May 5th

Rattling the Cage: Abbas yes, Hamas no
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

As someone who wants the world to pressure Israel into ending the occupation, who hopes the UN recognizes Palestine in September, and who roots for Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, I say their agreement Wednesday to form a unity government with Hamas was a blunder. It was a blunder even before Hamas leaders in Gaza denounced America’s killing of the “holy warrior” Osama bin Laden.

Jordan welcomes Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Jordan's Minister of State for Communications and Media Affairs Taher Adwan said Wednesday Jordan welcomes the reconciliation deal signed between Fatah and Hama, the state-run Petra news agency reported. "Jordan supports any efforts that help end the divide between Gaza and Ramallah that harmed the Palestinian issue," Adwan said in a statement. The Jordanian government hopes that the deal will enhance Palestinian, Jordanian, Arab and international efforts to attain the desired peace and create an independent Palestinian state, said Adwan.

Lebanon welcomes Palestinian reconciliation, calls for Int'l support
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday welcomed the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, calling for international support to the deal. The reconciliation between the two parties was a blessed step to protect the Palestinian people and establish an independent state, Hariri said in a statement.

Analysis: For Hamas, unity is just a tactic to survive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - (Opinion) May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

At the beginning of the year, Hamas and Fatah were close to signing a reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt. At the last minute, however, Khaled Mashaal, leader of Hamas’s political wing, which is based in Damascus, nixed the deal. But then the ground shook in Syria and he suddenly changed his mind. As the fate of his patron, Syrian President Bashar Assad, hung in the balance, Mashaal made a calculated tactical decision to try and ensure his political survival by approving the reconciliation deal, which just months earlier he had conspicuously rejected.

Jerusalem mayor says holy city indivisible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Dan Perry - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem said Wednesday that Arabs and Jews are now so intertwined that the city cannot possibly be divided, even though both Israel and the Palestinians claim it as their capital. "You cannot divide the city," said Nir Barkat in a meeting in his office with The Associated Press and several other foreign media organizations. "I know it will never work."

Israeli PM's military attache stays away from UK
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli army says the prime minister's military attache did not accompany him to Britain this week, fearing pro-Palestinian activists might try to have him arrested on war crimes charges. Maj. Gen. Yohanan Locker was deputy chief of the Israel Air Force during Israel's war in Gaza two years ago. Activists critical of Israel's conduct in Gaza have sought to arrest other Israeli officials under a British law that allows foreigners to be prosecuted for alleged war crimes committed anywhere in the world.

Palestinian Gambit May Keep International Funding Flowing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson, Arieh O'Sullivan - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership is maneuvering to appoint technocrats to the planned national unity government to ensure that international funding continues, despite a ban on funneling money to Hamas as a recognized terrorist organization.

After deal, Hamas says activists held in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Six Hamas sympathisers have been detained by Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank since rival groups concluded a deal aimed at reconciliation, a Hamas source said on Thursday. The detentions in the Hebron and Nablus area underline the challenges facing implementation of the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

CUNY nixes Tony Kushner honorary degree over Israel statements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The City University of New York has voted not to honor playwright Tony Kushner with an honorary degree at its commencement after a board member objected, citing the Pulitzer Prize winner's statements on Israel. The New York Jewish Week reported that the request by CUNY's John Jay College to recognize Kushner was turned down at a board of trustees meeting Monday after board member Jeffrey Wiesenfeld objected. Kushner would have been eligible to speak at the graduation ceremony.

Fayyad says unity deal must be implemented swiftly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Caretaker West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday welcomed a surprise unity accord between Fatah and Hamas but stressed the deal must be implemented on the ground immediately. His words were echoed by fellow Third Way party member and PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi, who said the move "reinforces today’s pursuit of democracy in the Middle East, and marks an important step towards Palestinian statehood and lasting peace."

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