To Block Gaza Tunnels, Egypt Lets Sewage Flow
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram, David Kirkpatrick - February 20, 2013 - 1:00am

The Egyptian military is resorting to a pungent new tactic to shut down the smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai and Gaza: flooding them with sewage. Along with the stink, the approach is raising new questions about relations between Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their ideological allies in Hamas who control the Gaza Strip.

Hamas says not to accept any deal banning arms smuggling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 20, 2013 - 1:00am

Islamic Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip cannot accept any agreement that bans arms smuggling to the coastal enclave, a Hamas official said Wednesday. "Preventing people under occupation from getting the mechanism of fighting the occupier is meaningless," said Salah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official.

Palestinians’ negotiator Erekat, Israeli security chief Amidror visiting D.C.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
February 20, 2013 - 1:00am

Saeb Erekat, the top negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, and Yaakov Amidror, the Israeli national security adviser, are visiting Washington. Erekat will meet this week with David Hale, the top U.S. official handling Middle East peace talks, the State Department said in a statement Wednesday. Israeli officials confirmed that Amidror also is in Washington, but would not identify with whom he is meeting. The meetings comes ahead of President Obama's planned visit next month to Israel and Palestinian areas next month.

Palestinians to ask that Obama personally kickstart peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - February 19, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority representatives are expected to request the personal involvement of United States President Barack Obama in the Mideast peace process when they arrive in Washington on Wednesday. The PA representatives are even expected to even ask that Obama present his own initiative that will contain a formula that will allow both Israel and the PA to return to the negotiating table.

Moving past stalemate in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Los Angeles Times
by Maen Areikat - (Opinion) February 19, 2013 - 1:00am

With the U.S.

Jordan denies reports over importing gas from Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 18, 2013 - 1:00am

Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources dismissed on Sunday reports alleging that it imports natural gas from Israel, the state-run Petra news agency reported. "There are no secret talks between Jordan and Israel to import natural gas," said the ministry in a statement. The ministry added that the Arab Potash Company in Jordan is in talks with its Israeli counterpart to discuss the possibility to import natural gas from Israel as a cheaper alternative for fuel.

Joining the ICC: What is the P.A. waiting for?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
by Sharif Nashashibi - (Opinion) February 18, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestine’s upgraded status at the U.N. to non-member observer state handed it a potent weapon against the longest military occupation in modern history: the ability to join the International Criminal Court. So what has the Palestinian Authority done with this weapon in the months since? Absolutely nothing, and for no discernible reason.

Israel, PA lobbying US before Obama's visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Herb Keinon - February 17, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday dispatched two senior officials to Washington to brief the US administration on its stance regarding the resumption of peace talks with Israel.

PNA criticizes Hamas delegation's visit to Bulgaria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 17, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday criticized the visit by Hamas lawmakers to Bulgaria, which was ended Friday with Bulgarian security forces kicking out the delegation. The Hamas officials, who arrived in Sofia Wednesday, did not coordinate for their visit with the PNA or the "official sides in Bulgaria," said Riad Al-Maliki, Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, "This has harmed the Palestinian-Bulgarian relations as well as our relations with Europe."

Hamas official confirms indirect talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 17, 2013 - 1:00am

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya on Sunday confirmed that the movement is holding indirect talks with Israel over the implementation of a ceasefire deal, but insisted that they did not amount to political negotiations. Al-Hayya was commenting on a report on Israel's Channel 2 TV on Friday, which said Israeli and Hamas representatives had been negotiating for weeks.

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