Palestinian Minister Faces Trial on Corruption Charges
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian minister was referred to court for trial on Thursday after an inquiry proved that he was involved in corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission said. Minister of Economy Hassan Abu Libdeh and one of his aides were accused of corruption and mismanagement, a statement said. The commission said in its statement that it informed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the findings. In November, Abu Libdeh suspended his job as minister so as to be free to "defend" himself during the inquiry.

Hamas Drifting Away From Longtime Patron Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Karin Laub - February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas appears to be drifting away from its longtime patron Iran — part of a shift that began with last year's Arab Spring and accelerated over Tehran's backing of the pariah regime in Syria. The movement's top leader in exile, Khaled Mashaal, wants Hamas to be part of the broader Islamist political rise triggered by the popular uprisings sweeping across the Arab world. For this, Hamas needs new friends like the wealthy Gulf states that are at odds with Iran.

Palestinians? Who cares!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Guy Bechor - (Opinion) February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

For some 100 years, the following was considered an undisputed fact: The Arab-Israeli conflict is the “father of all Mideastern conflicts.” Should it be “resolved,” the world thought, we shall see cosmic tranquility descending upon the entire region. Mounds of “research” were written about this conflict, inflating to the point of becoming a bubble threatening to explode.

Settlers ‘Raid Nablus Village’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Settlers raided a Nablus-district village overnight Thursday, sparking clashes with residents, a PA official said. Dozens of Israelis from Yitzhar settlement threw stones at a number of homes in Burin, Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an. No injuries have been reported. They smashed car windows on the main road from the Jewish-only settlement, he added. Youth from Burin gathered at the home of Ayman Sufan after it came under attack, and clashed with the group of settlers, Daghlas said.

Israel let Iran have it, but it’s the Israelis running scared
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

We won't deny there is a sense of disquiet, not to say fear, among the public about Iran becoming a nuclear power and what our response might be. In a world that invests so much in the manufacture of advanced weaponry, the use of nuclear weapons is off limits. The two bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki led the Great Powers to the conclusion that further slaughter on this scale could not be permitted. With other kinds of slaughter, it's not so terrible.

Unequal Neighbors: Off the Grid in Area C
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Charlotte Alfred - February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

MASAFER YATTA (Ma'an) -- Pylons tower over South Hebron Hills village Um al-Kher, hoisting electricity cables that bisect the agricultural community. But like hundreds of their Palestinian neighbors, this tiny hamlet has no access to the power grid. The cables running above the heads of the 150 Um al-Kher residents supply a chicken farm set up a decade ago by the adjacent Karmel settlement, wedging the village on both sides. "They give electricity to the chickens but not to us," says Aziz Muhammad Hadhalin, 26, an engineer and community activist.

Israel’s Shin Bet needs to start watching over itself too
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Sarid - (Opinion) February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

We never really knew whether there was such a person as George; we also had doubts about the existence of the Loch Ness monster. At the end of last week we discovered that he lives among us and grants interviews. That's his first name and that's his rank - he's always called "George" and he's always "captain." But that's also a surname, and the family is us. The story investigative journalist Ronen Bergman told me is terrifying, not to say shocking. George opens the door of the interrogation room, sheds light on the darkness at noon and lets us take a quick look inside.

Hamas and Fatah: A Mideast muddle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

THE ON-AGAIN, off-again “unity” agreement between rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah seems to be on again. Or at least it was on Monday, when Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas announced a new accord with Hamas chief Khaled Meshal after a meeting in Doha, Qatar. The pact calls for Mr. Abbas to serve as prime minister of a coalition government, which would serve only long enough to hold elections for a new Palestinian leadership. That’s if it gets off the ground: On Wednesday, Hamas’s Gaza-based leadership issued a statement objecting to the deal.

PA Security Detains 56 in Israeli-held Hebron Zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 10, 2012 - 1:00am

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Palestinian security forces detained 56 Palestinians sheltering in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron early Friday, after coordination with Israeli authorities. The dawn raid was the second Palestinian incursion into Hebron's H2 area in recent weeks, under full Israeli control since a 1997 deal split the city. A Palestinian security official told Ma'an the sweep of arrests was permitted by Israeli authorities after pressure from Europe and the US.

Abbas’ Deal with Hamas Gets Support from Fatah, PLO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday got support from his Fatah party and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to the agreement he had reached with rival Hamas movement. The Central Committee of Fatah and the PLO's Executive Committee met in the West Bank city of Ramallah and welcomed the deal, which was struck in Qatar Sunday. According to the agreement, Abbas will form an interim government to prepare for elections in the Palestinian territories, including in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

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