Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Foreign Press Association challenges Israel’s prohibition on foreign journalists entering Gaza (1). Israel reseals Gaza border crossings, although United Nations food distribution is allowed to resume (2) (4). A collection of articles discuss the mounting tension between settlers and the State of Israel (3) (7) (10) The military wing of Hamas claims that they are ready to end the cease-fire, but political sources deny the claim (9).





Foreign Reporters’ Group Fights Israeli Prohibition on Entering Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


An association representing international news organizations is campaigning for an end to an unusual Israeli policy barring foreign reporters from entering Gaza that has lasted for almost two weeks.


Israel Renews Blockade Of Gaza Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 17, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel resealed border crossings with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, blaming continued rocket fire at its towns, despite warnings from world aid groups of looming shortages of food and fuel in the coastal territory. Israel had allowed 33 truckloads of supplies into Gaza for the first time in two weeks on Monday, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas he would not permit a humanitarian crisis to develop there.


High in the Holy Land, a Biblical view of peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


When God ordered Abraham to slaughter a son, the angel of the Lord stepped in at the last minute to stay his hand. Was it a test of faith, or had Abraham's imagination simply run away with him? Scholars may differ, but to many Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, the story is as real as the airy heights and rocky slopes where Hebrew and Philistine armies clashed in biblical times, and where they live today.


UN resumes food distribution in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Mai Yaghi - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


Food distribution to half the Gaza Strip's 1.5 million population resumed on Tuesday, although the United Nations warned aid supplies would soon run out unless Israel eases its crippling blockade. "Distribution will go on of the very small amount we brought in on Monday," said UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness. "The supplies will last days, not weeks," he told AFP. Crowds rushed to the UNRWA distribution centres to try to get hold of the limited supplies of flour, sugar, rice, powdered milk and luncheon meat.


Churches to deliver Christmas notes to Bethlehem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


The World Council of Churches will help deliver Christmas messages and prayers of peace to the biblical birthplace of Jesus. Christianity's largest ecumenical movement says messages e-mailed before the Jan. 7 Christmas celebrated by Orthodox Christians will be printed and handed out at schools and places of worship in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.


Palestinians will need Barack Obama's helping hand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Yasser Abed Rabbo - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


President-elect Barack Obama's defiantly positive campaign for change has inspired hope not only in the millions of Americans who voted for him, but also in the billions of others worldwide who could not. Across the Middle East, as elsewhere, expectations are building that his presidency will herald a new era for America's role in the world.


Lawmaker moves into Hebron house
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


An Israeli lawmaker moved into a house in Hebron that the High Court has ordered to be evacuated. Rabbi Nissim Ze’ev of the religious Shas Party on Tuesday moved into the "Peace House," a four-story building located halfway between Kiryat Arba and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a day before a court-ordered deadline for the 20 Jewish families living in the building to vacate. The families, who moved into the building in March 2007, claim they bought the home from its Palestinian owner. The Palestinian has denied the sale.


Dividing Jerusalem, one wall at a time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


There is a new wall in the downtown heart of the Holy City. It is, in fact, a new security fence. It is not tall, nor built to last. But the wall, and what it protects, may do more to undermine Israel's moral claims to Jerusalem than the huge concrete structure that has marred the city's Arab eastern half for years. There is no sign on the wall. There is no explanation for the need of a uniformed guard posted at its entrance. There is no indication, therefore, that it protects construction on a quarter-billion dollar monument to insensitivity.


Hamas: We're prepared to end cease-fire and confront Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


Hamas' military wing announced Tuesday it was "prepared for a confrontation with Israel" and for the end of the cease-fire with Israel. But political sources said the cease-fire was expected to go on. Hamas' Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades threatened to "turn the cease-fire tables on the heads of the Zionists," they said in a statement. Abu Obeida, the alias of a spokesman for the military wing, threatened that Hamas would "retaliate fiercely" should Israel resume its targeted-killings policy, as some defense officials have said were advisable after the cease-fire.


Settler rabbi: The State of Israel is an enemy of the people
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nadav Shragai - November 18, 2008 - 7:00pm


"The state of Israel has become the enemy of the people and the land of Israel," settler rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe said Tuesday during an emergency meeting on the state's plan to evacuate a house in Hebron whose ownership has been at the center of a bitter dispute for over a year. The four-story building became a flash point for tensions when settlers moved in early last year after claiming to have purchased it from a Palestinian. But the Palestinian denies the claim and Israeli authorities have not recognized the sale as legal.





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