February 22nd

Killed Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh betrayed by associate, says Dubai police chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas official assassinated in Dubai, was betrayed by a close associate, the emirate's police chief claimed as it emerged today that the Palestinian's murderers used more fake Irish passports. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim described whoever leaked details of Mahbouh's arrival to his assassins as "the real killer", Abu Dhabi's al-Khalij newspaper reported. Tamim said last week he was 99% certain Israel's Mossad secret service was responsible.

UN coordinator slams PM’s heritage plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has expressed concern over Israel's inclusion of Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs and Bethlehem's Rachel’s Tomb in the National Heritage Plan, and the "heightened tensions" that have resulted.

An American discovery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Analysis) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Toward the end of the visit to Israel last week by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, a senior officer in his delegation asked an Israeli counterpart to "protect" Mullen's friend. No translator was necessary. The reference was to the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi. The Americans count on him. Not that he would prevent a war over Iran. Rather, he would prevent the start of such a war. For the time being.

Netanyahu to Haaretz: Palestinians seem to be backing down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Interview) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu, a year into your term, observers seem to agree: You're an impressive survivor, but just a survivor. The government you lead has no vision, no destination. It's not going anywhere.

Is Israel severing East Jerusalem from the West Bank?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Analysis) February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Blocked roads and asphalt that has been ripped open like a zipper can be seen everywhere in Ramallah these days. And whether or not the municipality bothers posting explanatory signs, people know what is being done - a new road, sewage pipes, a sidewalk.

EU initiative: Recognition of Palestinian state by next year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Spanish counterpart Miguel Moratinos are promoting an initiative by which the European Union would recognize a Palestinian state in 18 months, even before negotiations for a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are concluded. According to senior European diplomats and senior Israeli officials, Israel has relayed its opposition to the initiative - warning that it would undermine any chance of a successful peace process.

Violence in Gaza flares up while PLO seeks U.S. guarantees to resume Middle East peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly - February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Violence between Israel and the Palestinians had on Saturday mounted in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip while a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official said the Palestinians seek the U.S. guarantees to resume the stalled Middle East peace process. Palestinian and Israeli security sources said on Saturday that Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers traded fire near Gaza Strip-Israel borders east of the southern town of Khan Younis, wounding eight Palestinians, including two militants and six civilians.

Hamas rejects Dubai police's call for internal probe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday what it called "allegations" by Dubai police chief that a Hamas member had leaked information which led to the killing of a senior Hamas commander in Dubai last month. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the "allegations" of Dahi Khalfan Tamim of Dubai police were "mere speculations that lack accuracy." Earlier, Tamim said that information regarding Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's arrival to Dubai was leaked to Israeli intelligence service Mossad through one of Hamas members.

Dubai police chief calls for internal Hamas probe: newspaper
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The chief of Dubai police called on Hamas to launch an internal inquiry into the murder of a top official at a Dubai hotel last month, an English newspaper of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported Sunday. A Hamas member played a significant role in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior commander of Hamas military wing the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, Dahi Khalfan Tamim was quoted as saying by Gulf News. The Hamas man leaked information on al-Mabhouh's whereabouts to suspected assassins, he said.

Palestinian PM urges Washington's pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday called on the United States to oblige Israel to take steps to pave the way for resuming stalled peace talks. Washington should take "tangible political movement" to stop the Israeli settlement, raids in the Palestinian-controlled areas and restrictions on the movement of goods and individuals, Fayyad said. Fayyad made his remarks at the reception of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew at his office in Ramallah.

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