Israel's right sees Arab essence in terrorists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The recent murders in Itamar reminded me of the story of the SS soldier, the postwoman's "good boy" in Hans Fallada's novel "Alone in Berlin," who boasts of a photo in which he is seen banging the head of a 3-year-old Jewish child against the bumper of a car. I was reminded of it once again the next day, when I read in the newspaper that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted German Chancellor Angela Merkel's invitation for a "reconciliation visit" to Berlin next month.

Palestinian, Israeli leaders to visit Moscow next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ria Novosti
by Sergei Piatakov - March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will visit Russia between March 22 and 24, the Kremlin said on Friday. Abbas will meet with President Dmitry Medvedev on March 22, the presidential press service said. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's office announced on Thursday that the premier will visit Russia on March 24. It is unclear, however, if the Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet in Moscow.

News Analysis: Hamas-Fatah disputes obstruct Abbas' initiative to visit Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly - March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The positive atmosphere, created by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' initiative to Gaza and the welcome from the Islamic Hamas movement, was not enough to achieve its goal and end the current division. Hamas said in a press statement that it welcomes Abbas declaration to visit Gaza, however, it did not show any positive position concerning Abbas' goal of forming a transitional independent government that prepares for holding general elections within six months.

Abbas asks for Israeli permission to head for Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday asked for an urgent Israeli permission to head for the Gaza Strip for the first time in more than three years, the PNA presidency office said. The Palestinian presidency said that Abbas ordered the Palestinian Civil Affairs Ministry, which oversees daily coordination with Israel, to prepare for his visit to Gaza as soon as possible.

Practical arrangements underway for Abbas visit to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday instructed Civil Affairs chairman Hussein Al-Sheikh to make logistical arrangements for his visit to Gaza as quickly as possible. Abbas also asked Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh to make arrangements to receive him at Erez border crossing in the coming days. The president said Wednesday that he was ready to hold unity talks with Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the midst of massive youth protests across the West Bank and Gaza demanding an end to the division.

Gaza protesters leave UN compound
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Sixteen protesters who took refuge in a UN compound in Gaza on Thursday to flee from Hamas police left the premises and called off a planned hunger strike, a UN official said. "They all left. The authorities in Gaza gave assurances that they will be safe," said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Two hours earlier, one of the demonstrators said the groups planned to stage an indefinite hunger strike to demand an end to Palestinian divisions and reconciliation between rival factions.

Netanyahu slams Palestinian unity efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed Palestinian unity efforts, saying national Palestinian reconciliation would be the end of the peace process with Israel. In a CNN interview broadcast Thursday, Netanyahu compared Hamas to Al-Qaeda, and said the Palestinian Authority could not be "for peace with Israel and peace with Hamas that calls for our destruction." In the midst of mass youth protests demanding national unity in the West Bank and Gaza, President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday he would accept an invitation from Hamas leaders to go to Gaza and hold talks.

Gaza: Police Detain Protester and 2 Cameramen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The Hamas police in Gaza detained a Palestinian protester and two Palestinian cameramen on Thursday while breaking up a rally calling for political reconciliation. About 40 activists had gathered in front of a United Nations school, waving flags and chanting slogans for unity between the rival Hamas and Fatah factions.

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