Gaza conflict deters Bethlehem Christmas pilgrims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CNN
by Tim Hume - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

CNN) -- Authorities in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem are hoping it won't be a silent night this Christmas Eve, following a spate of tourist cancellations due to recent violence in Gaza. The West Bank town of around 29,000 people, eight kilometers (five miles) south of Jerusalem, contains the Church of the Nativity, venerated by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.

Palestinian anti-corruption body gets boost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kafah Zaboun - December 12, 2012 - 1:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat - Rafik Natsheh, head of the Palestinian anti-corruption body, has stated that his organization will now resume its pursuit of corrupt government figures who have fled abroad. Given that Palestine has obtained non-member observer status at the United Nations, the anti-corruption body has the right to pursue corrupt fugitives who have court judgments issued against them.

Rooftop gardens provide food and hope for cash-strapped Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

DHEISHEH, WEST BANK // High in the sky above a narrow, noisy and congested street in this West Bank refugee camp is a veritable paradise of green, shade and quiet. Throat-burning exhaust, blaring horns and clinging dust seem to choke the life from the Palestinians navigating the street below. But atop this overcrowded, dilapidated apartment block is a garden that bursts with cucumbers, bell peppers and strawberries - and hope.

The Arab Peace Initiative under review
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Jerome M. Segal - (Opinion) December 12, 2012 - 1:00am

The Arab League Ministerial Council that convened in Doha Sunday to review the Arab Peace Initiative and reevaluate the peace process concluded without any decisive action. Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani maintained that the initiative would "not be on offer for ever." Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas objected saying, "It is not permissible to talk about sidelining the Arab Peace Initiative.

Two-state attrition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Journal
by Rob Eshman - (Analysis) December 12, 2012 - 1:00am

There are three subjects that Jews in my social circle never tire of: food, movies and the two-state solution. Consider me officially tired of the third.

Gaza government to rebuild ministries, headquarters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The government in Gaza will start rebuilding ministries and headquarters destroyed in Israel's 8-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip, the cabinet said Wednesday. A ministerial committee has been appointed to survey the damage and assess reconstruction needs, cabinet secretary-general Abdul-Salam Siyam said. Offices of ministries destroyed in the war have been moved to apartments and other buildings to continue providing services to citizens, Siyam said in a statement.

Israel Needs Diplomatic Iron Dome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Yaakov Livne - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel experienced in the past weeks two highly significant events that have far-reaching implications for its future. The first was Operation Pillar of Defense, and the other was the UN General Assembly resolution to grant Palestine the status of an observer state in the international body, which is another step toward recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a full-fledged state.

Protesters shut down UNRWA offices after layoffs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 11, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Labor leaders at Palestinian refugee camps on Tuesday shut down all UNRWA sub-offices in the West Bank in protest of the dismissal of 130 employees and reductions of services. Munthir Amira, director of the youth center of Aida refugee camp, told Ma'an that "it is time that UNRWA's administration realize that the plight of Palestinian refugees can't be a political trade or an opportunity for Western employees to seek livelihood."

Palestine decision reminiscent of another United Nations vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Yaron Ezrahi - (Opinion) December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Late afternoon on Nov. 29, 1947, I was almost eight years old and our home in Tel Aviv was gripped by intense expectations that something big was going to happen. Our large Beethoven radio was on and my parents were already sitting on the couch as my 16-year-old sister, Ofra, and I joined them on the living room rug. My father explained: “The world is deciding if we will be a state”.

Abbas blasts Mashaal: We already recognized Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - December 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blasted Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal for asserting that his group will never recognize Israel, hinting that the statement hinders the chances of the two-state solution, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

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