Hamas says not to accept any deal banning arms smuggling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 20, 2013 - 1:00am

Islamic Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip cannot accept any agreement that bans arms smuggling to the coastal enclave, a Hamas official said Wednesday. "Preventing people under occupation from getting the mechanism of fighting the occupier is meaningless," said Salah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official.

Is Qatari cash keeping the calm in Gaza?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Lappin - February 19, 2013 - 1:00am

Israeli deterrence has so far successfully kept Hamas from violating the cease-fire reached after an eight-day round of violence in November, but a second factor might also be playing a role in upholding the unprecedented calm along the Gaza-Israel border: economics.

Palestinian voter registration extended for two days
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 18, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Elections Commission (CEC) on Monday extended the registration of new voters in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for two more days. The updating of voter registration records was supposed to end Monday, but as more people are going to the registration centers, Palestinian groups recommended the CEC to extend the period of registration, said Hisham Kuhail, the CEC executive director.

Gazans Suffer As Foreign NGOs Refuse to Deal with Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Omar Shaban - February 18, 2013 - 1:00am

The relationship between international organizations operating in the Gaza Strip and the Hamas government has been marked by tension and distrust. This is especially true, since these organizations have taken the same positions as the West — including the U.S. and Israel — to sever ties with the Hamas government and with any of its affiliated institutions, while at the same time seeking to implement their work in the Gaza Strip.

Another round of Palestinian talks fail to deliver on unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) February 18, 2013 - 1:00am

Last week the interminable Palestinian national reconciliation negotiations failed yet again, amid mutual recriminations. Hamas complained that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas was attempting to re-litigate already agreed-upon items. There was also apparently a dispute about the prospect of Mr Abbas serving simultaneously as both president and prime minister.

PNA criticizes Hamas delegation's visit to Bulgaria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 17, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday criticized the visit by Hamas lawmakers to Bulgaria, which was ended Friday with Bulgarian security forces kicking out the delegation. The Hamas officials, who arrived in Sofia Wednesday, did not coordinate for their visit with the PNA or the "official sides in Bulgaria," said Riad Al-Maliki, Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, "This has harmed the Palestinian-Bulgarian relations as well as our relations with Europe."

Hamas official confirms indirect talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 17, 2013 - 1:00am

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya on Sunday confirmed that the movement is holding indirect talks with Israel over the implementation of a ceasefire deal, but insisted that they did not amount to political negotiations. Al-Hayya was commenting on a report on Israel's Channel 2 TV on Friday, which said Israeli and Hamas representatives had been negotiating for weeks.

Hamas condemns Egypt’s flooding of Gaza tunnels
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
February 17, 2013 - 1:00am

Hamas released a statement on Saturday condemning Egypt’s closure of tunnels with Gaza, saying this renews Israel’s blockade on the strip, reported AFP. Khalil El-Haya, a senior Hamas official, said at a conference in Gaza that the tunnels were the only means available to Palestinians to face Israel's “brutal blockade,” reported the agency.

Bulgaria expels visiting Hamas delegation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Bulgarian authorities forced a visiting Hamas delegation to leave the country Friday, the Palestinian Islamic movement said. In a statement, Hamas said security forces stormed the hotel where the three Hamas officials have been staying since Wednesday and transferred them to the airport. Hamas added that the move came as a result of Israel's pressure on Sofia. The delegation was expected to stay for three more days to meet with Bulgarian parliamentarians and party leaders.

Gazans need a new lifeline from stifling blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) February 15, 2013 - 1:00am

Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel has inflicted collective punishment on Palestinians in an attempt to weaken support for the armed group. As part of this, Israel has severely limited the importation of goods into Gaza, putting ordinary Palestinians on what Israeli officials once euphemistically termed "a diet".

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