US rejects Arab League support for PA statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Hilary Leila Krieger, Tovah Lazaroff - July 15, 2011 - 12:00am

An Arab League decision to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines would not serve the peace process, the US said on Thursday. “We’ve been clear in our conviction that unilateral approaches to try to seek statehood via the United Nations will not lead to a comprehensive settlement,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told The Jerusalem Post in a statement. “That will only come via the hard give and take of negotiations and mutual agreement, and we are committed to working with the parties to pursue it that way.”

Poll Finds Palestinians Disenchanted with Hamas, Iran and the Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Karl Vick - July 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinians are trudging down the same long road as Israelis. Yes, they want peace. No, they don't think the other side will play ball. So for now their priority is private life: Getting food on the table and keeping the kids safe. That, at least, is the picture painted by a new survey of 1,010 Palestinians interviewed face to face in both the West Bank and Gaza over the last two weeks. It was conducted by a Palestinian firm working for Stan Greenberg, famed as Bill Clinton's pollster but who did this work for The Israel Project, a well-funded private U.S.

In Nablus, Palestinians play down possibility of September Intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - July 15, 2011 - 12:00am

NABLUS - Abu-Imad's restaurant, facing the entrance to the Nasr mosque in the casbah of Nablus, has for years been one of the city's leading restaurants, but it is also a particularly well-known social institution in town. Abu-Imad, who is now 75, remembers how here, from the square between the restaurant and the mosque, demonstrations departed every Friday during the first intifada in the late 1980s. It was also here that members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade met during the second intifada, which began in 2000.

PLO condemns UNESCO for listing Jerusalem as Israel's capital
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 14, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Thursday condemned listing Jerusalem as Israel's capital on the website of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Identifying Jerusalem as Israel's unified capital "is a procedure against humanitarian and international legitimacy and the Security Council's resolutions that consider East Jerusalem as an occupied city," said the PLO in a statement.

Former US official derides Palestinian UN effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - July 15, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian attempt to gain U.N. recognition without a peace agreement with Israel means "next to nothing" even if it succeeds, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said Friday. John Bolton, who served as a U.N. envoy for the Bush administration, said the General Assembly is certain to support the current Palestinian effort to win backing for a unilateral declaration of a state in September. But he said it will be meaningless without approval in the Security Council, where it almost certainly faces a U.S. veto.

UNRWA facing shortages due to Israel blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 15, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Figures released by UNRWA on Thursday reveal that the organization is facing severe shortages in construction materials needed for ongoing projects in the Gaza Strip. "We been allowed to take in to Gaza a tiny fraction of the construction materials needed," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said. Around 3,291 trucks have been allowed into the Gaza Strip, accounting for under four percent of the overall $660 million UNRWA construction plan to take place over the next three years.

PLO official: Local elections to take place in October
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 15, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian government in Ramallah is set to approve plans to hold municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in October 2011. PLO executive committee member Ghassan Shaka told Ma'an Thursday that consultations about the elections were held during a recent PLO Committee meeting and October 22 is understood to be the prescribed date for the elections to take place. "We hope that the elections will be held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in order to translate national reconciliation into real action on the ground," Shaka said.

Air strikes across Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 15, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli warplanes raided south and central Gaza late Thursday, targeting sites belonging to Hamas, witnesses said. “Four residents were injured, including two children, as a result of the Israeli air strike in an empty plot in An-Naser neighborhood in Gaza city and all were transferred to Ash-Shefa hospital,” Hamas spokesman Adham Abu Selmeiyah from the ministry of health said. Two other residents were injured in an air strike in the south of Gaza and were transferred to the Al-Aqsa hospital, he added.

Palestinians' gambit for UN recognition wobbles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 14, 2011 - 12:00am

After 20 years of negotiations with Israel and no lasting peace, Palestinians are pursuing a more unorthodox route: getting the United Nations to recognize Palestine as an independent state – and, ideally, welcome it as a new UN member. Two-thirds of Palestinians support the UN bid, which has lifted their expectations of sovereignty.

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