Gaza's 2 years under Hamas: order and absurdity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Steven Gutkin, Karin Laub - (Analysis) June 21, 2009 - 12:00am

AZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Two years after Hamas seized power, the Gaza Strip is a jumble of absurdities: an economy sustained by smuggling through tunnels, a civil service that gets paid on condition it doesn't work, and a population no longer fearful of gangs but feeling muzzled under the thumb of Hamas. Under a border closure enforced by Egypt and Israel, the U.N. says, shampoo can come in but conditioner can't. Nor can toys, candy or footballs.

Hamas rejects Carter plea to recognize Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ben Hubbard - June 18, 2009 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY - A senior Hamas official praised former president Jimmy Carter yesterday, a day after he met with the group, but said he failed to persuade the Islamic rulers of Gaza to accept international demands, including recognizing Israel. Carter visited Gaza on Tuesday and urged Hamas leaders to accept the demands to end an international boycott, which was imposed when the militant group overran Gaza two years ago.

Israelis to free jailed Hamas speaker in August
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli prosecutors failed to persuade a military court on Wednesday to extend the prison term of the Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament, who is due to go free in two months. Israel detained Aziz Dweik and dozens of other Hamas politicians in the occupied West Bank in 2006 after gunmen from the Palestinian Islamist group abducted an Israeli soldier on the Gaza Strip border.

More than Hamas’s rhetoric must change
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Opinion) June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Just over a month ago, Khaled Meshaal, the Damascus-based leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, referring to Barack Obama’s commitment to Israeli-Palestinian peace, declared: “I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period.” Reading between the lines of the New York Times interview where he delivered this remark, Meshaal’s position was far less flexible than his statement of intent. Still, there is something interesting about Hamas’s recent rhetoric.

Hamas dismisses commanders on Iran order
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal recently relieved two brigade commanders in the Gaza Strip on Iranian recommendations, Palestinian sources said Wednesday. The two officers, Bassam Issa and Imat Aakel, were removed from their positions following the recommendation of Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials who participated in the investigation of the perceived Hamas military failure during Operation Cast Lead.

Is Hamas reassessing its strategy?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - (Analysis) May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Four months after the Gaza war, Hamas seems to be reassessing the wisdom of firing rockets at Israeli civilians -- at least for now. Although there is no formal cease-fire, fewer than a dozen attacks have hit Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery since April, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal says the current lull serves the "Palestinian interest."

Mr Abbas and a dangerous gambit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The reappointment of Salam Fayyad, a respected independent, as the Palestinian prime minister should have been a welcome development. The PLO desperately needs a leader aloof from the cronyism and factional strife that define Palestinian politics. Unfortunately that is not the case. If anything, Mr Fayyad risks becoming a victim of naked partisanship.

Palestinians Try to Prune Branches of Core Party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

There is the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council, the Old Guard and the Young Guard. There are the insiders, the outsiders, the cell leaders, branch chiefs and district heads. And there is the Office of Mobilization and Discipline, also known as the Office of Indoctrination. Fatah, the core of the Palestinian national movement for five decades, has the organizational transparency of a Soviet republic and was long run like one by its founder, Yasir Arafat. Talk of reform arose after his death five years ago and again when Hamas defeated it in legislative elections in 2006.

Vote Fatah (or Hamas)
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Khalil Shikaki - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

THE performance of the Palestinian Authority during the past 17 months has been impressive. It has managed against the odds to restore order in the West Bank to a degree not seen in many years. And it has confronted and disarmed nationalist and Islamist groups. Corruption is also not as rampant as it was a few years ago.

Shin Bet chief: Peace unlikely while Hamas rules Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Amnon Meranda - May 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin went before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday and briefed its members on various matters concerning the fragile armistice with Hamas, terror threats and the Iranian threat. "If the Palestinian Authority were to hold general elections now, it is highly likely that Hamas would win," he said. Shifting his attention to the PA's efforts to fight terror, Diskin noted that despite recent achievements, "Most of the (terror) preventions are ours."

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