Abbas inaugurates Palestinian Embassy in Beirut
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Van Meguerditchian - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas raised his country’s flag for the first time at an official embassy in Beirut Wednesday, as hundreds of Palestinians looked on and cheered the historic event. For decades, official ties have been carried out by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Lebanese government. But in a government decision in 2008, Lebanon decided to establish formal diplomatic ties with Palestinians.

Former Palestinian power broker fighting for political survival
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Some view him as a ruthless opportunist, others a convenient scapegoat for his superiors. But one thing is certain: Mohammed Dahlan, once considered the charismatic odds-on-favourite to succeed Yasser Arafat as leader of the Palestinians, is fighting for his political life.

One man's stand against an Israeli settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Matthew Kalman - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Said Ayid was born under the British Mandate, grew up in Jordan, raised his eight children under Israeli occupation and now lives on the edge of a sprawling new Israeli neighbourhood under the token protection of the Palestinian Authority. But throughout those 73 years he has not moved an inch. Two weeks ago, the Israeli government announced the addition of 930 new units in Har Homa, the new neighbourhood built in the past decade on the adjacent hillside south of Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.

Palestinian Factions Reconsider Relations with Assad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

A fierce attack by the Syrians on a Palestinian refugee camp has led Palestinian factions, both Islamist and staunchly secular, to reexamine their traditionally close ties with Damascus. Headquartered in the Syrian capital as the Bashar Al-Assad regime falters, Palestinians were cautious not to badmouth the Syrian president personally as they condemned Sunday’s naval bombardment of the Raml Palestinian refugee camp.

Assad puts Hamas in corner over Syrian assault
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Syria's crackdown on government opponents has deeply embarrassed the Palestinian group Hamas, which is anxious not to anger its backers in Damascus while at the same time hoping not to alienate its supporters at home. President Bashar Assad's five-month purge of protesters has gathered pace since the start of August, causing thousands of Palestinians to flee a refugee camp in the city of Latakia this week as Syrian security forces attacked the area.

PA to soften UN statehood bid?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority has spent the past few days trying to advance a move to soften its bid for recognition at the UN in order to gain wider support among European nations, Ynet has learned. Europe's major powers have yet to decide whether to support the Palestinians' membership bid, to which the US is opposed. Palestinian sources close to negotiations with Europe told Ynet that the PA is conducting secret talks with the European Union and the Arab League aimed at revising their proposed resolution ahead of the General Assembly meeting in September.

Cairo talks between Israel, Hamas deadlock
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

A senior Egyptian source said Thursday that the third round of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, meant to facilitate a prisoner exchange deal which would secure the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, have deadlocked. The source, quoted by the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat, said both sides were "digging in their heels," and that as of Thursday, no date has been set to renew the talks. "Each party is interested in getting the best deal they can. We are still far from the point of saying that the talks have matured into a deal," the source said.

Turkey plans diplomatic assault on Israel after its refusal to apologize for Gaza flotilla raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Turkey plans to launch a diplomatic and legal assault on Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused on Wednesday to issue an apology to Turkey for the raid on the Gaza aid flotilla last year in which nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed. Sources in the Foreign Ministry said Turkey now intends to implement "Plan B", which will include an anti-Israel campaign in UN institutions, with an emphasis on the International Court of Justice. Turkey also plans to encourage the families of the raid's victims to file suits against senior Israeli figures in European courts.

Hamas official: Party not moving headquarters to Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

A senior Hamas leader said Wednesday that the party has no intention of moving its headquarters in exile from Damascus to Cairo. Salah Bardaweil rubbished reports that the recent visit to Egypt by exiled Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal was to discuss moving the party's offices to Cairo. “Hamas has not discussed moving its office from Syria, neither was this the goal of Mashaal’s visit to Cairo,” Bardaweil told Ma'an. The Cairo trip was not a surprise visit, he added, and had been previously scheduled.

Rights group: Hamas ban on study abroad students 'illegal'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights denounced Wednesday the decision by Hamas to ban Gaza scholarship students from studying in the United States. "PCHR believes that this decision contradicts basic human rights standards, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," a statement said. The rights group said that the students were banned from traveling for "social and cultural reasons" by the Ministry of Education in the Gaza Strip.

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