February 19th

In Dubai attack, signs of Mossad shadow war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

The death of a Hamas operative in Dubai at the hands of a squad of burly hit men conjures up images of the string of killings that followed the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and a bungled attempt to poison a Hamas leader in Jordan 13 years ago. Israel's Mossad spy agency — the prime suspect in the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh last month in Dubai — has known both triumph and embarrassment in decades of covert warfare, and the latest episode would appear to include elements of each.

Palestinian leader meets US envoy on peace effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi, Alastair MacDonald - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met a senior aide to U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Thursday, part of Washington's effort to relaunch peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat confirmed the scheduled meeting with David Hale had taken place in Ramallah. But like the Americans he offered no comment on what was discussed. U.S. officials had announced the meeting after Erekat met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Qatar on Sunday. Mitchell and his team maintain a strict silence about their discussions.

UN envoy: Quartet to back PA autonomy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Robert Serry, the UN special envoy to the Middle East peace process, hinted on Thursday that the international community would pressure Israel to cede parts of the occupied West Bank to Palestinian Authority control. Serry said the International Quartet, made up of the UN, EU, US and Russia, will express support for PA demands on the Israeli government to transfer Areas B and of the West Bank C into A, under full Palestinian control, on the road to establishing statehood.

Deibes: PA will include Area C in plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority plans to include Area C in it strategic planning in an effort to lay the groundwork for a future state, Tourism Minister Khouloud Deibes said on Thursday. Deibes made this remark following a meeting in Jericho with a visiting delegation from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She also said her ministry is committed to attracting private sector investment to tourism-related projects in the West bank, particularly north of the Dead Sea, and also attract more tourists to the area.

Cartoonists in Israel take aim at Mossad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Political cartoonists working for Israeli newspapers this week turned their attention away from Rafiq Husseini, the Palestinian Authority official who disgraced by a sex tape. The new target of the cartoonists is a subject that is usually off-limits: Mossad. The shift in focus took place as suspicion mounted that the spy agency was involved in the assassination in January of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

Palestinian role Dubai assassination? Hamas blames Mossad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas, who lost senior leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January after he was assassinated in an elaborate cloak-and-dagger operation in Dubai, has joined the government of the tiny emirate in saying it's convinced the likely perpetrators were members of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence and security agency.

A bumbling Mossad hand suspected in Dubai assassination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Borzou Daragahi - February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

To its planners, the assassination of senior Hamas figure Mahmoud Mabhouh must have first seemed like the perfect spy operation. They slipped into Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, on fraudulent travel papers. They quietly killed the militant leader long wanted by Israel, reportedly smothering him with a pillow, and discreetly left the country.

February 18th

Fatehgate - between fact and fiction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Corruption has always been the Achilles heel of the Palestinian leadership. At the height of PLO’s popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, the relationship between revolution and money was the movement’s major weakness. Well-respected Palestinian artist Kamal Boulatta best reflected this dichotomy in his painting mixing the words thawra (revolution) and tharwa (riches).

Corruption…The Conflict between Ramallah and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali Ibrahim - (Opinion) February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

The decision taken by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend his chief of staff as a result of the case created by the dissident Palestinian intelligence officer who revealed violations and corruption committed by officials in the Palestinian Authority on Israeli television was most certainly the right decision. However we must take into account that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty and it is the task of the commission of inquiry to investigate this and this commission is scheduled to submit its report within three weeks.

Palestinian Dubai Murder Suspects are Hamas Members – Palestinian Security Official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Mohamed Al-Du'ma, Kifah Zaboun - February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority police spokesman General Adnan al-Dameeri played down Hamas's accusations that the two Palestinians who have been arrested in Dubai on suspicion of participating in the assassination of senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Mabhouh were working for the Palestinian Authority security forces.

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