April 1st

Gazan abducted in Ukraine not Hamas member: spokesman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas on Thursday said the Palestinian engineer kidnapped by Israel in Ukraine in February was not a member of the Islamic movement which controls the Gaza Strip. Dirar Abu Sisi, who appeared in an Israeli court, "has no relation with Hamas," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman. Israel said that Abu Sisi, the operating manager of Gaza's only power plant, had information about Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas near Gaza in 2006.

Envoy urges Ukraine to act over disappeared Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian ambassador in Ukraine on Thursday denied that a Palestinian man who went missing in Ukraine and is now being held in an Israeli jail was a member of Hamas. The family of engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, who managed the main power plant in Hamas-ruled Gaza, says he was abducted by Israeli agents on board a train last month and spirited away to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Abu Sisi was a Hamas member who had given "valuable information". [ID:nLDE72T29J]

Committee: Israel to allow more Gaza exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel has opened registration for manufacturers in Gaza to export goods to Europe, officials said Thursday. Registration is open for clothing and furniture merchants prepared to export, an official from the goods coordination committee said. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave. The state has defied calls that it lift the siege to allow for rebuilding structures destroyed in a three-week assault that began in late 2008, citing Hamas' continued detention of an Israeli soldier.

Source: Al-Jazeera journalists freed, with help from Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

A diplomatic source told Ma'an Thursday night that four Al-Jazeera journalists captured in Libya on 7 March were released this afternoon, following intervention from President Mahmoud Abbas. The journalists will leave the Libyan city of Tripoli for Tunis in the coming hours, the official said, adding the journalists had met with the Palestinian ambassadors to Mauritania and Tunis at Libya's Ministry of the Interior offices.

Telhami Hopeful For Israeli-Palestinian Progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
(Interview) March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

NEAL CONAN, host: While much of the world attention focuses on anti-government uprisings across the Middle East, new violence has broken out across the Israeli-Gaza border. And Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank remains a flashpoint.

For Israelis, Palestinians, the past matters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Uri Dromi - (Opinion) March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Last week, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law allowing the state of Israel to cut its funding for institutions that celebrate the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe). Nakba, for the Palestinians, marks the 1948 disaster, when hundreds of thousands of them fled Palestine and became refugees. So in May, when Israeli Jews celebrate their Independence Day, Israeli Palestinians, on the same day, mourn their great loss. In my opinion, this legislation is a mistake. But before you become red in the face and call me a leftist and an Arab-lover, keep reading.

Gaza Man Says Israel Kidnapped Him
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Dirar Abu Sisi, a Gaza engineer who disappeared in Ukraine in mid-February and surfaced in an Israeli prison, spoke to reporters for the first time while attending an Israeli court hearing to extend his detention. He said he had been kidnapped by Israel “for no reason.” Most details of the case are subject to a court-imposed rule of silence, but Israeli leaders say Mr. Abu Sisi, 42, is a member of Hamas who holds valuable information.

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