Hamas Would Lose Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Survey finds Fatah to be 33% more popular than Hamas. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' party Fatah would crush their rivals Hamas were elections to be held today, a Palestinian survey has found. A survey conducted earlier this week in both the West Bank and Gaza and released Thursday found that 48 percent of voters would support Fatah were presidential elections held next week, while only 11 percent would vote for Hamas. 10 percent of respondents said they would vote for other Palestinian political parties and 31 percent said they were undecided or would not vote.

Taking credit without responsibility, Israel expects little diplomatic fallout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Was it a diplomatic mess or a political success? Israeli opinion about the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel last month swings between both, even as few rule out the possibility of Mossad involvement. The Israeli government is maintaining its standard policy of ambiguity in such cases, neither confirming nor denying involvement, a policy that enables the country to claim “credit” without taking responsibility.

Profile: Victim's brother tells of 'shadowy and secretive life'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Said Ghazali, Donald MacIntyre - February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Unsurprisingly, the family of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh are convinced that his death was the work of Israel. His older brother, Hussein, said the assassinated Hamas commander had owned a sewing factory in Damascus, but lived a "shadowy and secretive life" in Syria. "Each time he called us he talked from a different phone." Hussein – a Hamas activist and head of a Gaza charity – said this was the fourth attempt on his brother's life. "Regardless of the evidence, it is in the interests of the Mossad to assassinate him," he told The Independent.

The truth about the Mossad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - (Analysis) February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Last November, a sharp-eyed Israeli woman named Niva Ben-Harush was alarmed to notice a young man attaching something that looked suspiciously like a bomb to the underside of a car in a quiet street near Tel Aviv port. When police arrested him, he claimed to be an agent of the Mossad secret service taking part in a training exercise: his story turned out to be true – though the bomb was a fake.

Israeli embassy raises eyebrows with tennis tweet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by David Batty - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Amid the mounting diplomatic row over Mossad's alleged assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the Israeli embassy has turned to Twitter to comment. A tweet issued by the embassy today read: "@israeluk You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on #Dubai target http://ow.ly/18A79". It links to a story about the Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer, who beat the top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championship.

Why did Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh go to Dubai?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Andy Walker - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Amid all the speculation about who killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a question remains: What was he doing in Dubai? Hamas have refused to comment on the reasons for Mr Mabhouh's trip and they have limited their public pronouncements to promises of revenge against Israel. But why would a known militant leader - reportedly "at the top" of an Israeli hit list - leave the protection of Syria and his bodyguards to go to Dubai in the "Westernised" United Arab Emirates?

Fayyad tells US Jewish leaders: IDF incursions undermine us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Haviv Rettig - February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told visiting American Jewish leaders on Thursday that IDF incursions into Palestinian population centers “need to stop.” While “there is interest on both sides” in promoting Palestinian development and progressing toward statehood, Israel’s military operations in PA-controlled areas “not only run operational risks, but they undermine our credibility and standing. We need actions taken by the Israelis to be consistent with the notion of a state in evolution,” Fayyad said.

Palestinians guilty again?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Abir Kopty - (Opinion) February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

For many years Israel and members of the International community have claimed that Palestinians “do not take responsibility for themselves. All they do is whine, accuse Israel of everything and make suicide bombings.” That's what we have heard. Now, when those false claims have expired, Israel’s arsenal of claims is replaced quickly.

Abbas to renew talks with Israel next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are to be renewed next week, a senior government official in Jerusalem said on Thurdsay. Israeli government officials were told by Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger that the Palestinians were ready to resume indirect talks, the senior government official said. Spindelegger, who visited Israel and the Palestinian territories last week, said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had told him he would consent to the United States' request to renew talks with Israel.

Troubling questions from Dubai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

If Israel is behind last month's assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, it may be assumed that anybody who tried to appropriate some of the glory regrets it now. Dubai's police investigation may present the Israeli government and intelligence community with tough questions, even if the government did not take responsibility for the assassination, which the foreign press attributes to the Mossad. What at first seemed like a "clean" operation turned out to be wracked by negligent mishaps.

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