Middle East News: World Press Roundup

USAID and American Charities for Palestine (ACP) partner to offer a historic opportunity for channeling American donations to help meet Palestinian humanitarian needs (1). In the New York Times Ethan Bronner examines the recent tumultuous events in Gaza (2). The ongoing effort to allow three of the Gazan Fulbright scholars to study in the United States is again blocked (4). Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday, their first official meeting since Olmert's recent resignation announcement (6) (7).

In Gaza, A Blurry Line Between Enemies And Friends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - August 5, 2008 - 2:51pm

JERUSALEM — The events of the past few days in and around Gaza — mortar and grenade battles, negotiations drawing in Israel and Egypt, and the bizarre denouement in which Israel both saved and interrogated scores of Palestinian fighters — offer a glimpse of the byzantine nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gazans\' Access To Care Faulted
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Linda Gradstein - August 5, 2008 - 2:55pm

JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 -- Israel\'s domestic security service requires Gazans who wish to enter Israel for medical treatment to submit to detailed interviews about their knowledge of political and militant groups, according to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, a nonprofit group based in Tel Aviv.

3 Fulbright Winners In Gaza Again Told They Can’t Travel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - August 5, 2008 - 2:56pm

JERUSALEM — The State Department has, for a second time in two months, reneged on its offer to three Palestinians in Gaza to study in the United States on Fulbright grants, this time citing unspecified security concerns. The three were part of a group of seven Fulbright winners whose grants were first withdrawn at the end of May when the State Department feared it would be unable to get them out of Gaza because of Israel’s closing of the coastal strip, which the Israelis say is aimed at isolating the Hamas leadership there.

Hamas Says Last Gaza Foes 'uprooted'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Diaa Hadid, Karin Laub - August 5, 2008 - 2:57pm

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas said yesterday it had "uprooted" the last major pocket of armed resistance to its 14-month rule in the Gaza Strip, saying it seized mortars, grenade launchers and other weapons from a once-powerful clan allied with the rival Fatah movement. Dozens of members of the Hilles clan were being held by Hamas, while dozens more who fled to Israel to avoid capture during weekend fighting were given asylum yesterday in the Fatah-ruled West Bank.

Olmert And Abbas To Meet In Jerusalem On Wednesday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - August 5, 2008 - 3:00pm

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday, a week after Olmert threw U.S.-sponsored peace talks into limbo by announcing that he would step down. Aides said Olmert favored freeing some Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails as a goodwill gesture to Abbas, but they gave no timeline. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Abbas would "raise a number of issues, such as the permanent-status issues, checkpoints and prisoners."  

Olmert, Abbas To Meet Wednesday In Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Steve Weizman - August 5, 2008 - 3:01pm

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet Wednesday in Jerusalem, officials with the two leaders said Tuesday. The meeting will be their first since Olmert, under a cloud of corruption charges, announced he would step down after his Kadima Party selects a new leader in September. The fight among Olmert's rivals to replace him and the possibility of national elections in Israel is likely to complicate the attempt to strike a deal between the sides.

Currency Shortage In Gaza Threatens Palestinians' Salaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
August 5, 2008 - 3:03pm

Ramallah: Banks in the Gaza Strip are facing a currency shortage that may prevent Palestinian public workers from getting their salaries, officials said on Tuesday. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad plans to pay salaries on Thursday, but officials said Israel has yet to allow banks to bring $28 million into the Gaza Strip. Officials said that without a cash infusion, banks in the territory may not have enough cash to cover workers’ withdrawals from ATM machines.

Rafah Smuggling Tunnels: Life-nerve For Gaza (ii)
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Palestine Chronicle
by Hiyam Noir - August 5, 2008 - 3:04pm

A Palestinian man receives goods from Egypt through a tunnel, which is digged 35 meters underneath the border in Rafah. The tunnels under Gaza's border to the Egyptian side are used to bring in a range of items, from weapons to medicine, medical equipment, auto parts, electronic items, cement, cigarettes, shoes and clothing. The operators of the tunnels charge around $200 for a smuggled sack containing assorted items. Smuggling a person each way costs $2.000.

Mk Vilnai: Shalit's Release Prerequisite For Opening Rafah Crossing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 5, 2008 - 3:07pm

  The release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is a prerequisite for the reopening of the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, said Deputy Defense Minister MK Matan Vilnai (Labor-Meimad) Tuesday. The deputy defense minister was asked about IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi's recent comment which suggested that the IDF had precise information as to Gilad Shalit's whereabouts, and said that Ashkenazi's words were "completely blown out of proportion.  

Barak: If You Miss Gaza Raids, Don't Worry - They'll Come
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 5, 2008 - 3:08pm

Defense Minister and Labor Party leader Ehud Barak criticized his political rivals on Monday, equating them with hosts of reality television shows, and told his constituents that a military operation in the Gaza Strip was still very much on the agenda. Speaking at a Labor Party event in Jerusalem on Monday evening, Barak said "anyone who misses the military operations in Gaza mustn't worry, they will come."

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