January 24th

"We will negotiate with Hamas if they halt terror"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel will negotiate with a Palestinian unity government if Hamas agrees to Quartet conditions and dismantles its terror infrastructure, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with Israel Radio Tuesday. "The continuation of the peace process is in the interest of Israel, the Palestinians and the world," Barak said. "If Hamas adopts the Quartet's conditions and dismantles its terror infrastructure, we will negotiate with them."

Israeli embassies on high alert following anthrax scare
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli embassies and consulates have raised their alert level after several in missions in the United States and Europe received envelopes with white powder in them. The missions received white envelopes with the word "anthrax" written on them, according to reports; the powder inside was found to be flour. Among the embassies and consulates that received the envelopes Monday were The Hague, Brussels and London in Europe, and New York, Boston, and Houston in the United States.

Israel won't interfere with PA police stations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel is turning a blind eye to the establishment of two Palestinian Authority police stations on the border of Jerusalem as it considers a series of goodwill gestures to President Mahmoud Abbas. One of the police stations was established recently in the village of a-Ram, which lies northeast of the Jerusalem neighborhood Neveh Ya’acov, just outside the capital’s municipal borders. The second station was established in what is known as the Biddu enclave – a group of eight Palestinian villages located near Ramallah and along Road 443.

PM, settlers reach compromise on Migron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached a compromise with Migron residents over the removal of the illegal West Bank outpost, a source close to the talks told Ynet on Monday. The agreement would require Migron residents to vacate the outpost and move into buildings that will be constructed nearby. Meanwhile, the outpost's structures will be converted into a farm instead of being razed. The settlers' new homes are to be built approximately two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the outpost, on Israeli land.

Hamas chief won't visit Gaza soon: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- A senior Hamas official on Tuesday denied reports that Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal will visit the Gaza Strip soon. "I do not think the visit will be soon," Khalil Al-Hayya, a Hamas official based in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, told Xinhua. "Mashaal intends to visit Gaza, but the visit is subjected to necessary security and political arrangements." Mashaal, who was born in the West Bank, has never visited Gaza, where Hamas has been holding sway since routing forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. Mashaal is currently based in Syria.

Report: Mashaal to visit Jordan with Qatar emir
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

AMMAN (Ma'an) -- Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal will visit Jordan on Sunday with the Emir of Qatar, a Jordanian official said Tuesday. "King Abdullah (II of Jordan) will host Crown Prince of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Tamim al-Thani and Mashaal to express brotherly relations," information minister Rakan al-Majali told AFP. The official Qatari news agency said that Mashaal spoke with the emir on Tuesday to update him on recent Palestinian developments.

US: New UN council no more favorable to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Patrick Worsnip - January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Security Council dynamics are no more favorable now to a Palestinian UN membership bid than they were last year despite a partial change in the council makeup, the US ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday. In the teeth of strong opposition from the United States and Israel, the Palestinian delegation applied to the council last September for UN membership. But a committee to consider the application failed to reach consensus, and the Palestinians have not so far requested a formal vote in the council.

Israel orders 6 months jail without charge for PLC speaker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court on Tuesday ordered the detention of Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik for six months without charge. Dweik, who was seized by Israeli forces at a Ramallah checkpoint on Thursday, heads the Palestinian Legislative Council. His lawyer Fadi Qawasmi said Ofer military court gave the administrative detention order early Tuesday, after a Sunday hearing was postponed.

Israeli soldiers arrest Hamas lawmaker in West Bank, fifth such arrest in as many days
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israeli troops detained a Hamas legislator in the West Bank early Tuesday in the fifth such arrest in as many days, the Islamic militant group said. Hamas has accused Israel of trying to sabotage possible Palestinian elections, the centerpiece of reconciliation attempts between Hamas and the rival Fatah movement of internationally backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas has said it would only participate in elections, tentatively set for late spring, if its candidates are safe from arrest by Israel.

Israeli Police Arrest 2 Palestinian Legislators in East Jerusalem Protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel arrested two Palestinian legislators affiliated with Hamas as they staged a protest in the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in East Jerusalem on Monday, an act criticized by the Palestinian leadership as a blow to the first direct meetings between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in more than a year now under way in Jordan.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017