Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The six-month old truce between Hamas and Israel expires today (1) (2). An op-ed in The Economist urges Israel to lift the siege of Gaza (3). President-elect Obama’s transition team meets with a delegation of Jewish groups, including peace-oriented organizations (4). Forgeries and fraudulent transactions complicate competing land claims in the West Bank (6). The European Union encourages President-elect Obama to make Middle East peace a priority (7).





Truce in Gaza Ends, but May Be Revived by Necessity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


Rockets are flying from Gaza into southern Israeli communities again. Israeli warplanes are firing missiles back, and Israel is closing the crossings through which food and fuel are supplied. The United Nations agency that feeds Palestinian refugees in Gaza says its stocks of flour are exhausted.


Hamas declares Israel truce over
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


As the ceasefire expired at 0400 GMT, Hamas issued a statement blaming Israel which had not "respected" the truce. Israel's foreign ministry spokesman said the militants, who control Gaza, "had chosen violence over truth". The Egyptian-brokered deal began on 19 June but has been tested regularly by Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli operations in Gaza. Hours after the announcement, Palestinian television carried pictures of militants conducting exercises.


Lift the siege of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
(Editorial) December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


Contrary to the absurd claim of the rapporteur of the UN’s Human Rights Council, to whom Israel refused entry this week, the Gaza Strip is not facing a Nazi-like “Holocaust” at Israel’s hands. But the lot of the 1.5m Palestinians cooped up in this miserable scrap of desert is undeniably awful. Locked in on one side by Israel and on the other by Egypt, the Palestinians of Gaza have been subjected to an ever-tightening economic siege since the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, booted the secular Fatah movement out of the strip in June 2007.


Transition's Jewish meeting brings in peace groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


Senior Obama aides met with the leaders of an unusually broad spectrum of 29 Jewish groups today at transition headquarters. Transition aides listened more than they spoke during a meeting that lasted almost two hours, and they heard a lot about Iran, but also about the question of boycotting a second Durban conference on racism next year.


Palestinian protesters hurl shoes at Israeli soldiers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


Demonstrators hurled their shoes at Israeli security forces on Friday in a protest against the West Bank separation barrier, following in the footprints of a now famous Iraqi journalist. Similar protests in the past near the village of Bilin have often ended with young Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli troops who generally respond by firing tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.


Forgery, fraud undermine West Bank land deals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 18, 2008 - 12:00am


The transformation of a piece of West Bank land from a Palestinian field into a Jewish settlement has roots in an unlikely place — Orange County, Calif. — and in a document that a man supposedly signed more than four decades after the date of his death.


EU to Obama: Make Middle East peace a priority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


The new US administration should make the Middle East peace process a priority and build upon progress made so far, European Union External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Friday. Ferrero-Waldner said the EU would like US President-elect Barack Obama's government to take up the Middle East as a "very first point" upon taking office in January. She is also urging it not to "start from scratch."


U.N. Resolution Is Bush’s Last Attempt To Save Annapolis Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Marc Perelman - (Opinion) December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


With its days in office running out, the Bush administration turned to the United Nations to put its imprimatur on the struggling peace initiative that the United States launched in Annapolis, Md., a little more than a year ago. In a resolution co-sponsored by the United States and Russia, the U.N. Security Council declared its support for the process initiated at Annapolis and its commitment to the “irreversibility of the bilateral negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians.


Israel's cruel siege of Gaza must end
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) December 19, 2008 - 12:00am


There is much that is required when it comes to the situation in Gaza. The merciless Israeli siege of the territory has to come to an end once and for all. Hence, all efforts by both Palestinians and the international community should focus on this immediate and urgent matter.





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