Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The continued Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip dominates news coverage (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The New York Times examines the role of President elect Obama, while Time magazine considers the legacy of President Bush (7, 10).





Gaza Toll Hits 300 in 3rd Day of Israel Strikes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Taghreed El-Khodary, Isabel Kershner - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


GAZA — In a third straight day of deadly air strikes against the emblems and institutions of Hamas on Monday, Israeli warplanes pounded targets in Gaza including the Interior Ministry while the Israeli Army declared areas around the beleaguered enclave a “closed military zone.” The attacks brought the death toll in Gaza to more than 300, according to Palestinian medical officials.


Israel mounts third day of Gaza raids
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli air strikes flattened bastions of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip on Monday in the third day of an offensive that has killed more than 325 Palestinians in the deadliest violence in the territory in decades. "We have an all-out war against Hamas and its kind," Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in parliament, using a term he has employed in the past to describe a long-term struggle against Israel's Islamist enemies.


Israel says Gaza assault 'war to the bitter end'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister described Monday as a "war to the bitter end," striking next to the Hamas premier's home, and devastating a security compound and a university building.


Israel says no Hamas building will be left after Gaza blitz
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


JERUSALEM - Israel vowed on Monday to raze every single Hamas structure in the Gaza Strip during its ongoing blitz of the Palestinian enclave ruled by the Islamist movement. "After this operation there will not be a single Hamas building left standing in Gaza, and we plan to change the rules of the game," said armed forces deputy chief of staff Brigadier General Dan Harel, quoted by YNet News.


Britain slams 'unacceptable' loss of life in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


LONDON (AFP) – Britain renewed its call on Monday for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants, while lamenting the "unacceptable" loss of innocent lives as Israeli strikes in Gaza continued for a third day. Foreign Secretary David Miliband warned the region was facing a "dangerous and dark moment". Asked if the Israeli attacks could be justified, Miliband told BBC radio: "I think that any innocent loss of life is unacceptable and in this case there have been massive casualties, some of them civilians and some of them children.


Food and Medical Supplies Grow Scarce in the Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Islam Abdel Kareem, Sudarsan Raghavan - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


NIR AM, Israel -- The family of Um Shadi al-Bardaweel did not sleep. The Israeli airstrikes and the explosions, the sirens and the screams of strangers outside their house near the Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip kept them awake into the predawn hours Sunday. At the first light of dawn, the mother of five sent her son to the bakery to buy bread. Hundreds of Palestinians had the same idea, joining a never-ending line. "There's no food in the market," Bardaweel explained in an interview with a reporter. Her son did not return until nightfall.


Obama Defers to Bush, for Now, on Gaza Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper, Steven Lee Myers - December 28, 2008 - 12:00am


WASHINGTON — When President-elect Barack Obama went to Israel in July — to the very town, in fact, whose repeated shelling culminated in this weekend’s new fighting in Gaza — he all but endorsed the punishing Israeli attacks now unfolding. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”


Egyptian paper: Hamas leaders partially responsible for Gaza assault
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoav Stern - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


An editorial published in the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram on Monday argues that the Hamas leadership, who kept silent as Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel, is partially to blame for the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, which has killed at least 300 Palestinians in the last three days. "If you can't kill the wolf, don't pull its tail" says the article.


The dire cost of domestic rivalries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Neve Gordon - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


The first bombardment took three minutes and 40 seconds. Sixty Israeli F-16 fighter jets bombed 50 sites in Gaza, killing more than 200 Palestinians, and wounding close to 1,000 more. A few hours after the deadly strike, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert convened a press conference in Tel-Aviv. With foreign minister Tzipi Livni sitting on his right and defence minister Ehud Barak on his left, he declared: "It may take time, and each and every one of us must be patient so we can complete the mission." But what exactly, one might ask, is Israel's mission?


Bush Legacy in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Scott MacLeod - December 29, 2008 - 12:00am


The shoe throwing episode in Baghdad almost quaintly summed up the disaster the Bush administration leaves in its wake in Iraq--thousands dead in an ill-conceived and ill-planned invasion, thousands more dead in the explosion of sectarian and factional violence unleashed by the power vacuum, the strategic gains handed to Iran on a silver platter, the moral abomination of Abu Ghraib, and on and on.





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