Avi Issacharoff / Obama demands may leave Abbas feeling betrayed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive on Sunday for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority during which she will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas. George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East envoy, will be in Israel Thursday to lay the groundwork for the secretary of state's visit. Clinton and Mitchell will attempt to persuade Abbas to reopen negotiations with Israel on a final peace agreement.

U.S. leaning toward indirect Mideast peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive in Israel on Saturday night for her first official visit since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was sworn in. Clinton's visit underscores the goal of reaching a compromise that could see the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. In light of the ever-wide gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, voices are growing within the Obama administration to shift strategy and suffice with indirect - rather than direct - negotiations.

US: Israel discriminates against non-Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel continues to discriminate against its religious minorities legally, financially and culturally, according to a US State Department review on worldwide religious freedom released on Monday. In its 2009 International Religious Freedom Report, the foreign service said that despite past documentation of prejudice against minorities, the status of respect for religious freedoms by Israel "was unchanged during the reporting period."

Fatah leader: Abbas will not run in elections unless asked
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian President will not run for office in the 24 January elections, a Fatah leader announced on Tuesday. Fatah leader Abdullah Abu Samhadaneh issued a statement saying Abbas “is eager to rest from this long and arduous trip, which began with the revolution and continues to this day,” as part of a paper urging Hamas to sign the Egyptian unity proposal so unified elections can go forward. He also noted, however, that if Abbas is "instructed by the command [Palestinian leaders] he will accept the commission."

Hamas to block elections in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of the Interior announced on Wednesday that it will not allow elections to go ahead in the Gaza Strip as decreed by President Mahmoud Abbas. The call for elections "came from someone who does not have the right to declare it," a ministry statement said in reference to Abbas. The ministry reiterated Hamas’ objection that the elections were called without a national unity agreement in place. The statement said furthermore that the ministry will "bring to account anyone who deals with these elections."

Does J Street arrival signal a split in America's Israel lobby?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Since the 1950s the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been the mainstream voice of the Jewish-American community and its efforts to strengthen support for Israel in Washington. Along comes J Street, a young upstart founded last year, in part as an answer to AIPAC – perceived by many progressive American Jews to have a clear right-wing tilt, and hardly representative of those want to see a much more aggressive push towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Salafism: A New Threat to Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Dan Williams - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

On the streets of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, clusters of men wear long tunics over baggy trousers, a costume common in Pakistan but virtually unknown among Palestinians — until recently. It is an emblem of Salafism, a branch of Islam that advocates restoring a Muslim empire across the Middle East and into Spain. Some Salafis preach violence, even killing Muslims deemed not pious enough. While historically a fringe group in the southeastern Mediterranean, Salafis have sought inroads in Lebanon and Jordan and are battling Hamas in Gaza.

In Gaza, Hamas Finds Popularity Waning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

It has been more than two years since the militant Palestinian group Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after a short but bloody war with the rival Fatah movement, which rules the West Bank. Since then, Hamas has been consolidating its political power. But the recent conflict with Israel and Gaza's continuing isolation are taking a toll on the group's popularity on the streets.

Hamas to ban holding of elections in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Google News
October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas-run interior ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday that it would ban the holding of elections called for by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the coastal territory. "The ministry will hold accountable anyone involved in the elections," the interior ministry said in a statement. The ministry added that it "rejects the holding of elections in the Gaza Strip because they were announced by someone who has no right to make such an announcement and because they came without national agreement."

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