NEWS: Gaza Hamas leader Zahar says “no one in the organization was consulted” about the agreement with Pres. Abbas, that it “cannot be implemented,” and is “a mistake” and “a real crisis.” Hamas' de facto PM Haniya visits Tehran and insists relations remain strong. Iranian leaders urge Hamas to continue armed resistance against Israel, and Haniya agrees. Hamas bans a rally in Gaza in favor of the Syrian opposition. Settlers in an “unauthorized outpost” agree with the government they can stay for at least 2 more years despite a Supreme Court order to vacate. Israeli police block a right-wing extremist from marching on holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem. A new poll finds Palestinians are most concerned about jobs and financial security. A UN special rapporteur says Israel is enacting a discriminatory housing policy against Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories. An Israeli diplomat is wounded in a New Delhi car blast. PM Netanyahu blames Iran and Hezbollah for the attacks on Israeli diplomats. Israel bans 35 Palestinian doctors from taking Israeli certification exams on grounds that Al-Quds University cannot be considered a "foreign university." One Palestinian was killed and 3 injured in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. Israeli extremists again vandalize Palestinian/Jewish school in occupied East Jerusalem with anti-Arab hate slogans. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Israelis who maintain Palestinians rejected 'generous peace offers' are playing into Hamas' hands. Yigal Caspi says Abbas has to choose between Hamas and peace. Barry Rubin says Israel is continuously “saved” by its enemies. Leonard Fein says settlement activity in Jerusalem is designed to destroy prospects for a two-state solution. Husam Itani says the Syrian regime will no longer be able to exploit the Palestinian cause. Naseem Tarawnah says for Jordan, Palestine is a domestic issue, but Hassan A. Barari says it is frustrated by the impasse at the Amman talks.

A futile exercise?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

Jordan's recent efforts to hold exploratory pre-negotiation talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis could not be more surprising. Over an extended period of time, King Abdullah II has reiterated his conviction that peace, although favorable, is not yet possible. Time and again, he has blamed Israel for the impasse in the peace process. Therefore, the sudden emergence of Amman's diplomatic activism is striking.

Jordan re-enters the fray
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Naseem Tarawnah - (Opinion) February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

While King Abdullah has managed to maneuver through the turbulent regional weather of the past decade, hardly a year passes without Jordanians such as myself forced to wonder: what would his father King Hussein have done?

The End of the Exploitation of the Palestinian Cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Husam Itani - (Opinion) February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

By drawing up the facets of a new world, the revolutions are reproducing the social and political powers, as well as their structures, and introducing definitions and concepts differing from the ones which prevailed over reality and our way of thinking throughout the past stages.

Building Barriers to Two-State Solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) February 12, 2012 - 1:00am

Here’s a “sign of the times” factoid: In recent commentary on Israel’s settlement policy, the number of Jewish settlers beyond the Green Line has ballooned to 600,000 from 350,000 or so. It is as if there had suddenly been a mass immigration to the West Bank. But there has been no such immigration. What there has been, more ominously, is the inclusion in “beyond the Green Line” of two venerable major neighborhoods that had long since come to be regarded as part of Jerusalem proper: Ramot and French Hill, as well as other neighborhoods, such as Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramat Shlomo, Har Homa.

Saved by our enemies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Barry Rubin - (Opinion) February 12, 2012 - 1:00am

President Barack Obama is campaigning on the claim that he is a great friend of Israel despite the fact that this is clearly not true. After all, the announcement of a coalition government between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, a genocidally oriented terrorist group that is openly anti- Semitic and rejects all of the agreements with Israel on which the PA is based prompts no US (or European) policy response.

Abbas will have to choose
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yigal B. Caspi - (Opinion) February 12, 2012 - 1:00am

Hamas and Fatah, the ruling faction in the Palestinian Authority, signed an agreement in Doha, Qatar on 6 February 2012 to form an interim unity government. According to the agreement, PA President and leader of Fatah Mahmoud Abbas will head the government, replacing the current Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, who is supported by the West. The move is a further step in implementing the so-called reconciliation agreement that the two Palestinian factions signed in Cairo in May 2011.

Israel's new peace camp is playing into Hamas' hands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

There was a time - before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad starred here in the role of Hitler - when the "elites" were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's number one enemy.

Lesson in extremism at Israel 'peace' school
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

A school set up to promote peace and understanding between Arab and Jewish communities in Jerusalem has been hit by vandals who have daubed racist threats on its playground walls, including "Death to Arabs".

Report: Palestinian killed, three injured in IAF strike on Gaza sites
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
February 12, 2012 - 1:00am

A man was killed and three others were injured in an attack by the Israeli Air Force on tunnels and a weapons depot in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, described as retaliation for a cross-border rocket launch, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported. The man killed was Abdul Karim Zaytuna (69), according to Ma'an. An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said she had no immediate information about the casualties from Sunday's air strikes.

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