Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A New York Times article reports on Israel’s deflection of criticism from the Arab League (1.) The Associated Press quotes Mahmoud Abbas saying 2008 may be the last chance for peace (3.) A Financial Times article examines Israel’s strategy options in Gaza (4.) In Bitterlemons, Ghassan Khatib says that without the cessation of settlement activity, the negotiation process will be compromised (7.) According to a Jerusalem Post editorial, there can be no dialogue with Hamas until they recognize Israel and disavow terrorism (8.)

Abbas: Peace In 2008 Or Never
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 25, 2008 - 7:22pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged the US on Monday to make good on its promise to work for a Middle East peace settlement by the end of the year, warning that there would not be any future chances. Abbas spoke following a closed door meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in the Jordanian capital of Amman and warned that if the Bush administration didn't make good on its pledge to "make 2008 the year to broker peace, then there will never be any future chances to achieve this goal."

Israel’s Hamas Predicament: Shoot Or Talk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - (Opinion) February 25, 2008 - 7:23pm

The Gaza Strip nestles on a flat, sandy piece of land along the Mediterranean coast, but viewed from Jerusalem the territory resembles a quivering volcano. Ever since Hamas, the Islamist group, took control of the strip last June, the government of Israel has struggled to come up with a Gaza strategy that matches its policy goals. With violence on the rise and the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsening by the day, Israel’s leaders are under pressure to formulate a new approach.

Simultaneous Implementation Is The Only Hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) February 25, 2008 - 7:27pm

One of the main responsibilities of the Palestinian side under the roadmap is its security obligation. Under it Palestinians are required to end military attacks on Israelis and the Palestinian Authority to dismantle "terrorist infrastructure". The security obligation is perceived to be the counterpart to the Israeli responsibility to end settlement expansions and dismantle settlement outposts.

Hamas's Illegitimacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) February 25, 2008 - 7:28pm

Politicians, ex-intelligence chiefs and men of letters are among the swelling - if still relatively marginal - chorus of those advocating direct contacts with Hamas as an antidote to the daily Kassam attacks on Sderot and its western Negev surroundings. Only an accommodation with those who hold sway in Gaza, they argue, can restore a modicum of serenity to the suffering south.

Israel Sees Progress In Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al Jazeera English
February 25, 2008 - 7:29pm

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have agreed to build teams of government experts in an effort to boost peace talks, according to an Israeli official.   The teams will examine issues including security, trade and water use, Arye Mekel, Israel's foreign ministry spokesman, said on Sunday. bodyVariable350="Htmlphcontrol1_lblError";  

Obama`s Top Adviser Says Does Not Believe In Imposing A Peace Settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) February 25, 2008 - 7:30pm

The knock at the door of her hotel room on Friday halts the conversation for a moment. No big deal, just to check whether Samantha Power drank from the minibar. Is she that troubled? Power responds with a brief laugh. The minibar remains sealed. That does not mean that the attacks do not bother her. In the course of the 50-minute conversation she leaves no stone unturned.

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