, 73.9 percent of the surveyed said the pro-Abbas security forces should be deployed on the crossings in order to reopen them.

Hamas Sets Rafah Border Conditions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al Jazeera English
January 31, 2008 - 6:07pm

A delegation led by Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, has proposed joint Palestinian-Egyptian control of the Rafah crossing.    They set down these conditions on Thursday on the second day of talks in Cairo geared towards resolving the week-old crisis on the Gaza-Egypt border as Egypt continued its mediating role between Hamas and Fatah.  

The Aftermath Of The Gaza Tsunami
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) January 31, 2008 - 6:08pm

It was very uplifting to see Palestinian men, women and children, hundreds of thousands of them, climb up the corrugated iron wall that separated their Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip from Egypt and watch them on Al Jazeera run freely to shop for much-needed supplies, visit with relatives and friends they have not seen for years, and play joyfully. The scenes of cows, camels and bicycles carried by cranes across the border will not be easily erased from anyone's fondest memories.

Worse Than The Partial Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 31, 2008 - 6:09pm

Because they were so preoccupied with the final 60 hours of the war, and because of the fact that the Winograd Committee exonerated Ehud Olmert from an implied accusation that he decided on a ground operation at the last moment only in order to improve his political position, people seem to have failed to hear the extraordinarily serious remarks read out by Judge Eliyahu Winograd in his summarizing announcement to the public. The blood libel against Olmert was removed from the agenda, but on the other hand, the committee declared him unfit to conduct a war.

The Shifting Balance Of Power
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
February 1, 2008 - 6:27pm

ABSORBED by speculation about their government's future after an inquiry commission this week released its final report on the 2006 Lebanon war (see article), Israelis seemed briefly to forget about last week's dramatic breach of the Gaza-Egypt border by Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip. Yet in Gaza as in Lebanon, the short-sighted planning that the Winograd commission criticised was much in evidence.

Olmert Walks Friendless On Road From Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Philip Stephens - (Opinion) February 1, 2008 - 6:33pm

Before I visited Israel the other day, some of my friends in the foreign policy community had admonished me for being overly pessimistic about the new road map drawn at Annapolis for a Middle East peace.

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