May 10th

An improbable leader’s unrelenting quest for a state of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Globe and Mail
by Patrick Martin - (Opinion) May 9, 2011 - 12:00am

He is an unlikely man in a most unlikely setting, but Munib Rashid Masri, who, 10 years ago in the middle of a violent intifada, built a palatial mansion on the top of Mount Gerizim overlooking this Palestinian city, deserves much of the credit for the historic reconciliation between the antagonistic Hamas and Fatah organizations.

Talks with Hamas not impossible: Israeli president
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 10, 2011 - 12:00am

The possibility of talks between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should not be entirely ruled out, Israeli President Shimon Peres told Ynet news in an interview published Tuesday. Peres said it was important to remember that Palestinian former president Yasser Arafat was regarded with suspicion and even hatred by many Israelis when he was engaged in the negotiations that yielded the Oslo Accords. "Even when I began negotiation with Arafat, they said: 'There's no chance'," Peres told the Israeli website in an interview published on the Jewish state's Independence Day.

Abbas says Palestinians determined to get UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians are determined to seek recognition of a Palestinian state from the United Nations in September, a Ramallah-based newspaper reported Tuesday. "The issue of going to the UN is decisive and it doesn't endure any play or maneuvering," Abbas said during a meeting of the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah movement here on Monday night, according to the report. However, Abbas stressed that the negotiations with Israel remain the preferable choice for the Palestinians and that the Palestinians will continue efforts to resume the talks.

INTERVIEW-Israel must move on peace or lose out -lobbyist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - (Interview) May 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must present a concrete plan for a two-state solution of the Palestinian conflict to the U.S. Congress this month or face the prospect of fresh violence, a U.S. lobbyist said. Jeremy Ben-Ami, director of J Street, touted as a left-wing version of the powerful pro-Israel AIPAC lobby group, said he was "trying to build a momentum" to stall a Palestinian plan to seek United Nations backing for statehood in September.

Palestinians miss salaries for first time since '07
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - May 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority said on Monday it had not been able to pay public sector salaries for the first time since 2007 because of Israel's decision to halt the transfer of tax funds. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Israel's decision, taken in protest at a Palestinian unity deal involving the Islamist group Hamas -- had put the Ramallah-based government in an impossible financial position.

France ups PA aid as Israel holds tax funds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 9, 2011 - 12:00am

France on Monday announced it would donate 10 million euros ($14.3 million) to the Palestinian Authority after Israel froze tax revenue transfers following a Palestinian unity agreement. The aid infusion came as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters his government was unable to pay employees because of Israel's decision to halt revenue transfers after Fatah and Hamas inked a unity deal. "The Palestinian Authority cannot pay the salaries for the month until the Israeli government transfers the money," he said.

Fatah to discuss September deadlines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Fatah's governing body will evaluate party support and possible strategies including the September deadline for statehood and a possible bid at the UN, an official said Monday night. The party's Revolutionary Council began meetings late Monday evening, headed by president and party leader Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, officials told the government news agency WAFA.

Pro & Con: Should the U.S. support the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Atlanta Journal Constitution
by Jimmy Carter - (Opinion) May 9, 2011 - 12:00am

This is a decisive moment. Palestine’s two major political movements — Fatah and Hamas — have signed a reconciliation agreement that will permit both to contest elections for the presidency and legislature within a year. If the U.S. and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel. If they remain aloof or undermine the agreement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with new violence against Israel.

Fatah-Hamas pact called new chance for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - May 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The reconciliation pact signed last week by the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas was denounced by Israel and has left Washington weighing its response, but Palestinian mediators who helped broker the deal say it opens new opportunities for a resumption of peace talks. The accord, which provides for the formation of a transitional government of technocrats to prepare for elections in a year, also sets a goal that Fatah and Hamas say they share: a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with a capital in Jerusalem, next to Israel.

West Bank: Tax Withholding by Israel Will Delay Paychecks for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - May 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, left, said Monday that the Palestinian Authority could not pay the salaries of its employees on time this month because of Israel’s decision to withhold the transfer of tax revenue it collects on behalf of the Palestinians. Israel delayed the transfer of almost $90 million after the reconciliation last week between Fatah, the party that dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza.

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