Mahmoud Abbas' crucial message to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) November 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas has gradually made the transition from a relatively pale figure to a leader of stature. He has not only done this through his very serious negotiations with Ehud Olmert in 2007 and 2008, that came very close to reaching an agreement. He has also done this with two crucial statements that signal a sea change in the Palestinian narrative.

Is Hamas Moderating?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Eli Lake - November 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Top Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, a key member of the Fatah Party started by Yasser Arafat, says his rivals inside Hamas appear to be moderating their positions and could be moving toward a deal for a unified government. Shaath told The Daily Beast that the weakening of Syria’s government—long a source of support for Hamas—in the face of civil unrest has changed the dynamic for Palestinians still trying to create a unified government that could negotiate with Israel with one voice.

Israeli troops kill two Gaza militants-medics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants in a clash along the Israel-Gaza border on Thursday, Palestinian medical officials said. An Israeli military spokesman said soldiers were on patrol on the Israeli side of the border fence when they were fired upon from inside Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas. The soldiers returned fire, the spokesman said, without giving further details.

Liberal, but still pro-Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Steven Cohen - (Opinion) November 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Ask yourself the following: 1 ) What group of American Jews lobbied for a UN resolution calling for a Palestinian state? 2 ) Shortly after the Six-Day War, which Israeli leader advised his country to relinquish control of the territories? 3 ) Which American president called for establishing a Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 boundaries? The answers: 1 ) U.S. Zionist leadership in 1947; 2 ) David Ben-Gurion; 3 ) every president since Lyndon Johnson.

A message Palestinians see in Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange: Hamas - 1, Abbas - 0
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Dawoud Abu Lebdeh - (Opinion) November 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange a couple weeks ago was a very emotional moment for thousands of Palestinians who were reunited with family members they had not seen for years. But it came at a diplomatic price. Some of the Palestinian public perceive the prisoner exchange deal (in which Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Hamas releasing Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit) as an achievement for Hamas’s militant approach. They see it as a success story that Palestinian diplomatic efforts and negotiations with Israel have not yet been able to deliver.

Islamist Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
(Interview) November 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which traded deadly fire with Israel at the weekend in Gaza, does not expect a subsequent truce to last long and has at least 8,000 fighters ready for war, a spokesman said. Islamic Jihad is the second largest armed group in Gaza, after Hamas, which rules the tiny Mediterranean enclave. The two share a commitment to the destruction of Israel and both are classified as terrorist groups by most Western governments.

Israel freezes UNESCO funding over Palestinian membership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
November 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday ordered his government to freeze the country's $2-million-a-year funding of UNESCO in protest of the organization's vote to grant the Palestinians full membership. The order came two days after the Israeli Cabinet announced that it would step up construction in West Bank settlement blocs and suspend the transfer of taxes it collects for the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinians Inch Closer to Rejection at U.N. Body
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Neil MacFarquhar - November 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian bid for membership at the United Nations, which was doomed from the start by the threat of an American veto, moved another notch closer to rejection on Thursday at the Security Council, diplomats said. The Council’s membership committee met in private, with member states laying out their individual positions on the Palestinians’ request, said diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under diplomatic protocol. The membership committee is trying to produce a report by Tuesday, and indications are that the group will be unable to reach a consensus.

Ban Ki-moon: Palestinian membership of UN agencies is 'not beneficial'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
November 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has said Palestinian efforts to join other United Nations agencies beyond its cultural arm are "not beneficial for Palestine and not beneficial for anybody". Millions of people could be affected if UN agencies see their funding cut as a result of the Palestinian bids, he said in an interview on Thursday at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Cannes. The US and Canada have cut off funding for Unesco since the Paris-based UN cultural agency approved a Palestinian membership bid – stripping it of about one-quarter of its total funding.

Al-Malki: Palestine will not apply to other UN bodies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The PLO will not apply to join any more international organizations but will focus on full membership of the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority minister of foreign affairs said Thursday. Some 107 countries voted Monday to admit Palestine as a member of UNESCO, and Riyad al-Malki told reporters in Ramallah that membership of the UN cultural agency was a step toward countering some historic injustices.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017