December 18th

Pope tells Abbas of hope for Mideast solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

VATICAN CITY, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday the Vatican hoped the recent de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations would spur the international community to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Abbas, who is on a tour of Europe to thank countries that supported the Nov. 29 resolution by the U.N. General Assembly recognising Palestine, held private talks with the pope for about 25 minutes in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.

Israeli Embassy Deletes ‘Christmas Thought’ Attacking Palestinians From Facebook
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Mackey - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

Last Update, 3:10 p.m. A “Christmas thought,” suggesting that if Jesus lived in the modern world he would “probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians,” was deleted from the official Facebook page of Israel’s embassy in Ireland on Monday, just a few hours after it was posted.

U.S. concerned about deaths in Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 18, 2012 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration on Monday voiced its "deep concern" about the reported deaths of dozens of civilians following the outbreak of armed conflict a day earlier in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Syrian rebels take control of Damascus Palestinian camp
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mariam Karouny - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

BEIRUT, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Syrian rebels took full control of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on Monday after fighting raged for days in the district on the southern edge of President Bashar al-Assad's Damascus powerbase, rebel and Palestinian sources said. The battle had pitted rebels, backed by some Palestinians, against Palestinian fighters of the pro-Assad Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). Many PFLP-GC fighters defected to the rebel side and their leader Ahmed Jibril left the camp two days ago, rebel sources said.

Syria Warns Refugees Not to Aid Rebels
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Rick Gladstone, Hania Mourtada - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syria warned its Palestinian refugee population on Monday not to aid the insurgency that is fighting President Bashar al-Assad, as hundreds of Palestinians fled the Yarmouk neighborhood of Damascus. Many headed for relative safety in Lebanon, a day after Syrian forces attacked that neighborhood with airstrikes for the first time in the civil war.

Israel pushes on with east Jerusalem building plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Aron Heller - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM —Israel on Monday said it was pushing forward with plans to build hundreds of homes in a Jewish settlement of east Jerusalem, risking renewed tensions with the Palestinians and its Western allies over the contentious project.

Palestinian cause redefined as Hamas spins Pyrrhic victories
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) December 18, 2012 - 1:00am


West Bank Land, Empty but Full of Meaning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

AL ZAYYEM, West Bank — They buried Rabi al-Essawy 14 months ago on land his family owns not far from this village, between East Jerusalem and the large Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim. Mr. Essawy, 65, was a member of an important clan, and thousands attended his funeral.

Disingenuous Defenses of Netanyahu's Settlement Plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Lara Friedman - (Opinion) December 17, 2012 - 1:00am


Hamas and Fatah No Closer To Settling Their Differences
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Dalia Hatuqa - (Opinion) December 17, 2012 - 1:00am

  Amid the unprecedented West Bank celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of Hamas’ founding, questions are arising as to whether the Islamist Movement and Fatah are finally one step closer to reconciling their political differences. 

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