December 4th

Q&A: What is the Palestinian split all about?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority and leader of the long-dominant, secular Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), is in conflict with Hamas, the Islamist movement which won a parliamentary election in 2006. Since June 2007, when Hamas routed Abbas's forces in the Gaza Strip, prompting Abbas to fire a Hamas-led government and appoint his own in the West Bank, each side has accused the other of persecutions. Human rights monitors say there has been an upsurge in torture and detentions in the West Bank recently.

Palestinians recount abuses in West Bank jails
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alastair MacDonald - December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

Allegations of torture, arbitrary arrest and other abuses of due legal process have long been common from Palestinians in the West Bank. But lately more such accusations are leveled not at Israeli occupying forces but at fellow Palestinians, part of the bitter factional rivalry that has divided families and made the two Palestinian territories fiefdoms of the warring camps -- Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip and secular Fatah in the West Bank.

Blair wants new Gaza strategy, fears for two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

Middle East envoy Tony Blair called here Wednesday for a new strategy to bring the Gaza Strip back into the peace process and warned a proposed two-state solution risked slipping away. Blair offered few details for the future of Gaza but entertained the idea that the Islamist Hamas could either be ousted from power in elections there or could even join the political process if it drops its anti-Israeli stand. "We need a new strategy for Gaza," Blair told foreign policy specialists at a gathering in Washington hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think tank.

Israel eases Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

Israel has confirmed it will allow some humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, easing a month-old closure it imposed on the Hamas-ruled territory after a surge in violence. Defence Minister Ehud Barak authorised the delivery of 70 truckloads of food and basic supplies into Gaza and an unspecified quantity of fuel for the impoverished territory's sole power plant, his office said in a statement. The statement said the decision was taken as a gesture of goodwill ahead of next week's Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice.

Israeli police evict Hebron settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Jack Guez - December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

Israeli police evicted settlers from a disputed house in Hebron on Thursday, carrying or shoving some of them out the door, and prompting clashes that left about 20 people hurt, witnesses and official media said. After more than 100 officers moved into the house, including members of an elite squad, a young settler fired an automatic rifle into the air and a stun grenade could be heard exploding. Furious settlers hurled rocks at nearby homes, and army radio said about 20 people were injured in the ensuing clashes.

Jewish settlers in West Bank fear an Israeli withdrawal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ashraf Khalil - December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

Young Harel-David Rosenthal squirmed and screeched in his grandfather's arms as if he knew what was coming. The rabbi's practiced hands moved quickly and efficiently, and more than 100 relatives and well-wishers quietly whispered Hebrew prayers to comfort the infant and mute his outraged screams. It was a bris -- the circumcision of a newborn boy, whose parents are among the 23 families staking a claim here.

Looking for the Ideal Spot to Make a Speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper - (Opinion) December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

President-elect Barack Obama’s aides say he is considering making a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office. So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.

December 3rd

Obama must help Israel break its territorial addiction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Alex Sinclair - December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

The Republican Party pulled every trick in the book to scare the American public against voting for Barack Obama. He will raise taxes for the middle class, they warned, he's a socialist, he's a Muslim, he'll turn social security into a welfare system?

PA to purge Hamas-controlled councils
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority is planning to replace all the Hamas-controlled municipalities and village councils in the West Bank in the coming weeks, PA officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. They said the decision was aimed at undermining Hamas's influence in the West Bank and paving the way for the extension of PA President Mahmoud Abbas's term in office after it ends on January 9.

Israel arrests 14 Palestinians in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
December 3, 2008 - 1:00am

Israeli forces arrested 14 Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, reports Wednesday said. The Palestinian prisoners' club said in a press release that three Palestinians were arrested in Arraba and Barqin towns near Jenin.

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