Is Palestinian Handshake Much Ado About Nothing?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM // After Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government and hold elections, you would think their rapprochement would be cause for optimism among Palestinians. But just ask Mohammed Youssef. He flatly dismissed Monday's accord as nothing more than a ruse between Fatah's chairman and the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and outgoing Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to quell public anger over the slow pace of their reconciliation.

State Department Plays Down Warnings about Hamas-Fatah Announcement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Fox News
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

The State Department played down warnings Tuesday over the latest step toward a unity government between Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah, saying "the fundamentals have not changed" despite claims that the deal imperils the already anemic peace process. Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Tuesday with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and they discussed how "it's not particularly clear what this agreement will change."

The New Palestinian Prime Minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Elliott Abrams - (Opinion) February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

Once upon a time, progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace was thought to require reform of Palestinian political institutions. Creation of the post of Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, separate from that of PA president, was viewed as a milestone. On March 14, 2003, President Bush marked creation of the prime minister post in a press conference:

Abbas, Mashaal Expected to Agree to New Govt Thursday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal are expected to agree on the structure of a Palestinian national unity government during their meeting in Cairo on Thursday. Secretary-general of Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul told Ma'an Monday that failure to appoint a new government was the main obstacle to elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Mashaal, who lives in exile, arrived in Jordan on Sunday where he met King Abdullah II, his first visit since being expelled from the country in 1999.

Israel orders 6 months jail without charge for PLC speaker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 24, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court on Tuesday ordered the detention of Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik for six months without charge. Dweik, who was seized by Israeli forces at a Ramallah checkpoint on Thursday, heads the Palestinian Legislative Council. His lawyer Fadi Qawasmi said Ofer military court gave the administrative detention order early Tuesday, after a Sunday hearing was postponed.

Israeli Police Arrest 2 Palestinian Legislators in East Jerusalem Protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel arrested two Palestinian legislators affiliated with Hamas as they staged a protest in the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in East Jerusalem on Monday, an act criticized by the Palestinian leadership as a blow to the first direct meetings between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in more than a year now under way in Jordan.

Israeli soldiers arrest Hamas lawmaker in West Bank, fifth such arrest in as many days
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israeli troops detained a Hamas legislator in the West Bank early Tuesday in the fifth such arrest in as many days, the Islamic militant group said. Hamas has accused Israel of trying to sabotage possible Palestinian elections, the centerpiece of reconciliation attempts between Hamas and the rival Fatah movement of internationally backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas has said it would only participate in elections, tentatively set for late spring, if its candidates are safe from arrest by Israel.

Palestinian Fatah Looks Ill-Prepared For Election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - January 20, 2012 - 1:00am

HEBRON, West Bank — Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian national movement whose survival is key to hopes for a peace deal with Israel, appears ill-prepared for a promised electoral showdown with the Islamic militant Hamas.

Fayyad calls for national debate on PA financial crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday called for a national debate on the financial situation facing the West Bank-based government. "We want to help everyone. We do not want theories, we want practical solutions, our people need social and economic security and we are working hard to get rid of the occupation and everyone should help us to obtain our goal," Fayyad told Ma'an TV.

Palestine women's ministry staff go on hunger strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Nasouh Nazzal - January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

Ramallah: Women employees at the Palestinian Women's Affairs Ministry are on a "hunger strike till death" to protest against corruption and harassment. The hunger strike was announced on Tuesday by the women who gathered near the graveyard of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. "The situation is grave as the women have received threats to be shot in their legs. Ministry authorities have vowed not to let the employees in the offices," a statement by the striking women said.

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