May 4th

Fayyad, driver of Palestinian statehood reforms, may miss party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority prime minister, a former IMF economist and political independent, is perhaps best known for fathering the institutional reforms and economic growth necessary to sustain a Palestinian state. But when his colleagues ask the United Nations to recognise Palestinian independence in September, the bespectacled, soft-spoken technocrat may not be around to see the two-year project that he largely engineered come to fruition.

Compromise behind Fatah-Hamas deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Their unity pact signed yesterday is being called surprising, historic and controversial, but neither Fatah nor Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction with which it is making amends, have offered much in terms of details. Analysts have described the Egyptian-brokered agreement, which will be celebrated in a ceremony today in Egypt's Nasser city, as a tactically beneficial compromise for both in light of popular calls for reconciliation, regional political upheaval and attempts at earning international recognition for a Palestinian state.

The days of Bin Laden…and Ismail Haniyeh
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali Ibrahim - (Opinion) May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The death of Bin Laden comes at a time when history is turning the page on al-Qaeda's ideology, and currents similar to it. The vibrant transformation taking place in Arab countries has highlighted the weakness of such ideas, and revealed that this trend and its supporters are merely on the sidelines of the wider movement for change. We did not see any pro-democracy demonstrations chanting the name of Bin Laden or al-Zawahiri.

Fatah, Hamas proclaim landmark reconciliation pact
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Maggie Michael - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have proclaimed a landmark, Egyptian-mediated reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift. The ceremony took place Wednesday at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters in Cairo. Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the accord ends "four black years" that hurt national Palestinian interests. He also said at the ceremony that he would soon visit Hamas-held Gaza Strip. The pact provides for the creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government ahead of national elections next year.

Amr Moussa: Palestinian reconciliation will pressure Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian reconciliation leaves Israel with no excuse for not engaging more seriously in peace negotiations, outgoing Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said Wednesday. In an interview published in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, a London-based newspaper, Moussa said the Arab League will support the implementation of the Palestinian reconciliation on the ground. Palestinian factions yesterday signed a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah that Hamas had signed last week. Egypt helped broker the agreement, which was signed in Cairo.

Gaza government executes spy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Gaza's Ministry of the Interior announced the death Wednesday of a man convicted of collaboration, identified only as A.S., and said to have been found guilty of spying. It is the sixth execution that has been carried out by the Gaza government, in contradiction to a Palestinian law that necessitates the approval of the president before death sentences are carried out. The ministry said in a statement that the death sentence was carried out after all means of appeal had been completed, and after obtaining the approval of the Gaza government.

Factional tensions cause unity ink delay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas leader in exile Khalid Mash'al's insistence on delivering a speech at the signing ceremony of unity documents in Cairo on Wednesday delayed the start of the historic event by more than an hour, sources told Ma'an. Sources said President, PLO leader and Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas would be the only Palestinian figure to speak at the event, but tensions rose when Mash'al said that he - as the representative of Hamas - would also like to address the audience.

Candidates for the next Palestinian PM
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

With the Palestinian unity agreement signed and set to be sealed on Wednesday noon in Cairo, four candidates have emerged as the top contenders for the post of prime minister. The candidates have been identified as follows: Munib Al-Masri Billionaire philanthropist and unity activist from Nablus, who spearheaded a unity push with business owners and independent leaders in the West Bank, traveling more than once to Gaza to meet with figures there. He heads PEDECO, a Palestinian investment firm.

Palestinians optimistic on Hamas-Fatah unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

On the eve of a pact to reconcile the two leading Palestinian factions, Palestinians are optimistic that the Arab Spring may help mend a four-year split and strengthen their push for statehood. "The opinion of all Palestinians is to get united. It brings them a sense of power, and a sense of strength, and a sense of unity to be able to deal with Israel," says Bassem Ezbedi, a political science professor at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank. He acknowledged that there are "all sorts of obstacles," some of which could be "explosive."

The Arab Spring is driving the Hamas-Fatah unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Robert Malley - (Opinion) May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The impact on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is the most debated aspect of the “unity” deal between the two principal Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, but it is almost certainly the least significant. So far, U.S. reactions to the unexpected agreement have been predictably negative, with Washington warning against forming a reconciled government with an unreformed Hamas. In so doing, it appears to view this deal through the obsolete prism of a moribund peace process and a frozen conflict between a moderate and militant axis.

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