Palestinian Authority's cash crisis bites deep
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - January 16, 2012 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV // In the wake of the biggest financial crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority, Ibrahim Barham has grown worried about the future of his computer wholesale business. After all, the companies to which Mr Barham's firm, Safad, distributes products such as laptops and desktop computers have not been paid in months by a major client - the West Bank-based government.

Don't do it, Bibi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) January 16, 2012 - 1:00am

PARIS — A U.S. ambassador in Europe was recently asked by an Israeli ambassador what could be done to improve the lousy relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama. He replied: “Every once in a while, say thank you.” The American ambassador added a couple of other thoughts. “Maybe, once in a while, ask the president if there’s anything you can do for him. And above all stay out of our election-year politics.”

Human rights advocate stabbed in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A human rights advocate was stabbed by unknown assailants in Gaza City after receiving threats over his authorship of an article critical of Palestinian resistance movements. Mahmoud Abu Rahma, international relations director at Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, was attacked by masked men and stabbed multiple times while walking back from his brother's house on Friday night, he told Ma'an on Tuesday. He received 12 stitches in a Gaza hospital and is recovering from his wounds.

Arabs deserve a party of the citizen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) January 16, 2012 - 1:00am

As the Arab uprisings enter their second year, a new political movement based on the concept and values of citizenship is needed. A lacuna now exists on the Arab political scene. The Arab uprisings shattered the old order but have yet to coalesce into a clear model for the future. A movement of citizens, expressed in organized political parties with clearly articulated programs, would tap into the patriotic and ecumenical grassroots protest movements and ensure that a historic opportunity for progress is not squandered.

UK deputy prime minister accuses Israel of 'vandalism'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by David Sapsted - January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

LONDON // Israel's insistence on continued settlement building in Jerusalem and the West Bank amounted to "an act of deliberate vandalism", Britain's deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said yesterday. In a stinging attack on Israel, Mr Clegg said that its policies were doing "immense damage" to hopes of reaching a Middle East peace settlement. Mr Clegg made his remarks after meeting with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who embarked on a new diplomatic offensive in Europe yesterday aimed at putting pressure on Israel to halt settlement building.

French parliament report accuses Israel of water 'apartheid' in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

The French parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee published an unprecedented report two weeks ago accusing Israel of implementing "apartheid" policies in its allocation of water resources in the West Bank. The Israeli Embassy in Paris had no foreknowledge of the report and thus did not refute it or work to moderate it. Foreign Ministry officials called the incident "a serious diplomatic mishap." The report said that water has become "a weapon serving the new apartheid" and gave examples and statistics that ostensibly back this claim.

UNRWA launches 300 million appeal for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) launched Tuesday an emergency appeal for Gaza and the West Bank worth over 300 million U.S. dollars. The appeal came on the third anniversary of Israel's three-week military offensive in the Gaza Strip and as the Jewish state kept economic restrictions on the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

Gaza Shiites claim Hamas persecution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Masked Hamas police beat and detained members of the Gaza Strip's tiny Shiite community during a religious commemoration last week, a follower and local rights groups said Tuesday, accusing their Islamist rulers of religious intolerance. It was the first claim of harassment by a group of Shiite worshippers against the territory's mainstream rulers, who are Sunni Muslims. Hamas officials, who have close ties with Shiite Iran, denied the allegations.

Palestinian leader loses VIP status with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israel has stripped Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of VIP status and given him a watered-down travel permit that is valid for just two months, Palestinian officials charged Sunday. The officials said that Abbas complained about the permit at an internal meeting of his Fatah Party last week.

Netanyahu to unveil political plan in March?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - January 15, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to hold a fourth meeting, scheduled to be held on January 25, a day before the Quartet's deadline. On Saturday, Israeli envoy Attorney Yitzhak Molcho and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat met for the third time in Amman. State officials said prior to the meeting that Israel wants to arrange a summit meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and hold an ongoing dialogue until March. It is expected that Netanyahu will present his plan on borders and security at this time.

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