Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An opinion by Samir Abdullah in the Daily Star contends that salvaging the two state solution could be President Bush’s greatest legacy, (1) while Steve Erlanger reports in the New York Times that Israeli vice prime minister Ramon sees no peace deal by year end (2). The Associated Press reports on Prime Minister Fayyad’s remarks to ATFP at the National Press Club (4). A New Republic opinion by Dennis Ross discusses the role the US can play in the current Gaza situation (5). Gershon Baskin wonders why we are not hearing about updates to the peace negotiations in a Jerusalem Post opinion (6).

Israeli Casts Doubt On Pact This Year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - February 12, 2008 - 7:13pm

A senior Israeli minister said Monday that his country hoped to reach agreement with the Palestinians on a “declaration of principles” for peace by the end of the year, but not on a detailed peace treaty.

Palestinians Ask U.s. To Intervene In Suits Over Terrorist Attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - February 12, 2008 - 7:14pm

The State Department is considering supporting the Palestinian Authority in its quest to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments won by American victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, according to Palestinian officials and defense lawyers involved in the cases.

Palestinian Questions Peace Progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Anne Gearan - February 12, 2008 - 7:15pm

The U.S.-backed Palestinian prime minister said Monday that time is running short to demonstrate progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks President Bush launched to fanfare last fall. "Unless there is tangible progress in the period immediately ahead" on a list of pledges made by Israel, "I think, honestly, it would require that we begin to really call this for what it is," Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said. Fayyad did not write off the peace effort, but said there is good reason for skepticism.

Gaza, Stripped
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Dennis Ross - (Opinion) February 12, 2008 - 7:15pm

In the wake of Hamas blowing up the border fence between Egypt and Gaza the images of Palestinians from Gaza streaming across the border into Egypt were unsettling to the Israelis, Egyptians, Palestinian Authority, and Bush Administration. Only Hamas benefited from the images. In breaking down the wall sealing the Sinai from Gaza, Hamas seemed to liberate Palestinians besieged in Gaza and outmaneuvered all those trying to build pressure on it to change its behavior.

Encountering Peace: The Way Forward
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) February 12, 2008 - 7:17pm

There is a very curious news black-out both in Israel and in Palestine regarding what President Bush read in the Olmert-Abbas joint statement in Annapolis: "We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008." Are those negotiations taking place? We don't really know. Not only the politicians aren't talking, most of the media is not reporting, the international community is silent and I have even heard that Tony Blair has instructed members of his staff to keep quiet.

Tom Lantos' Israel-palestine Shift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Talking Points Memo
by Steve Clemons - (Opinion) February 12, 2008 - 7:19pm

House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) died today after a battle with cancer. Lantos was one of the Congress' last real characters of an age mostly gone in which eccentricity, a hybrid of vanity and humility, purpose, passion, and gentility packaged together was a winning path to leadership positions like the one he held for so long.

Settlements, Gaza Cloud Israel-palestinian Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - February 12, 2008 - 7:20pm

Israeli plans to build 1,100 new homes in and around Arab East Jerusalem came under fire on Tuesday from Palestinians who see the city as the capital of their future state, clouding already troubled peace talks. Israeli officials cited "progress" after negotiators met for the first time on two consecutive days. But comments from ministers threatening new attacks on the Gaza Strip and vowing to expand Jewish settlements angered Palestinian leaders.

Israel Sees Hamas Gone From Gaza In Months
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 12, 2008 - 7:21pm

Israeli leaders vowed on Monday to step up their war against Hamas and predicted the Islamists' grip on the Gaza Strip would end within months. Two days after a rocket from the enclave wounded an Israeli child and prompted dramatic headlines, Defence Minister Ehud Barak pledged to step up the Israeli military campaign. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel was at "war" and his deputy, Vice Premier Haim Ramon, said he expected Hamas, which seized control in June, to be forced out within the year.

Palestinian Revenge Was Inevitable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ahmed Yousef - (Opinion) February 12, 2008 - 7:22pm

Last week's bombing in Dimona was the first martyrdom operation committed by Hamas in more than five years. For some time, we have been warning the world that the relentless pressure on our people would eventually tell. In the last two months, more than a hundred people have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip, including many civilians, women and children.

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