‘There’s a Girl Here’ Proves Recipe for Banking Deposit Growth in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Simon Clark - August 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Reem Qaraqe was a novelty at the Bethlehem branch of Bank of Palestine Plc (BOP), and she says some customers didn’t hide their astonishment. “There’s a girl here,” was a typical remark. “Why?” As the branch’s first female teller, Qaraqe says she quietly fumed as she endured teasing and disrespect. She had about reached her limit the day Munjed the fish seller showed up, unfurled a wad of smelly shekels, threw it on the counter and commanded her to deposit it. She says her first notion was to hit him. Instead, she decided to try extreme politeness.

Israel puts pressure on human-rights organisations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - August 7, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV // Just months after Israel ended its invasion of the Gaza Strip more than two years ago, life became more challenging for Sari Bashi and her human-rights group Gisha. Right-wing government officials, legislators and pressure groups, angered at charges by rights organisations that Israel had committed war crimes during the attack, launched a campaign to discredit groups such as Gisha, which uses legal aid to help loosen Israeli restrictions on Gaza Strip residents.

Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain bias
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - August 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli academic, mother and political radical, summons up an image of rows of Jewish schoolchildren, bent over their books, learning about their neighbours, the Palestinians. But, she says, they are never referred to as Palestinians unless the context is terrorism.

'Knesset unlikely to see term's end'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
August 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Sunday that it was highly unlikely the current Knesset would see the end of its term. "I believe that 2012 will be a year when a decision on the next elections is made," he told Knesset TV. "I don't think the (current) Knesset will see November 2013, because politics has a way of mandating crises, so that they can be reflected in the ballots."

EU diplomats: Israel's national security adviser reprimanded us over our critical policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 8, 2011 - 12:00am

European diplomats have called National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror aggressive and arrogant for "reprimanding" EU countries for their policies toward Israel, during what was supposed to be a routine briefing. Amidror had been invited to give a political-security briefing to 27 European Union ambassadors to Israel. Three diplomats who were present at the meeting, on 14 July, told Haaretz that the national security adviser's style was blunt and that many ambassadors were insulted at what they perceived to have been a reprimand of the EU.

New 5-star hotel in blockaded Gaza amid poverty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Diaa Hadid - August 6, 2011 - 12:00am

AL-SOUDANIA, Gaza Strip — The Gaza Strip's first five-star hotel gleams with marble floors, five luxury restaurants and a breezy cafe overlooking the territory's white sandy beaches and sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. The only thing missing are guests.

Israeli minister: Cut ties with Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ian Deitch - August 7, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel's foreign minister on Sunday accused the Palestinian Authority of planning "unprecedented bloodshed" next month after an expected symbolic U.N. endorsement of Palestinian independence. Accenting his warning, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for Israel to sever ties with the West Bank-based government. Lieberman's allegation runs counter to other Israeli assessments and stands in stark contrast to public and private statements by the Palestinians.

Report: Fatah says Dahlan involved in poisoning Arafat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 8, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah has accused ousted party strongman Muhammad Dahlan of "having a hand" in poisoning late President Yasser Arafat, Arabic-language media reported Saturday. Arafat died in a Paris hospital in November 2004. The exact cause of his death remains a mystery, but popular belief among Palestinians holds that he was poisoned. According to Al-Jazeera's Arabic-language news site, Fatah's commission of inquiry also found that Dahlan was linked to assassination attempts on other Palestinian leaders and that he had planned a coup in the West Bank.

Hamas and Fatah agree to release political prisoners
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 8, 2011 - 12:00am

CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Hamas and Fatah have agreed to release all political prisoners after meeting in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the reconciliation deal signed in April, official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. The two factions also agreed to the formation of a committee to issue passports to Gaza residents before the end of Ramadan, as well as forming a task force to reopen institutions which were shut down in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of political animosities.

Former Israeli diplomat sees waning image
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 8, 2011 - 12:00am

When Gabriela Shalev arrived at the United Nations in 2008 as Israel's first female ambassador, she was determined to launch a diplomatic offensive to improve her country's international standing. But the respected contract-law scholar says she ended up spending most of her tenure on the defense, coping with reactions to Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, the subsequent Goldstone Commission's inquiry into allegations of war crimes and the high-seas raid of the protest ship Mavi Marmara, in which Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.

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