Intifada far off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hani al-Masri - (Opinion) March 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Over the past few weeks an extensive discussion has been held regarding the possibility that the protest against the occupation in the West Bank will escalate into a full-blown intifada. Israel has contributed greatly to this discussion.

World Bank Transfers $60.5M in Budget Support to PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
March 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Wednesday 13th March, the World Bank transferred $60.5 million to the Palestinian Authority from the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF), a multi-donor budget support mechanism administered by the Bank, said a press release by World Bank. The statement said the funds contributed by the governments of the United Kingdom and Norway will help support the urgent budget needs of the PA, providing inter alia support for education, health care and other vital social services for the Palestinian people and for the economic reforms currently underway.

Bethlehem to host first-ever marathon in April
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
March 14, 2013 - 12:00am

The not-so-little town of Bethlehem is to host the West Bank's first-ever marathon next month in a race starting at the Nativity Church and taking in several refugee camps, organisers said Wednesday. The brainchild of two Danish women runners, the Palestine Marathon will take place on April 21 and offer runners the choice of three distances: a full 42-kilometre marathon, a half marathon or a 10-kilometre race.

Palestinians Address Obama Directly with Billboard Campaign
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - March 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat—“President Obama, don’t bring your smartphone to Ramallah, you won’t have mobile access to [the] internet. We have no 3G in Palestine!”

Politics clouding Obama's coming visit to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Daniel Estrin - March 13, 2013 - 12:00am

A week before President Barack Obama is set to arrive in the region, Middle East politics are already casting a cloud over the visit as Israeli and Palestinian officials plan a series of events to promote their agendas.

Palestinian Shoe Industry Declines in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Jihan Abdalla - March 13, 2013 - 12:00am

Once a mainstay of the local economy, Palestinian shoemaking in the West Bank is in decline as businesses struggle to compete with an increasing influx in the local market of cheaper, Chinese-made shoes. For decades, the city of Hebron was renowned for its skilled cobblers, producing famously comfortable, durable, leather shoes and sandals. According to statistics compiled by the Chamber of Commerce in Hebron, from 1970 until 1990, the city boasted 1,200 lucrative shoe businesses, employing 40,000 people, a third of Hebron’s residents at the time.

Economists: Extra taxes on foreign imports hasty decision
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 13, 2013 - 12:00am

But economic experts believe the decision is likely to increase indirect imports through Israeli middlemen, and that will eventually support the Israeli economy and maintain stagnation in Palestine's economy. West Bank economist Mahmoud al-Jaafari highlighted that poor Palestinian families depended on goods imported from China, because they were relatively cheaper, especially goods which are not produced in Palestine. After extra taxes, he added, these products will become more expensive and poor families will be unable to find something cheap to cover their needs.

Israel and the Palestinians Gearing up For Obama Visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Diana Atallah, Linda Gradstein - March 13, 2013 - 12:00am

Security and Kosher for Passover Food Preparing for a US presidential visit is a huge job. Preparing for a US presidential visit the week before Passover is an almost insurmountable task. While in Jerusalem, the President will be staying at the historic King David hotel, which used to be the site of the British headquarters during the pre-state period. In 1946, an extremist Zionist group bombed the hotel, killing 91 people.

Abbas to push PA prisoner issue during Obama visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - March 12, 2013 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to place the issue of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel at the top of his agenda during the planned meeting with US President Barack Obama, a PA official in Ramallah said Monday. The official’s announcement came as families of Palestinian prisoners stepped up their protests in the West Bank, staging demonstrations and rallies calling on Abbas not to resume the peace talks unless Israel released their sons.

Palestinian unity hopes dim as Egyptian crisis grows
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Dalia Hatuqa - (Opinion) March 12, 2013 - 12:00am

The streets of Cairo have been seeing much action of late, as Egyptians rally against the government of President Mohammed Morsi. But even as that country's political landscape teeters, Palestinians have tried - fruitlessly it turns out - to make use of Egypt's reinvigorated role as a broker to reconcile Fatah and Hamas. Meetings in Cairo last month would have been hailed as a feat were it not for the fact that Palestinians have been witnessing the sad dance carried out for years between the two feuding factions: kiss and make up before exchanging blame.

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