July 1st

Israeli security chiefs differ on Gaza flotilla's potential danger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Israel's security establishment is at odds over the scope of threat posed by an aid flotilla that had planned to set sail to the Gaza Strip in coming days, and over predictions that violence will ensue if Israel tries to block it. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has played down military assessments in recent days that pro-Palestinian activists are gearing up for violent clashes with Israeli navy troops to be dispatched to intercept the 10-vessel flotilla.

The Palestinian right to remain and return
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Samah Sabawi - (Opinion) June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

I was 12 years old when for the first time in my life I became a citizen of a country -- Australia. Before that, I was a stateless Palestinian refugee. There were two laments my parents always repeated whenever they spoke of their place of origin, Palestine: if only we could have stayed and if only we could return.

Reconciliation First
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) July 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Much hope was pinned on the initial agreement between Fateh, the main Palestinian faction, and Hamas, the movement ruling Gaza, to forge a united Palestinian front at this critical time. The Palestinians need a unity government in order to push forward their plan to seek recognition by the UN General Assembly as an independent state. Unfortunately, so far, the two Palestinian factions failed to seal their initial accord by agreements on several fronts, including holding presidential and parliamentary elections, and forming a national unity government.

Gaza shelves stocked, but hope in short supply
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA, June 30 (Reuters) - If pro-Palestinian activists unexpectedly manage to slip past Israel's naval blockade on the Gaza Strip in the coming days, they might be surprised by what they see in the Hamas-controlled enclave when they disembark. Roads are being paved, houses are being built, new cars have taken to the busy streets and shops are full of myriad products. Even the longtime scourge of unemployment is easing marginally, boosting living standards for a lucky few.

Our Tahrir Square
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Doron Rosenblum - (Opinion) July 1, 2011 - 12:00am

The trend of looking to imitate the Arab uprisings by finding "our" Tahrir Square met only partial success in the cottage cheese boycott and the celebrities filmed sitting in solitary confinement in support of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Neither gesture involved blood, tears or even sweat. From the start, it was clear that this was not the real thing. Where was the spirit of revolt in the street? Where were the stormy emotions and the self-sacrifice? Where were the assaults on institutions, as part of the plan to destroy the regime down to its foundations?

Haniyeh: Reconciliation is progressing despite delays
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 1, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday that progress is being made to implement the Palestinian reconciliation agreement "even if it is slow." Hamas and Fatah signed a unity agreement on May 4, ending years of hostility. However, a meeting in Cairo to finalize the formation of a unity government was postponed. Officials from both parties have said talks stalled over a leadership row. Hamas rejected Fatah's nomination of Salam Fayyad for the post of Prime Minister in the new government.

Abbas adviser: Palestinians ready to replace UN bid with talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 1, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Presidential adviser Nimir Hammad said Thursday that Palestinian leaders would delay the September bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state, if Israel agrees to negotiations based on a French peace initiative. In an exclusive interview with Ma’an, the political adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said the leadership are preparing the text for the declaration that will presented to the UN in September, should talks not go ahead.

A warning from a good friend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) July 1, 2011 - 12:00am

An unexpected voice joined the critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's standstill policy this week: Ron Lauder. The president of the World Jewish Congress has been a close friend, confidant and clear supporter of Netanyahu throughout his political career. Speaking in Jerusalem, he warned that the political standstill on the Palestinian front is dangerous for Israel. Lauder called on Netanyahu to launch a diplomatic initiative, even if this would mean "political suicide."

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