Interior Ministry sets up Palestinian database
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Stephen Dockery - February 14, 2012 - 1:00am

BEIRUT: The Interior Ministry announced Monday that it is setting up the first state-held database of Palestinian refugees to try to alleviate their personal status paperwork problems. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel introduced the new registry at his office in Beirut Monday, saying it was part of the government’s obligation to the Palestinian people to improve their lives without undercutting the right of return.

Obama’s Dangerous Game With Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Christopher Dickey, R.M. Schneiderman - February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Well before he moved into the White House, Barack Obama began talking to Israel about Iran’s nuclear program, and even then there was mistrust. He met in 2008 with several leading Israelis, including Benjamin Netanyahu—before Netanyahu was elected prime minister—and impressed everyone with his determination to stop Iran from going nuclear. Netanyahu liked much of what he heard, according to a source in his inner circle. What troubled him, however, was that Obama didn’t talk specifically about Israel’s security.

Funding issues for West Bank sites anger Mks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - February 14, 2012 - 1:00am

Funding issues for West Bank Jewish heritage sites angered parliamentarians on the Right and the Left on Tuesday morning. Right-wing parliamentarians were upset by the absence of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem on the list of National Heritage sites slated to be approved for renovation funding at a ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday.

IDF brigade leaves an impression in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

Rumor has it that Golani infantry soldiers will remain in the area until May, and in Hebron residents are worried. Very worried. Since the Golani soldiers replaced the Kfir Brigade's Shimshon battalion in December 2011 (which, in turn, had replaced the Givati infantry ), city residents have sensed a manifest worsening of soldiers' behavior.

Dialogue is the way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

The agreement that was announced in Doha last week between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, generated healthy debate and discussion among Palestinians, but especially within Hamas. Once again, the Palestinian argument that engaging Hamas in dialogue is always useful has been proven true.

Palestinians consider upgrading UN status as peace talks stalled: sources
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinians are considering upgrading their UN status to a non-member observer state after failing to obtain state recognition through the world body's Security Council, sources close to the leadership said on Monday. However, the Palestinians' decision will depend on Israel's response to a letter sent by President Mahmoud Abbas via some Arab leaders, the sources said.

A failure of Israeli strategic thinking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

The Fateh-Hamas Doha declaration of February 5 is many things, some more grounded in reality than others.

Israel rejects Palestinian hunger striker's appeal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Diaa Hadid - February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — An Israeli military court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Palestinian man on hunger strike for 58 days to have his jail term reduced, officials said. Lawyer Mahmoud Hassan said a military court judge refused the appeal and that his client, Khader Adnan, will be detained until May 8. A military spokeswoman confirmed the ruling and said Adnan will be expected to carry out the full four-month sentence. The spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

Egypt to monitor work of reconciliation committee
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 14, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Egypt is to start monitoring the performance of the public freedoms committee, a member told Ma'an on Monday. Khalil Assaf, a committee member from the West Bank, said that a meeting was held Sunday in Cairo with Egyptian officials, who recommended that Egypt monitors the committee's work in order to overcome obstacles it has been facing in the West Bank and Gaza. Another meeting is scheduled to be held on Feb. 21 to follow up with what has been achieved on the ground.

Israeli demolition 'displaces 120' in Hebron village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished 22 buildings in a Palestinian village south of Hebron on Monday, displacing 120 villagers, residents told Ma'an. Twenty Israeli military vehicles accompanied bulldozers to raze the 16 domestic tents and six animal shelters in Khirbet al-Rahwa, they said. Villager Salim Salem al-Tal told Ma'an forces also demolished a well that was the village's only water source. Soldiers did not give the villagers any time to remove their possessions from their homes, he said.

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