Fatah and Hamas provide different accounts and interpretations of a national unity deal. Pres. Abbas tries to reassure Israel and the West. PM Netanyahu is taking full rhetorical advantage of the development, as Israelis express concern, but Ha'aretz says he may have jumped the gun. Regional unrest may have motivated the agreement. Egypt invites the parties to a signing ceremony next week. Jordan and the Arab League welcome the deal. The US says aid to the PA will continue for the meanwhile, but the deal may pose several long-term risks. The White House Chief of Staff may have left the door open for the US to continue to work with a Palestinian unity government. Herb Keinon suggests ways Israel can use the development. The National and the Arab News both say Palestinian unity calls Israel's bluff. Hamas is reportedly insisting on the removal of PM Fayyad. Egyptian policy opens to Hamas and Iran. Aaron David Miller says fear of failure, not of the Israel lobby, is holding Pres. Obama back on diplomatic initiatives. Abbas meets leaders of the Israeli Peace initiative. Israeli artillery injures four Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli and Palestinian security forces are continuing coordination in the West Bank. Ha'aretz says Israel should recognize a Palestinian state. Abbas says the quest for a peace agreement will continue. The Jerusalem Post says Abbas is no peace partner. Bereaved Palestinian physician Izzeldin Abuelaish tours the US with a message of forgiveness. The Forward says the US must take the lead on peace.

Palestinian unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The news that the two main Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, have agreed to work together in a government of national unity ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in both the West Bank and Gaza is cause for celebration in these uncertain times. Ever since the two turned on each other five years ago, running competing administrations in the two territories, there has been no chance of a settlement with Israel. That may not have always been blindingly apparent. Under both George W.

Palestinian unity strips Israel of its false pretences
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) April 29, 2011 - 12:00am

If few expected the speed and skill of Egypt's diplomatic corps as it navigated Wednesday's deal between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the response from Israel was all too predictable. "The Palestinian Authority has to decide on having peace with Israel or peace with Hamas," the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, declared in response to the preliminary accord inked in Cairo. "You can't have peace with both."

America Must Lead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

September 1, 2010: President Obama hosts the leaders of Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in what is optimistically billed as the opening meeting of a year-long effort to finally arrive at a two-state solution for Mideast peace. Eight months later: Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is deposed, King Abdullah of Jordan is clutching onto power, and the three remaining leaders are veering dangerously into uncharted and conflicting diplomatic territory. Only one of them can recapture the initiative — the host of last September’s meeting.

A Plea for Peace From a Palestinian Doctor Who Embodies Human Tragedy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
April 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Gazan doctor who lost four members of his family when an Israeli rocket destroyed his house during Operation Cast Lead, used a medical analogy to warn against hating those who cause us great harm. “Hatred is a chronic disease,” Abuelaish told a group of 60 people who had gathered at Central Connecticut State University to hear him speak about the tragedy and his new memoir, “I Shall Not Hate.”

Daley on Hamas-Fatah—is there an opening to US recognition?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Blog) April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

President Obama's chief of staff, William Daley, is the top administration official addressing the American Jewish Committee's annual conference. This is what he just said about Hamas-Fatah reconciliation: "We all have seen the news of the agreement between Fatah and Hamas to form a government. Like the Israeli government, we are seeking more information." The United States always supported Palestinian unity, he then said, "providing it is on the terms which advance the cause of peace. Hamas is a terrorist government which targets civillians."

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad must go, Hamas insists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Conal Urquhart - April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas has insisted on the departure of Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister favoured by Israel and the west, under a deal agreed with its rival faction Fatah for a unity government, according to sources in Gaza. The Islamist organisation also said it would keep control of the Gaza Strip under the accord, which is expected to be formally signed by leaders of the two factions in Cairo next week. The plan drew further criticism on Thursday from Israel, which has said it would not deal with a Palestinian government that included members of Hamas.

Palestinian Unity Raises New Problems as It Solves Others
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - (Opinion) April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The memorandum signed by the Fatah and Hamas movements on Wednesday, aimed at ending a four-year-old political division, creates as many problems as it solves, experts warned.

Analysis: How to deftly play the ‘reconciliation’ card
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Opinion) April 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Finally, the purple elephant in the room stood up Wednesday and started to snort. Ever since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 2007, all parties occupied with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have pretended that Hamas’s control of Gaza did not exist; that it was possible to talk about reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority – you could even talk about a Palestinian state – and somehow turn a blind eye to the fact Hamas was ensconced in Gaza and was not just going to sit back and quietly let it all happen.

No partner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

‘There will be no dialogue with these murderers,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said back in June 2007, referring to Hamas. “There will be no dialogue with the forces of darkness.” Abbas made these remarks shortly after Hamas, in a bloody coup, had seized control of the Gaza Strip. It was also a few months after an assassination attempt against him, which he said was engineered by Hamas. Now the same Hamas members whom he once correctly referred to as “murderous terrorists” are to become Abbas’s colleagues in a “national unity” government.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017