Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Reuters reports on the European Union’s resolution regarding Israel’s treatment of Gaza (3.) An opinion piece by Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy, explains how Israel’s tactics in Gaza have only strengthened Hamas’s hold in the territory (5.) A Jordan Times article discusses a recent UN conference that stressed economic reform as the key for stability in the occupied territories (7.) The Arab News reports on settlement expansion in the West Bank (8.) The recent talk of unilateral independence is explored in Ha’aretz (10.)

Palestinians' Home Permit Pleas Rejected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 21, 2008 - 7:15pm

Occupied Jerusalem: Israel denied 94 per cent of the building permit requests West Bank Palestinians submitted over the past seven years, the anti-colonisation Peace Now group reported yesterday. In all, 91 of 1,624 requested permits were approved, Peace Now said. By contrast, 18,472 apartments and homes were built between 2000 and September 2007 in Jewish West Bank colonies, the group said, citing Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. Military officials in the West Bank responsible for construction said the figures were distorted.

Eu Lawmakers Lambast Israel Over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 21, 2008 - 7:17pm

European Union lawmakers urged Israel on Thursday not to inflict "collective punishment" on Gaza's population, saying its isolation of the territory had failed and its actions were endangering civilians.  

Israel Extends Closure Of Palestinian Offices In Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 21, 2008 - 7:19pm

Israel is keeping Palestinian institutions in east Jerusalem shut tight, despite its pledge to reopen them under a recently revived peace blueprint, Palestinian officials said Thursday.

Correspondence: The Stakes In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Nabil Fahmy - (Opinion) February 21, 2008 - 7:22pm

Crises in the Middle East have a tendency to exhibit a peculiar pattern. While they appear to be limited in scope, they almost invariably reveal a broader dimension, which is what makes such crises potentially so destabilizing. The situation created by Hamas' dramatic breach of the border between Egypt and Gaza, and the ensuing influx of Palestinians into Sinai, presents a clear example of this pattern.

Pa Won't Follow Kosovo Model, All Agree
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 21, 2008 - 7:23pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas quickly dismissed a top aide's call Wednesday for a unilateral declaration of statehood if negotiations with Israel fail. The Palestinians are committed to reaching a negotiated peace agreement this year, Abbas said in a statement. "If we are unable to do that... We will return to our Arab [brothers] to take the appropriate decision," he said. Earlier in the day, Abbas's aide, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Kosovo, which on Sunday declared independence from Serbia.

Economic Reform Key To Mideast Stability - Un
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Linda Hindi - February 21, 2008 - 7:24pm

Delegates attending a UN conference yesterday stressed economic reform as the key for stability in the occupied territories and the basis for building a foundation for a viable two-state solution. But they added that sustainable growth cannot be achieved without a political settlement.

Israel’s Settlement Activities Under Way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - February 21, 2008 - 7:25pm

The Israeli anti-settlement watchdog, Peace Now, yesterday said that 27 new mobile homes are currently under construction at the settlement of Eli, north of West Bank city of Ramallah, even though Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed publicly after the Annapolis peace conference that any such building would cease.

What America Wants From An Operation In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) February 21, 2008 - 7:26pm

As the Second Lebanon War raged, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger paid a visit to Major General Dan Harel, who was then army attache in Washington and is now deputy chief of staff. The war had not yet been described as a failure, nor had anyone thought about setting up the Winograd Committee. But Kissinger already had things to say, and he may not have been the only one.

Analysis: Threats Of Unilateral Independence Rocks Sleepy Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - February 21, 2008 - 7:28pm

For a minute it seemed that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the media focus surrounding it, were shaken awake. Following three sleepy months since the end of the Annapolis conference, and with nearly no diplomatic headlines, Yasser Abed Rabbo - the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization central committee, and until recently a member of the negotiating team - managed to bring some drama to the process.

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