Hamas bends to pressure in Gaza and abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Rafael Frankel - July 7, 2009 - 12:00am

By one calculus of Middle Eastern politics, Israel could say that its month-long offensive against Hamas and heightened economic blockade of Gaza have succeeded. Rockets no longer fly into Israel from the Gaza Strip. And Gaza's Islamist rulers saw their support base drop below 20 percent as a direct result of a war that exacted a high price: 1,400 dead, 50,000 homes destroyed or damaged, and 1.5 million of Israel's neighbors more embittered than ever.

Hamas arrests Palestinian woman for not wearing headscarf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - July 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas security forces detained a Gazan journalist at a beach over the weekend because she was not wearing a headscarf. Asma al-Ghul, who writes for the Palestinian daily Al-Ayam, said she was at the beach near the Shati refugee camp with a mixed group of friends when men in civilian clothing asked her why she was not wearing a headscarf. When she asked them who they were, they showed her Hamas security forces identity cards. She said that when questioning her, the men accused her of "laughing out loud" and walking around the beach without a male escort.

Gaza conflict: Views on Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 6, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel said its 22-day military operation in Gaza in January was aimed at ending rocket fire from Hamas, and weakening the Islamic movement that controls the coastal Strip. Six months after the conflict, three Gazans affected by it give their views on Hamas's standing in Gaza. YOUSSEF ABU EIDA, FATHER OF EIGHT Youssef Abu Eida's four-floor house, home to his eight children and other extended family members, was destroyed during the conflict. Construction materials are blocked from entering Gaza under Israel's blockade, so he has not been able to begin rebuilding.

Hamas accuses Fatah of spying for Israel in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
July 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The de-facto prime minister of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, alleged Monday that his security forces had unveiled a spy network in the Gaza Strip that served Israel through the Ramallah- based administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "In recent arrests, the security services were able to dismantle several security cells that chanelled dangerous but false information to Ramallah and then to the Israeli occupation," Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza.

PA official: Hamas planned to assassinate senior officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority has recently arrested a Hamas cell that admitted to planning to assassinate senior Palestinian officials by July 7, the date set by Egypt for the signing of an agreement between Fatah and the Islamist group, the head of the Palestinian Presidency said on Monday. According to Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, the order to attack Palestinian officials and institutions in the northern West Bank was given by Hamas' leadership abroad and by its armed wing in Gaza, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

PA: Hamas plotted attacks on West Bank officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas members planned attacks on Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in the West Bank on orders from Hamas leaders abroad and the group’s armed wing in Gaza, a senior official said on Monday. At-Tayib Abdul Rahim, secretary-general of the Palestinian Presidency reveled the alleged plot at a news conference in Ramallah. He said the PA learned of the plans from interrogations of Hamas prisoners. He said that a Hamas cell had planned the attack ahead of the 7 June deadline set by Egypt for an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has not yet responded to these charges.

Poll: 'Palestinian support for Hamas waning'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas support among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is waning, according to a survey conducted by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC). According to the results of the poll published Monday, 18.8 percent of the Palestinian population backs the Islamist group, compared to 27% when the last JMCC survey was conducted in January. The survey of 1,199 people also showed that 35% of Palestinians support Fatah, a nine percent rise compared with the previous survey.

Israel plays down reports of imminent Gaza deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous, Alastair MacDonald - June 26, 2009 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli officials played down reports on Friday that a deal was close with Hamas that would include the release of an Israeli soldier held captive in the Gaza Strip in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Israeli and Palestinian political sources and Western diplomats confirmed, however, that Egyptian mediators were still working on a package of measures that could combine exchanges of prisoners, ceasefire agreements, an easing of Israel's blockade on Gaza and rapprochement between rival Palestinian factions.

Israel released Palestinian parliament speaker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
June 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas-affiliated speaker of the Palestinian parliament was freed Tuesday from an Israeli prison after serving the bulk of his three-year sentence. Abdel Aziz Duaik is the most senior of dozens of Hamas politicians arrested after Gaza Strip militants loyal to the group captured an Israeli soldier in June 2006. The soldier, Sgt. Gilad Schalit, will mark three years in captivity on Thursday.

Abbas to free all Hamas prisoners ahead of unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Jack Khoury - June 22, 2009 - 12:00am

In a goodwill gesture to his political rivals Hamas, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his security forces to release all prisoners belonging to the Islamist organization before the renewal of inter-factional talks. Representatives of Abbas' Fatah faction, which has been the dominant player in Palestinian politics since the inception of the Palestine Liberation Organization, will meet with Hamas officials later this week in an attempt to hammer out an agreement on national unity.

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