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Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am


NEWS: The New York Times explains the grave issues involved in Israel's E1 settlement expansion plan. Israel insists it's pushing ahead with various settlement projects. The Syrian government warns Palestinian refugees not to aid rebels, as opposition forces seize control of the largest refugee camp in the country. The US expresses "deep concern"over the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Syria. The Israeli Embassy in Ireland deletes a "Christmas" Facebook posting saying Palestinians would have lynched Jesus. Pres. Abbas meets with Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican says it hopes the recent UN vote will lead to a peace agreement. The Israeli Navy shoots and arrests a Palestinian fisherman off the Gaza coast. Palestinian public employees are planning strikes due to nonpayment of salaries. A new poll suggests a majority of "centrist" Israelis would not back a party that willing to divide Jerusalem. A new Palestinian poll suggests Hamas leader Hanniyeh would beat Abbas in an election held at the moment. A Palestinian journalist claims she was discriminated against by her West Bank TV station for wearing a headscarf. The American Jewish Committee says it's going to focus less on domestic issues and more on supporting Israel. Both Jordanians and Palestinians express unease at talk of a possible confederation. COMMENTARY: Aluf Benn says that during this election season, PM Netanyahu is pandering to the religious right. Amira Hass says a Palestinian boycott of Israeli goods won't hurt Israel at all. Sami El-Ali says Palestinian citizens of Israel have a right to express opinions Jewish citizens find obnoxious. Nahum Barnea says FM Lieberman is a damaging political figure but his case is being mishandled by prosecutors. Gershon Baskin emphasizes it takes time, effort and hard work to build partnerships for peace. Dalia Hatuqa says Hamas and Fatah are no closer to resolving their differences. Lara Friedman condemns disingenuous defenses of Israel's settlement expansion plans. Hussein Ibish says all parties involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are facing a set of crucial choices in the coming months.

Hamas and Fatah No Closer To Settling Their Differences
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Dalia Hatuqa - (Opinion) December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

Amid the unprecedented West Bank celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of Hamas’ founding, questions are arising as to whether the Islamist Movement and Fatah are finally one step closer to reconciling their political differences. 

Talk of Palestinian-Jordanian confederation irks observers on both sides of the river
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Elhanan Miller - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

Media reports that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is advancing a plan for confederation with Jordan have sparked a flurry of negative reactions both in Jordan and in the Palestinian territories.

AJC Turns Towards Israel, Global Advocacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

The century-old American Jewish Committee is cutting back on its domestic political agenda and on its research functions in favor of a focus on international advocacy. That shift follows a strategic plan that the AJC approved in 2009. Though the changes at the AJC have been broadly noted, the content of the blueprint itself — which the AJC shared with and described to the Forward — was previously unreported.

Hijab Stands In the Way of Palestinian Female Journalists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Diana Atallah - December 18, 2012 - 1:00am

Journalists Claim Discrimination for Wearing Hijab RAMALLAH - Lubna Abu Safiyeh was forced to leave her media job and now works in an administrative position in a Ramallah company - all because her ambition to work in the TV world did not fit her choice of wearing a head scarf.

Palestinian poll: Hamas' Haniyeh would win PA presidency over Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

If elections for Palestinian president were to take place today, and the candidates were Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Haniyeh would win, a new Palestinian public opinion poll reveals. According to the poll, published on Monday by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), headed by Khalil Shikaki, some 48 percent of the electorate would vote for Haniyeh, compared with 45 percent to Abbas.

Poll: 67% of centrist Israelis wouldn't elect party that splits Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - December 18, 2012 - 1:00am

Two-thirds of centrist voters - defined as Labor Party and Yesh Atid supporters - would not support a party willing to compromise on Jerusalem, according to a poll commissioned by the rightward-leaning Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Public sector union announces strikes across West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 18, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority civil servants union on Monday accused Israel of collective punishment for withholding Palestinian tax revenues and announced strike action over non-payment of salaries. Union chief Bassam Zakarneh said government employees would strike from noon Tuesday until the end of the week.Civil servants have not received November salaries and cannot afford transport to get to work, Zakarneh added.

Israeli navy arrests Palestinian fisherman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Israeli naval forces arrested a Palestinian fisherman on Monday after wounding him by shooting at his boat off Gaza City shore, a Palestinian official said. Nezar Ayyash of the fishermen syndicate said that Israeli gunboats encircled the fishing boat of Mas'ad Bakr, opened fire at the boat, wounded the guy and arrested him.

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