December 23rd

NOTE: The ATFP Daily News Roundup will resume publication on Tuesday, January 3. Happy holidays. NEWS: Israel has literally 101 types of permits governing the movement of Palestinians living under occupation. The PLO tells the quartet it will resume its UN statehood bid activities if there is no movement on the peace process within the next month. Palestinian groups establish a committee to consider restructuring the PLO, possibly including Hamas and other groups. Hamas says such a deal would strengthen both Palestinian parties and the PLO in its negotiations with Israel. Analysts and even Hamas officials say the group is responding to a deep crisis. UNESCO cuts funding to a Palestinian magazine that published an article sympathetic to Hitler. Israel's mayor in Jerusalem says he wants to shift the city's municipal boundaries to approximate the West Bank separation barrier. Congress earmarks $235 million for Israeli antimissile systems. Gazan Christians complain Hamas has effectively banned Christmas celebrations. Hamas leader Mishaal touts non-violent protests but does not renounce violence. American Charities for Palestine donates $27,000 to St. John's Eye Hospital in Jerusalem to combat blindness among Palestinians. COMMENTARY: Yoel Marcus says PM Netanyahu's choice of advisers is a source of real concern. Abdelrahman Al Ahmar describes life under the occupation and how Israel came to define him as a “terrorist.” Ha'aretz says settlers might see dismantling of unauthorized outposts as an injustice, but they violate Israeli law. Omar Ghraieb says a drug-related double-murder has shocked the Gaza Strip. Jay Bushinsky says Israel's diplomacy is being undermined by behavior in the occupied territories that does not conform to international norms. Frida Ghitis says Israel is suffering from self-inflicted wounds. Joseph Dana looks at the writings of jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti.

ACP donates $27,000 to St. John's Eye Hospital in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from American Charities for Palestine
December 22, 2011 - 1:00am

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 22, 2011 - 4:00pm ACP is pleased to be able to update you on theOperation Restore Vision in Palestine project which our partner, St. John’s Eye Hospital in Jerusalem (SJEH), is implementing on the ground.

AP Interview: Hamas leader touts new focus on popular protests, does not renounce violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
(Interview) December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

CAIRO — Hamas will focus on a strategy of holding mass protests against Israel in the style of the Arab Spring, although it is not renouncing the use of violence against the Jewish state, the Islamic group’s leader, Khaled Mashaal, told The Associated Press late Thursday. Mashaal was in Cairo for reconciliation talks with Hamas’ rival, President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. The sides agreed that Hamas would join the Palestine Liberation Organization, led by Abbas, and allow elections to go ahead in Gaza and the West Bank in 2012.

Hamas considers shift to non-violent resistance, relocation to Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
by Nadine Marroushi - December 22, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, is adopting a popular, non-violent resistance strategy in a move aimed at gaining international recognition and support. The group is under internal and external pressure to change tactics after being isolated by ongoing revolutions in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere.

Abbas in a stronger position with Hamas in PLO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Herb Keinon - December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be in a stronger position to deal with Israel and the United States if Hamas joins the PLO, a senior Hamas official told pan-Arab London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat Saturday. According to the source, who spoke to Asharq Alaqsat following productive meetings between Palestinian factions aiming to "activate" the reconstruction of of a unity Palestinian government, reconciliation of Hamas with the PA would see Abbas become president of a more united Palestinian people, instead of just a segment of it in the West Bank.

UNESCO cuts funds for Palestinian magazine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — The U.N.'s cultural agency said Friday it is pulling funding for a Palestinian youth magazine that published an article suggesting admiration for Hitler. The magazine, Zayzafouna, published an article in February written by a teenage girl who presented four role models: a medieval Persian mathematician, a modern Egyptian novelist, the Muslim warrior Saladin, and the Nazi leader.

Officials say PNI joined PLO at Cairo talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Officials from Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian National Initiative said late Thursday that they had accepted positions on an "interim leadership" of the PLO. Ayed Yaghi, a PNI leader, said the small faction joined the PLO and that it was a natural position to take. Yaghi told Ma’an that Thursday's talks in Cairo marked a milestone in the history of the Palestinian people. He pointed out that the PNI had previously submitted a request to join the PLO in 2004.

Jerusalem mayor intends to contour city border along security barrier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is considering a number of plans that would largely shift the city's meandering eastern municipal boundary to more closely follow the security barrier abutting largely Palestinian-populated areas, the city said on Thursday. A statement sent to Xinhua said the plan would limit municipal services to areas west of the security barrier, and leave areas on the eastern side to be dealt with by the Civil Administration (CA), an army entity that sees to the daily needs of the Palestinian population in the West Bank.

Jihad official: PLO membership not final
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

An Islamic Jihad leader said Thursday that joining an "interim leadership framework" of the PLO did not necessarily mean it had formally joined the Palestinian body. Khaled Al-Batsh told Ma’an that joining the organization requires a clear framework for how the PLO will be restructured. He added that if there was an agreement concerning these issues, Islamic Jihad would become a member in the organization. However, if there was no agreement, the group said it was still willing to contribute.

Hamas says it plans to join Fatah-dominated PLO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Rival Palestinian factions took a significant step towards reconciliation Thursday as the Islamist group Hamas said it planned to join President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization. Abbas held a meeting in Cairo with leaders from the factions, including Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal, where a committee was formed to prepare for the inclusion of Hamas, as well as the smaller Islamic Jihad, in the PLO. There are still some serious obstacles that could prevent a final unity deal and attempts to reconcile in the past have failed.

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