Palestinian Authority Hotels Boast A 90% Room Occupancy Rate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Gidi Lipkin - October 22, 2012 - 12:00am

Over 90% occupancy has been recorded in the Palestinian Authority hotels, and 95% of the guests are tourists. It has thus been reported by the Palestinian Hotel Association. In Bethlehem and its environs, for instance, 3,000 hotel rooms are available in 30 hotels — an increase of 1,000 rooms since September 2011. In 2013, 700 additional hotel rooms are expected to be built.

Palestinians Stage Elections; Young Voters Shrug
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from 972 Magazine
by Lena Odgaard - October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Ramallah, West Bank — Despite Hamas’ boycott of the Palestinian municipal elections and a discouraging 55% turnout, candidates and observers alike saw the Oct. 20 poll as essential to re-establish political legitimacy in the city councils after a seven-year voting hiatus. But among the young electorate, Al-Monitor found few who believed their vote mattered.

ZOA Cancels Annual Fundraising Dinner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

The Zionist Organization of America has canceled its annual fundraising dinner because of the loss of its tax-exempt status, the organization has confirmed. The fundraiser, usually held in late November or early December, is a key annual event for the group. Recent galas have drawn such high-profile speakers as conservative talk show host Glenn Beck and Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.

Israel deports activists from Gaza-bound ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Immigration authorities on Wednesday deported 15 international activists who were arrested after their ship, the Estelle, attempted to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. The pro-Palestinian activists were sent back to their homelands, with two more scheduled to be deported late Wednesday night. Ten other activists were deported on Sunday and Monday. Three of the activists are Israeli and were released on bail.

'Morsi harsher on Hamas than previous regime'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Ben Hartman, Yaakov Lappin - October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Defying expectations, the current regime in Egypt has acted more harshly against Hamas than the previous one, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel Radio on Thursday. "It's good for the public to know that the current leadership is acting against Hamas in a very tough way," Shalom said, specifying that it is destroying tunnels "one after the other," limiting movement and blocking it from carrying out terrorist activity from Egyptian territory.

U.S. extends $4 billion loan guarantees to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by TheMarker - October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

The United States extended its $4 billion loan guarantees to Israel by another four years on Wednesday. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and Doron Cohen, the director general of Israel's Finance Ministry, signed an agreement extending the loan program until 2016.

Israel: UN bid risks 'far-reaching consequences'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel on Wednesday threatened "difficult and far-reaching consequences" of plans to upgrade Palestine's status in the United Nations next month. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman relayed the warning during talks with visiting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Jerusalem, a statement from his office said. If President Mahmoud Abbas "continues unilateral measures against Israel in the UN General Assembly, there will be difficult and far-reaching consequences," Lieberman told Ashton.

Israel re-opens 2 Gaza Strip crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have re-opened the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings into the Gaza Strip after closing them a day earlier, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Thursday. Palestinian border official Raed Fattouh told Ma'an that Israel would allow 167 truckloads of medical aid, clothes, shoes, fruit, and livestock to enter Gaza. An Israeli liaison official confirmed that both crossings were operating Thursday. They had been closed due to the "security situation" on the border, an official said Wednesday.

Momentum builds for Gaza to secede, Israel and West Bank to become one
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Christa Case Bryant - October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

After decades of the "two states for two people" blueprint more or less dominating proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace, a new paradigm is gaining momentum. Under this model, Israel absorbs the West Bank and its 2.5 million Palestinians, while Hamas-run Gaza becomes a separate entity aligned with the Middle East’s rising Islamist powers.

Hamas to appoint Abu Marzouk as chief: sources
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Hamas is considering appointing Moussa Abu Marzouk, currently deputy head of the Hamas politburo, to replace Khaled Mashaal as the movement's chief, sources said Wednesday. The Shurra council of Hamas, the Islamic Palestinian movement that rules the Gaza Strip, made the decision to appoint Abu Marzouk after a series of meetings in Cairo last week, the sources said.

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