Egyptian intelligence chief discusses Palestinian reconciliation efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

Egyptian Intelligence Chief Mourad Mowafi on Wednesday met with Azzam al-Ahmed, member of Fatah’s Central Committee, to discuss Palestinian reconciliation efforts. Ahmed briefed Mowafi on the Doha Declaration in this regard, which was signed Monday by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, the state-run Middle East News Agency MENA reported. After the meeting, Ahmed said he briefed Mowafi because Egypt sponsors the reconciliation and is tasked by the Arab League to monitor its implementation.

BDS Movement Hopes To Go Mainstream
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Naomi Zeveloff - February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

The movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — long painted as a fringe group by the Israel advocacy community — is seeking to wrap itself in the mantle of the mainstream American left. At the movement’s first-ever national conference, presenters and attendees compared BDS to the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, the Cesar Chavez grape boycott and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, from which it draws inspiration. They also worried about how to brand themselves in easily accessible sound bites.

Pro-Palestinian Presbyterians close Facebook page after complaints
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A pro-Palestinian Presbyterian church affiliate pulled down its Facebook page after Jewish groups complained about offensive postings.

Jews, Palestinians plant trees together in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Akiva Novick - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

School children from the Efrat settlement and residents of the neighboring Palestinian village of Jurat al-Shama planted trees together in an initiative that promoted co-existence in the West Bank, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday. The event, held on the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shvat, aimed to block the hazardous dust that is being disseminated by a nearby tree-processing plant.

Hamas obstructs election commission from working in Gaza: chairman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Hamas authorities obstruct the work of Central Elections Commission (CEC) in the Gaza Strip, CEC chairman Hanna Nasser said Thursday. Two weeks after Hamas allowed the CEC to operate in Gaza, the commission's staff are not yet allowed to start updating voter records, Nasser told Xinhua. Hamas' government "asked us to linger in preparing for elections," Nasser explained, adding that this delay was unjustifiable."

Racism and political tension tied to Israel's soccer league
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- High drama exists in Israel's soccer league for reasons other than goals scored, as political tension and racism sometimes play out on and off the fields. The Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, most recently owned by Dan Adler and Adam Levine of the U.S., remains closely associated with its fans' far right-wing politics and slurs against opposing players. The club faces numerous penalties because of fan behavior, with Beitar fans often chanting personal and religious insults at other players. A group dubbed "La Familia" is viewed by many as setting the tone.

Palestinian prisoner on 55th day of hunger strike to protest detention without trial
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh, Daniel Estrin - February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — In a high-stakes gamble, an imprisoned member of a Palestinian militant group has waged a hunger strike for almost two months, trying to draw attention to Israel’s military justice system and its treatment of detainees who can be held without charge for lengthy periods.

Abbas says reconciliation not contradict with Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 9, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday told U.S. peace envoy David Hale that there are no contradictions between the Palestinian reconciliation and peace with Israel. The state-run Wafa news agency quoted Abbas, who held talks in Ramallah with Hale, as saying that peace for the Palestinians is strategic and the internal Palestinian reconciliation is a national Palestinian need.

Hamas split threatens Palestinian unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Hamas's Gaza-based leadership challenged on Wednesday a Palestinian reconciliation deal signed by the Islamist group's political chief in exile and President Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah movement. Bringing divisions within Hamas to the surface, the group's "Change and Reform" Gaza parliamentary bloc came out against a key clause in the pact under which Abbas would serve both as president and prime minister of a future Palestinian government.

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