May 3rd

Palestinian factions' leaders arrive in Cairo for reconciliation deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Leaders of Palestinian political factions arrived in Cairo on Monday to join a ceremony of signing a reconciliation agreement over ending around four years of internal Palestinian division. Leaders of left-wing parties, Islamic Jihad and the independent Palestinian figures from Gaza and the West Bank arrived in Cairo to join the signing ceremony. The reconciliation deal is scheduled to be signed by the leaders of Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party in Cairo on Wednesday under the sponsorship of Egypt.

Israeli threat to withhold taxes to damage Palestinian economy: analysts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's reaction to the Fatah- Hamas reconciliation continued this week as Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz threatened to withhold taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) over fears that Hamas may use the money to fund its actions against Israel. Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas announced last Wednesday an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal, which outlined the creation of a unity government and preparations for national and presidential elections.

Palestinian presidency calls for keeping calm with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian presidency called on factions Fatah and Hamas movements to maintain calm with Israel, saying this is only way to face it. "Israel is trying to make excuses in order not to break the siege on the Gaza Strip or to withdraw from the Palestinian lands, " presidency spokesman Nabil Abu Rdineh said. "We do not want to give Israel pretexts by violating the state of calm."

Popular Palestinian premier could be on way out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

There are growing signs that the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, could be on his way out, as the rival Fatah and Hamas movements prepare to sign a reconciliation deal this week and form a new "unity government." An ouster of the internationally respected economist could cost the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars in Western aid, spell the end of critical U.S. training for Palestinian security forces and endanger an effort to win support for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.

Palestinian Reconciliation, First Step Toward Proclamation of the State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by George Semaan - (Opinion) May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

The signing of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement between the authority and the Hamas movement is an extremely belated step. Throughout many months, this agreement remained quasi-impossible, but the Arab action, from Tunisia to Syria going through Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, was behind the activation of reconciliation, as the Palestinians felt that their cause was no longer the first item on the agenda of the Arab capitals facing a busy domestic schedule. At this level, it would be enough to mention the major transformation witnessed in Egypt, i.e.

'Arab Spring' a boon for Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

It is generally believed that the political shape shifting throughout swathes of the Arab world constitutes bad news for Israel. That argument does hold some water. For instance, Egypt's caretaker Cabinet has succeeded in bringing Fatah and Hamas together to form a unity government and has announced plans to reopen the Rafah crossing to Gaza. Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces Gen. Sami Anan says, "Israel has no right to intervene in the decision about the Rafah border. It is an Egyptian-Palestinian matter."

Palestinians: Fire damages mosque in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian villagers say a mosque has been set on fire in the northern West Bank. The residents of Hawara village near Nablus say they didn't see anyone at the scene of the pre-dawn blaze on Tuesday. But the villagers say they suspect the mosque was torched by Jewish settlers who live nearby and with whom they have strained relations. Villagers put out the fire, which damaged prayer carpets. Two of the mosque's windows were broken. Israeli security forces had no immediate comment.

Gaza demonstrators condemn death of bin Laden
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Some two dozen Palestinians gathered in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to pay tribute to slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. About 25 people holding pictures and posters of bin Laden rallied outside a Gaza City university. The crowd included al-Qaida sympathizers as well as students who said they opposed bin Laden's ideology, but were angry at the U.S. for killing him and consider him a martyr. Hamas police did not interfere in the demonstration.

Good news for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Blog) May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

The reconciliation agreement that was initialed between Fateh and Hamas and will be signed by them in Cairo, next Wednesday, is good news for both the Palestinian people and the peace process. A united Palestinian people is more conducive to a successful peace process than Palestinians splintered and in conflict. This is especially true if they are united on a political basis compatible to the fundamental requirements of the peace process and international legality.

Palestinian unity drive has Israeli price tag
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian government workers fear pay cuts this month after Israel halted transfer of tax revenues in response to a deal to reunite the two rival wings of the Palestinian independence movement. But many believe the surprise agreement between President Mahmoud Abbas' secular Fatah faction and Hamas Islamists in Gaza will be worth the price if it brings statehood closer. Israel refuses to deal with Hamas, which does not recognise the Jewish state. The two came close to a second war last month.

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