Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The conflict in Gaza continues, with further civilian casualties and another reported atrocity by Israeli forces (1), (2), (3). Focus increases on the issue of tunnels and border security (4), (5), (6), (7). Anger against Arab governments continues mount, especially in and toward Egypt (9), (10), Israeli writer Tom Segev abandons hope for peace (12).

Israeli forces pound targets, draw near Gaza City
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak, Josef Federman - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli forces pounded dozens of targets and edged closer to Gaza City on Saturday while southern Israel came under renewed rocket fire after one of its quietest nights in the two-week offensive against Hamas. In the day's bloodiest incident, an Israeli tank shell landed outside a home in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya, killing nine people as they sat outside in their garden. Separately, a woman was killed by an Israeli airstrike in the southern town of Rafah.

For Arab Clan, Days of Agony in a Cross-Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Taghreed El-Khodary, Isabel Kershner - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

GAZA — Israel’s attack has razed buildings and upended families in much of crowded Gaza. But few neighborhoods suffered more than Zeitoun, a district of eastern Gaza City. And few families felt the wrath of the Israeli military more than the Samounis.

UN warns Israel over Gaza family 'herded' into shelled house
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Martin Fletcher, Azmi Keshawi - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

More than 100 members of one extended Gazan family were allegedly herded by Israeli soldiers into a house that was subsequently shelled, killing up to 30 people and leaving others wounded and living with the corpses for three days.

Gaza Strip tunnels prove daunting for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman, Peter Spiegel - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

Reporting from Washington and Rafah, Egypt — Some of them are said to be big enough to accommodate railroad cars. They may reach a depth of 60 feet, and are reported to be equipped with cables and electric motors that move food, fuel -- and probably some of the heaviest rockets that Hamas aims at Israel. They also are one of the main reasons fighting is continuing in the Gaza Strip.

Egypt, Abbas see no foreign force on Gaza border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt and the Palestinian Authority said Saturday they did not envisage any international forces in Egypt or on the Gaza border under a possible truce agreement between Israel and Gaza. Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said Egypt had received no request. "No one has asked for this, and this is a non-issue for us," he said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said: "We want an international presence in the Gaza Strip, and not on the Egypt-Gaza border."

Report: PA seen coming back to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

GAZA, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Diplomats are proposing that the Palestinian Authority be brought in to govern the area of the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt, sources say. The proposal has come up as part of a peace initiative pushed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, which calls for an immediate cease-fire to be followed by talks on securing the Gaza-Egypt border and reopening its crossings, The Times of London reported Saturday without naming sources.

Gaza: international plan hatched to bring back Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Bone, Martin Fletcher - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

A plan to create a new foothold in Gaza for the Palestinian Authority and to bring in international monitors was being drawn up by diplomats yesterday as a UN ceasefire call was dismissed by both sides.

'Viva la Gaza!'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - January 9, 2009 - 1:00am

The list of objectives for Operation Cast Lead that the political-security cabinet dictated to the Israel Defense Forces on the eve of the operation was characterized by restraint. It included halting the rocket fire and terror, reducing Hamas' capacity to rearm, continuing talks with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, striking a blow to Hamas' rule in Gaza, preventing a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and improving the odds for the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Egyptians Seethe Over Gaza, and Their Leaders Feel Heat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - January 9, 2009 - 1:00am

CAIRO — Inside Al Azhar Mosque, a 1,000-year-old center of religious learning, the preacher was railing on Friday against Jews. Outside were rows of riot police officers backed by water cannons and dozens of plainclothes officers, there to prevent worshipers from charging into the street to protest against the war in Gaza.

Gaza Strikes Reverberate in Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Sudarsan Raghavan - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

Rarely has an Arab leader been so widely perceived as backing Israel and the United States against the Palestinians, whose struggle has been a fundamental rallying point for Arabs and Muslims for more than six decades. But Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has rejected popular and regional pressure to open the Gaza-Egypt border and toughen his stance against Israel. In recent days, his government has voiced support for Palestinians in an effort to defuse mounting criticism, but officials continue to suppress anti-Israeli demonstrations.

The price to be paid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

On Wednesday, as foreign emissaries and mediators shuttled across the Middle East, the latest defense establishment assessment was that Hamas was not yet ready for a cease-fire. "They are adamant about ending this war with some sort of political achievement," an Israeli security source said. "Otherwise, the heavy price they paid will be seen to be in vain."

Peace Is No Longer in Sight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Tom Segev - January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

At the end of the 10th day of Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip, I was zapping between Israeli, Arab and international TV channels. The pictures grew more gruesome from moment to moment. Then a friend called to tell me that Mezzo, a French concert channel, had just started playing "Christ on the Mount of Olives," a rather obscure oratorio by Beethoven.

ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - January 9, 2009 - 1:00am

It is obvious who is losing the Gaza war. But who is winning? First the losers. Hamas is losing. It made the mistake of believing its own propaganda about Israelis having lost the determination to fight for their state. For some reason, Hamas decided that the veterans of 1948, 1967, and 1973 had produced cowardly, unpatriotic, and inept descendants. Big mistake.

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