Middle East News: World Press Roundup

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman argues that Israel is here to stay (1). More violence takes place between Israeli and Palestinians in Gaza (2,10). Speculation continues to grow about a large Israeli operation in Gaza (3, 5,6, 8, 11). Palestinians complain about missing tax revenues (12). Y Net reports that Likud may move to dissolve the Knesset next week (7).

Israel Strike Kills 3 Gaza Militants Firing Mortar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - June 10, 2008 - 4:49pm

An Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinians firing mortars at southern Israel on Tuesday, while Israel's leaders debated whether to pursue a truce with Gaza's Hamas rulers or launch a broad military offensive against militants in the coastal strip. In a related development, the father of an Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza by Hamas said his son pleaded for his life and appealed to the government not to abandon him in a newly received letter.

Cabinet Ministers: Large-scale Gaza Op Needed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - June 10, 2008 - 5:00pm

  "Israel must launch a large-scale operation in Gaza against Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations," Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim said prior to Tuesday's cabinet meeting, "everyone understands that any ceasefire would only be temporary. Hamas is under pressure. The blockade did its job." According to Boim , any truce agreement would only serve Hamas' interests and give it time to regroup.

Likud To Bring Motion To Dissolve Knesset Before House Next Week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Amnon Meranda - June 10, 2008 - 5:04pm

The Likud Party has openly announced Tuesday it would bring a bill calling for the disollusion of the current Knesset before the House within a week. MK Silvan Shalom informed the faction that "on June 18 we will bring forth a motion calling for the dissolution of the Knesset in order to hurry the coming election in the most dignified way possible… The decision has been made. Olmert's government has reached the end of the road. All it cares about now is political survival."

Gaza Groups Unfazed By Possible Idf Op
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 10, 2008 - 5:07pm

Israel's security cabinet is expected to make the pivotal decision of when – and more importantly if – the Gaza will see a wide-scale military operation meant to crush militant infrastructure; but the various armed groups in the Strip seem unfazed by the prospect. Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) all believe that the political state of mind in Israel will not allow such an operation to materialize.

Egypt Demands More Flexibility From Hamas On Prisoner Exchange Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 10, 2008 - 5:13pm

Senior Palestinian sources in Gaza claimed on Tuesday that Egypt has increased its pressure on Hamas to submit a new list of prisoners it wants released as part of a comprehensive ceasefire agreement with Israel that would include the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Hamas' original list of 300 prisoners was, for the most part, rejected by Israel. According to Palestinian sources, Israel has agreed to release 71 prisoners "with blood on their hands".

18 Mortars Hit Negev; 3 Hamas Men Killed In Iaf Strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shumlik Hadad - June 10, 2008 - 5:20pm

Eighteen mortar shells were fired from Gaza toward the Nahal Oz area noon Tuesday, as the "Kitchen Cabinet" - consisting of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni - was expected to reach a decision on whether or not to launch a military operation against Palestinian terror groups in the coastal enclave.

Top Mi Officer: Hama Fears Broad Idf Gaza Op
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - June 10, 2008 - 5:27pm

A senior Israel Defense Forces military intelligence officer told Tuesday's cabinet session that Hamas both fears a broad IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, and is expediting its preparations for such an incursion. Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, the head of the research division of Military Intelligence, added that the militant Palestinian group was currently most interested in achieving calm in the Gaza Strip, which it controls, but was simultaneously continuing to smuggle weapons from Egypt.

Palestinians: Israel Transfers Delayed Tax Money, But Millions Missing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 10, 2008 - 5:28pm

Israel transfered vital tax funds to the Palestinian Authority Tuesday, after holding up the money for a week, a Palestinian offical said. The transfer was delayed after Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called on the European Union and OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) not to upgrade their relations with Israel.

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