PA preparing to set minimum wage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority will announce a minimum wage on October 15, the minister of labor said Tuesday. Ahmad Majdalani declined to reveal figures, but told Ma'an that detailed discussions on monthly, daily and hourly minimum wages had been held for two months. Palestinian labor law regarding internships and probation contracts had also been considered, Majdalani said. "We are close to reaching an agreement on the minimum wages," he said.

Gaza Tunnel Demolitions Increase As Hamas Seeks Free Trade Zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Mohannad Abdel Hamid - October 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Egyptian [security] forces continue to demolish tunnels [running between Gaza and the Sinai], following the Rafah attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. An Egyptian security spokesman declared that 31 tunnels have been demolished out of 225. Despite contradictory information on the actual number of tunnels — which ranges from 225 to 1200 — these tunnels play a major role on the political and economic level, regardless of their numbers.

PA finance ministry to cut fuel prices from Oct. 1
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 1, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Finance announced Sunday that fuel prices are set to be reduced, a statement said. The price cuts, which will be implemented on Oct. 1, will see a liter of diesel reduced from 6.95 shekels ($1.77) to 6.70 ($1.70). A liter of benzene will now cost 7.60 shekels ($1.93), down from 7.98 shekels ($2), and a 12kg canister of domestic-use gas will be reduced to 64 shekels ($16), down from 65.

Palestinian authority aims to securitize $200 million of debt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Martin Dokoupil, Sylvia Westall - September 30, 2012 - 12:00am

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Palestinian authorities are aiming to securitize an initial $200 million of some $1.3 billion worth of government debt by the first quarter of 2013 to help reduce state borrowing from local banks, a top banker said on Sunday.

Hamas Bans Israeli Fruit Imports Into 'Self-Sufficient' Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Calcalist
by Doron Peskin - September 27, 2012 - 12:00am

The Agriculture Ministry in the Hamas government announced over the weekend a prohibition on the import of fruits from Israel to the Gaza Strip, except for bananas and apples. Tahsin al-Saqa, manager of marketing in the Agriculture Ministry in Gaza, explained that the prohibition comes from the desire to protect local production. Saqa explained that the Strip has achieved self-sufficiency in various sectors, including grapes, citrus fruits, guavas, and more, and that preference is thus given to local farmers. 

Qatar pledges millions in aid for Gaza rebuilding
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 26, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Qatar is planning to provide half a billion dollars in assistance to the Gaza Strip over the coming three years to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in Israeli attacks. In a visit to the enclave Tuesday, Qatari ambassador Muhammad al-Imadi said the Gulf country's emir created a special committee to distribute some $450 million for infrastructure, development and education projects.

Family blames sewage, trash for deaths of 8 children in Gaza camp
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 26, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A family in Gaza that lost eight children over two years says the lack of sanitation around their home in al-Bureij refugee camp is responsible for their deaths. The Salim family lives meters from a landfill in the central Gaza camp, and their home is surrounded by open sewage and trash. Omar Salim, 30, told Ma'an that his son Mohammad pleaded not to be taken to the hospital when he fell ill with a fever and had blue spots on his skin.

Welcome to 'Fortress Gaza,' Home of the Newly Radicalized Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Zvika Krieger - (Opinion) September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Top officials in Hamas have confirmed this week that the group's leader, Khaled Mishaal, has decided to resign his post. Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil tried to dismiss any suspicions of internal discord: "He has decided to retire to make room for the younger members." But Mishaal's decision belies significant shifts within the organization.

Finance minister tells donor conference: Peace at risk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority finance minister warned on Sunday that if the government's fragile financial situation persists, the peace process between Israel and Palestinians is at risk. Nabil Kassis was addressing a meeting of donors to the PA, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee, in New York.

Israel working to avert collapse of ailing Palestinian economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel has taken significant steps to ease the Palestinian Authority's financial difficulties, fearing that instability in the West Bank threatens the PA's future, and that the Israel Defense Forces could eventually become the target of demonstrations there.

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