Official Statement from CRIHL in response to the acts of desecration of the Greek Orthodox Monastery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM--The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land condemns the acts of desecration and graffiti of the Greek Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem last night. The Council calls upon people from all faiths – Christians, Jews and Muslims – to respect all Holy Places and sites for all three religions, and strongly discourages extremists’ behaviour that exploits or involves religious holy places in a political/territorial dispute. In the name of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, The Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs at the PA and The Heads of the Local Churches of the Holy Land,

MK Tibi disciplined yet again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Moran Azulay - February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

The Knesset's Ethics Committee has on Tuesday banned MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) from delivering one-minute speeches in the Knesset plenum for a period of one month. The decision came after MK Tibi delivered a speech three weeks ago during which he verbally confronted MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) who was heading the Knesset discussion. Tibi had already been suspended from the plenum and from participating in committee meetings for a period of one week last month over a limerick he read out during a plenum sitting called "Anasstasia's plumbing was damaged."

Netanyahu to Cabinet: Stop “chitchat” about Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Aron Heller - February 6, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — An Israeli official says the country's prime minister has told his Cabinet to quit the "chitchat" about Iran. Israeli political and military leaders have been increasingly candid recently on the subject of Israeli action against the Iranian nuclear program. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has concluded that an Israeli attack on Iran is likely in the coming months. Israel considers Iran to be its most dangerous enemy and has vowed to prevent it from going nuclear.

Israel fears Hezbollah could get arms from Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli defense officials say they are increasingly concerned that Lebanese militants could get their hands on weapons from violence-wracked Syria. The officials say their main worry is that with the chaos in Syria mounting, Hezbollah guerrillas could acquire Syrian military S-125 anti-aircraft missiles, which could hinder operations by the Israeli air force. The officials say they are also worried Hezbollah may acquire Syrian chemical weapons and an array of Syrian missiles able to strike deep into Israel.

“Death to Christians” sprayed on Jerusalem monastery
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- A Jerusalem monastery, built on the spot where tradition holds the tree from which Jesus's cross was made, was defaced with graffiti bearing the hallmarks of Jewish extremists, police said on Tuesday. "Death to Christians" was daubed in Hebrew on the outer walls of the Monastery of the Cross, an 11th-century fortress-like holy site situated in a valley overlooked by Israel's parliament.

Neighborhood pays price of being on wrong side of Israel’s wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem— With a fire extinguisher in his hand and a cellphone pressed to his ear, principal Sameeh abu Rameelh battled an electrical fire in his Jerusalem high school's computer lab while pleading with the fire department to come to his aid. But when the emergency dispatcher heard that the school was in Kafr Aqab, separated from the rest of Jerusalem by a 36-foot-high concrete wall, he told Abu Rameelh that firetrucks wouldn't cross Israel's separation barrier without army protection.

EU vows aid to “non-violent” Palestinian gov’t
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

BRUSSELS — The European Union will provide financial aid to a new Palestinian government as long as it is peaceful and accepts Israel's right to exist, an EU spokesman said Monday after a deal between rival factions Fateh and Hamas. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will head an interim consensus government under a deal signed with the Islamist movement Hamas in Doha aimed at reconciling the feuding sides.

Haneya, Fayyad welcome Meshaal-Abbas Doha agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan - February 6, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA/RAMALLAH, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The premiers of the two Palestinian governments, Salam Fayyad in the West Bank and Ismail Haneya in Gaza, on Monday welcomed an agreement reached between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Qatar on forming a unified transitional government. Fayyad, a veteran economist and prime minister of the caretaker Palestinian government in the West Bank, said in a press statement emailed to reporters that he welcomes the signed Doha agreement, and expressed hope that "the deal will be implemented soon."

Officials to meet in Cairo to announce government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

CAIRO (Ma’an) -- A delegation of Hamas officials have arrived in Cairo as President Abbas and PLO members are expected to arrive within the next few days to announce the structure of a transitional government. Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal signed an agreement in Doha on Monday which stipulated that Abbas will head an interim government. The accord also included agreements on releasing political prisoners, reforming the Palestinian National Council and activating the PLO for the next elections, Palestine TV said.

Middle East press uncertain on Palestinian unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will head the cabinet of politically independent technocrats while it organises elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Hamas has governed since 2007. Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Mr Abbas would be abandoning the way of peace if he implemented the deal with Hamas. Israel considers Hamas to be a terrorist group. Pro-Fatah newspaper Al-Quds

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