President says Palestinian Spring has begun
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 6, 2012 - 12:00am

CAIRO (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the "Palestinian Spring" had begun, as Palestinians took to the streets across the West Bank in protest over rising prices. "The Palestinian spring has begun, and we are in line with what the people say and what they want," Abbas said, addressing a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo. The president said the protesters' demands to reduce costs of basic goods and for regular payment of salaries were "right and fair."

Palestinian taxi drivers snarl West Bank traffic to protest rising gas prices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
September 6, 2012 - 12:00am

Dozens of taxi drivers have snarled traffic in several West Bank cities to protest rising fuel prices and the government's refusal to allow them to raise fares. The protests early Thursday caused traffic jams stretching to up to four kilometers in Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem. Small demonstrations have been staged across the West Bank in recent days to protest the rising cost of living. Teachers and Ramallah shop owners joined Thursday's strikes.

Policy paralysis scuppers Palestinian economic dream
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Noah Browning - September 5, 2012 - 12:00am

(Reuters) - Palestinian dreams of building a strong economy to speed up the state's drive towards independence could soon be plunged into darkness, quite literally. The cash-strapped government of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA), is so behind with its bills that the Israeli company that provides Palestinians' electricity has threatened to cut the power unless the PA pays outstanding debt of almost $80 million.

High cost of living in West Bank outrages Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 3, 2012 - 12:00am

The growing cost of living in the West Bank has urged Romel al-Swaiti, a Palestinian blogger from a village near Nablus, to devote his page on the internet to speak about the issue by publishing a comic picture of him going to work riding on a donkey. He wrote on his page on the social website of Facebook that he was obliged to go to work from his house in the village of Howara to the city of Nablus, which is about 11 km away, by riding a donkey as an alternative to traveling by car or by bus due to the high cost of transportation in the West Bank.

Israel accused of pillaging Dead Sea resources in occupied territory
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - September 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel is "pillaging" the natural resources of the Dead Sea which lie in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law, a report which singles out the cosmetics firm Ahava for criticism. According to the Palestinian human rights organisation al-Haq, the "appropriation and exploitation of Palestinian land and natural resources in the occupied Dead Sea area by Israeli settlers and companies … meet the requirements of the crime of pillage".

Investor Kevin Bermeister has big plans for Jerusalem, West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Australian technology investor Kevin Bermeister has had some hits and misses in his career. He founded the popular file-sharing network Kazaa, built Australia's largest video game distributor and was an early investor in Skype. Less successful ventures included the now-defunct Sega World theme park in Sydney and an offshoot of troubled PC-maker Packard Bell.

Fayyad approves measures to counter electricity crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 29, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad approved new measures on Tuesday to help counter an electricity crisis in the West Bank, a statement said. Fayyad approved the measures during a weekly session of the Council of Ministers in Ramallah. The council endorsed measures to support low-income consumers of electricity as well as encouraging higher-income consumers to conserve their energy consumption. The council will also enter discussions with Jordan about bringing electricity prices into line with previous tariffs.

Report: Fayyad seeks advice from Bank of Israel governor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 27, 2012 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met with the Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer last Friday in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported on Monday. Hebrew-language news site Maariv said that the meeting came at Fayyad’s request, and he was seeking advice on future economic steps. The officials, who worked together at the International Monetary Fund in the 1990s, met at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, the report said. Fischer’s office confirmed that he met with Fayyad, but they gave no further details.

PA 'stops recruitment, promotions' due to financial crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 26, 2012 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority issued a decision on Friday to stop all new recruitment and promotions in government institutions until further notice as a result of the financial crisis it is currently experiencing, a statement from President Abbas' office said. Palestinian economist Nasser Abed al-Kareem told Ma'an that the PA was forced to make the decision as a result of the current financial crisis, adding that the move will add around $30 million annually to the PA's budget.

Market stalls turn into prime real estate in fight between Jews, Palestinians over Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh, Nasser Shiyoukhi - August 26, 2012 - 12:00am

Four stalls in a trash-filled, abandoned outdoor market have turned into hotly contested real estate in the center of biblical Hebron where several hundred ultranationalist Jewish settlers are wrestling with Palestinian residents for control, house by house and storefront by storefront. The stalls’ Palestinian tenants want Israel’s Supreme Court to evict settlers who seized the properties a decade ago, but some in Israel’s pro-settler government believe the small shops should remain in Jewish hands.

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