October 28th

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."

October 27th

West Bank land belongs to Jews, says Israeli army judge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Meron Rapoport - October 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Major Adrian Agassi did not make the connection between the Bible, the land and the Jews when, fresh out of university, he left England for Israel in search of his roots. He was not even a practising Jew. But over the past quarter of a century, the Israeli army lawyer and then military judge at the forefront of arguably the most significant battle in the occupied West Bank – the confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of Jewish settlements – has come to see himself as in service of a higher duty.

Gridlock in the Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alastair MacDonald - (Blog) October 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Want to know how it feels to be George Mitchell, President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East? Try getting from Jerusalem to Ramallah on a typical weekday at the rush hour. And experience stalemate, frustration, competitive selfishness, blind fury and an absence of movement that even the most stubborn and blinkered of West Bank bus drivers might see as a metaphor for the peace process that is going nowhere fast right now.

The disabled Palestinian standup helping refugees find their funny side
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rachel Shabi - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

"I am officially the most oppressed person in the world," Maysoon Zayid recently told an audience in California. "I'm a Palestinian Muslim with cerebral palsy." Zayid, the first female standup ever to perform in Palestine and Jordan, added that her shaking often caught the eye of airport security staff, who think: "That chick's nervous!" It's a situation not helped by the fact her dad likes to drop her off – and he looks like Saddam Hussein.

EU lawyers draw up list of IDF officers suspected of Gaza war crimes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries hold lists with names of Israel Defense Forces soldiers allegedly linked to war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Existing legislation enables arrest warrants to be issued against these officers if they enter those countries.

PA negotiator: Israel painting us as 'untrustworthy bastards'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The chief Palestinian negotiator lashed out at Israel's stance toward peace talks on Tuesday, after a report that his president, Mahmoud Abbas, had threatened to step down due to the lack of progress in the peace process. "You're presenting us as 'untrustworthy bastards,' while the fact of the matter is that you're the ones foot-dragging and refusing to end the occupation," Saeb Erekat told Army Radio.

Settlers clash with Palestinian 'security threat' olive growers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Anshel Pfeffer - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Residents of the settlement of Shvut Rachel clashed with Palestinians picking olives in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, after the settlers held a march to protest the "security threat" posed by the harvest. The settlers, who were joined by residents of nearby illegal outposts, said the Palestinian harvesters were a threat because could gather intelligence and launch attacks from the olive groves. "If they harvest near us, then we'll be near them," one of the settlers said as they headed out for the march.

PA seeks to reverse Gaza fuel terminal closure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Nathmi Mhanna, the Palestinian Authority's head of borders and crossings, said he and others were working hard to thwart Israel's recently announced plan to shut down Gaza's main fuel terminal. Israel's military said on Thursday is planned to close the Nahal Oz crossing, which is the only border terminal staffed jointly by Israelis and Palestinians as per previously signed agreements with the PA. In an interview, Mhanna said Israel was seeking to shut down the crossing due to unspecified security concerns voiced by individual soldiers.

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