Clampdown on Palestinian media spreads to the Web
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by George Hale - April 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority has quietly instructed Internet providers to block access to news websites whose reporting is critical of President Mahmoud Abbas, according to senior government officials and data analyzed by network security experts.

Abbas sacks supervisor of official Palestinian media
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 24, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sacked Yasser Abed Rabbo, media supervisor of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) due to their disagreements, an Palestinian source said on Tuesday. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that sacking Abed Rabbo as a media supervisor "doesn't mean that he was sacked as the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee."

Palestine becomes member of IMF body
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 23, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced Monday that Palestine has joined an IMF initiative to disseminate statistics to the public. Palestine became a member of the Special Data Dissemination Standard, or SDDS, on April 19, becoming the fifth Arab state to join after Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan. SDDS is a standard by the International Monetary Fund to guide countries in the dissemination of national statistics to the public. Palestine's membership, listed as the West Bank and Gaza, indicates the maturity of PA institutions, Fayyad said.

Fayyad meets Danish activist injured by soldier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 19, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALAH (Ma'an) -- The prime minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad on Wednesday met with Andreas Ias, a Danish activist who was injured Saturday by an Israeli officer. Fayyad condemned the attack and all of Israel's "continuous violations" against foreign activists, including the recent efforts by Israel to prevent over 1,000 visitors from visiting Palestine. "When we talk about Israeli violations against out people, we won't forget the attack on Andreas, who arrived in solidarity, nor the Israeli and international campaign to play down the attack," Fayyad said.

Fatah official blames Hamas for reconciliation delay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 19, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The secretary-general of Fatah's revolutionary council said Thursday that Hamas was to blame for suspending reconciliation talks. Amin Maqboul told Ma'an that some members of Hamas in Gaza are afraid to lose their privileges if a unity government is formed and presidential and parliamentary elections are held. He added that Fatah is open to all initiatives, whether Arab or Palestinian, to revive reconciliation talks. "There are some verbal initiatives, but we don't rely on such announcements or meetings if it doesn't aim to end the split totally," Maqboul said.

Abbas dismisses idea of dismantling PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 16, 2012 - 12:00am

TOKYO (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday dismissed the idea of dismantling the Palestinian Authority, during an interview with Japanese media. "Where do the writers of such reports get their ideas and information from," Abbas replied when asked by Japanese media about the proposal raised in a US magazine. Yossi Beilin, one of the authors of the Oslo Accords, made the appeal in Foreign Policy magazine. Regarding a letter being sent to Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, next week, Abbas said it would highlight the negative effects of settlement activity.

Fatah: Govt reshuffle talks delayed until Abbas tour ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 9, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Consultations over an expected reshuffle in the Palestinian Authority are to be delayed until President Abbas finishes as international tour due to start Monday, a senior Fatah official said. Azzam al-Ahmad told Voice of Palestine radio that rumors about a disagreement between Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad over a reshuffle were baseless.

Abbas to pursue statehood at UN assembly if no talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 9, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday he will ask the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood if Israel does not respond to his demands for the resumption of negotiations. After Palestine's inconclusive bid for recognition by the United Nations Security Council in September 2011, officials in recent months revised their opposition to a lesser upgrade with the larger assembly.

Concession on 1967 borders is last-ditch effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) April 6, 2012 - 12:00am

Desperate times call for desperate measures, as the old saying goes. And with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resolutely stamping out hopes of a negotiated two-state solution, these are indeed desperate times for the fractured Palestinian leadership.

Where’s the outcry over Palestinian censorship?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Keyes - (Opinion) April 5, 2012 - 12:00am

A university lecturer and single mother of two, Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, was arrested in the West Bank last week for criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook. Perhaps this is what Abbas meant when he said during a recent interview with al-Jazeera that his party, Fatah, was a political and ideological copy of the terrorist group Hamas. His words: “In all honesty, there are no disagreements between us.”

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