Middle East News: World Press Roundup

This Editorial discusses the ease with which parties declare war in the conflict rather than peace (1). Mel Frykberg covers the effect the deteriorating economic situation in the Palestinian territories has had on children (2). A poll by Angus Reid suggests that most Israelis are disappointed over the performance of Olmert (3). Joshua Mitnick discusses the results of the recent dismantling of a checkpoint near Ramallah (4). Gazans, increasingly discouraged by fuel shortages, turn to the black market (5). Ghassan Khatib suggests that half-hearted efforts ultimately destroy the credibility of the various sides of the peace process (6). According to BBC, Egypt has declared that there shall be no more violations of the border it shares with the Gaza Strip (7). Barak Ravid and Yoav Stern report on the U.S.’s desire to hold a summit at the Sinai resort of Sharm during President Bush’s visit to the region in order to aid the peace process (8). Yossi Alpher insists in this opinion peace that the settlements themselves are the biggest impediment to security and the success of the economy of the West Bank (9).

Palestinian Children Forced Onto Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - April 10, 2008 - 1:25pm

The deteriorating economic situation in the Palestinian territories has forced many Palestinian children to leave school and take up menial work in an effort to try and help their families survive economically. This Middle East Times journalist has traveled through both the West Bank and Gaza and is regularly accosted by young children at checkpoints hawking a variety of goods from food and refreshments to plastic toys and kitchen implements.

Olmert A Failure As Prime Minister, Say Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
April 10, 2008 - 1:53pm

Most people in Israel express disappointment over the performance of Ehud Olmert, according to a poll by the Dahaf Institute published in Yediot Ahronot. 59 per cent of respondents think the prime minister did not succeed in his role as head of government, and 49 per cent acknowledge that their support for Olmert has declined since he was sworn in.

Gazans Grapple With Fuel Shortages, Turn To Black Market
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
April 10, 2008 - 1:56pm

Sleeping in their cars outside petrol stations, Palestinians are feeling the pinch of a fuel crisis in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where black market gasoline sells for about $7.50 a litre. Station owners, decrying Israel's reduction of shipments since Hamas took over the territory in June, and accusing the armed group of siphoning off fuel for its own use, declared a protest at the pumps this week.

Empty Gestures Destroy Credibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) April 10, 2008 - 1:58pm

There would appear to be two strands of interaction between Palestinians and Israelis in the current negotiations process. One deals with final status issues and involves the top political leadership on both sides, Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei and Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. The other deals with day-to-day practicalities and is led by Salam Fayyad and Ehud Barak.

Egypt Makes Gaza Border Warning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
April 10, 2008 - 1:59pm

Egypt has warned that it will not accept any further violation of its border with the Gaza Strip. A government official said Egypt's borders were a red line that could not be crossed. It came after Hamas said it was prepared to take action to break the Israeli blockade of the territory. Militants destroyed parts of the Gaza border with Egypt in January, allowing hundreds of thousands of people stock up on much-needed supplies.

U.s. Wants To Hold Summit At Sharm During Bush Visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Opinion) April 10, 2008 - 2:00pm

The United States is keen on holding a summit at the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to coincide with President George Bush's visit to Israel next month for the country's 60th anniversary celebrations. Bush would like to use the event as a way station in the diplomatic process, following November's Annapolis conference, so as to provide another boost to efforts to reach an agreement by the end of the year over the core issues for a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

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