Abbas says elections decree irrevocable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 26, 2009 - 12:00am


Facing criticism from the Hamas movement and others, President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Saturday that elections would be held as scheduled. "The decision is irrevocable," he said, speaking in Ramallah at the opening session of the PLO's central committee. Abbas issued a presidential decree late Thursday night, setting the date for the next round of Palestinian legislative and presidential elections for 24 January 2010. Hamas wants the date moved back six months.


Palestinian elections may pose risk to unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - October 26, 2009 - 12:00am


It was widely expected, but the presidential decree issued on Friday calling for presidential and parliamentary elections will nevertheless put into sharp focus Palestinian divisions and represents something of a gamble. Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, president of the Palestinian Authority and leader of Fatah, probably did not have much of a choice. Unity negotiations with Hamas are long-stalled and Egyptian efforts to reconcile Hamas and Fatah with a compromise agreement also seem to have failed.


Biting Fingers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) October 26, 2009 - 12:00am


It is as if President Mahmoud Abbas was telling the Hamas movement: “Alright, you took over the Gaza Strip by force of arms and ruled it. You expelled the Fatah movement and all the figures of the Palestinian Authority from it by force of arms. You never committed to any of the previous agreements of appeasement. You declare your fierce opposition to the Oslo Accords and what they have resulted in. Yet you hold truces with Israel when it wages military operations against Gaza. You hold against the PA its relations with the United States.


Palestinian reconciliation through ballots
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Khaled Diab - (Opinion) October 26, 2009 - 12:00am


Cursed as they are with bad leadership, the sad saga of the Palestinian people fluctuates between tragedy and farce. As if contending with a crushing occupation, embargoes, closures and the complete physical separation of the West Bank and Gaza were not enough, over the past couple of years, they have also seen the two parties supposedly representing them descend into petty and bloody factionalism.


Editorial: Palestinian feud
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) October 26, 2009 - 12:00am


The announcement by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas to hold elections on Jan. 24 could make Hamas sign a deal with Fatah for Palestinian unity, although Hamas describes this as pressure. It could widen the factional divide further. Seeing he has no real opposition rival, it could give Abbas more years in power. And it might lead Hamas to hold its own ballot in the Gaza Strip, a move that could create two rival presidents, two parliaments and two prime ministers in two separate Palestinian territories.


Egypt pushing Hamas to sign truce deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
by Ali Waked - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am


Egypt continues to push forward with last ditch efforts to convince Hamas to sign the reconciliation agreement with rival Palestinian faction Fatah. Hamas Deputy Politburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk said Wednesday that the Egyptians stressed to Hamas that the document that has been presented and signed by Fatah is not negotiable and all that is left is for Hamas to sign. Nonetheless, Abu Marzouk said that no date has been set for a Hamas delegation to travel to Cairo to discuss or sign the agreement.


Israel hardens stance on U.N. Gaza report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
October 21, 2009 - 12:00am


Israel hardened its opposition Tuesday to international calls for an independent inquiry into its offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, saying it would urge the United States to stop the issue from advancing at the United Nations. The decision came at a cabinet meeting called to discuss a U.N. report that has accused both sides of committing war crimes during the three-week operation. The report, which was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council last week, recommends war crimes proceedings if Israel and the Palestinians do not conduct credible internal investigations.


Palestinian president to set Jan. election date
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
October 20, 2009 - 12:00am


The Palestinian president said Tuesday he will set Jan. 24 as the date for presidential and legislative elections, despite objections from his rivals in the Hamas militant group. Mahmoud Abbas told journalists in Cairo he will set the date in a presidential decree Sunday. Hamas, which wants the voting delayed, dismissed Abbas' announcement as an attempt to pressure the group into an agreement to end a bitter two-year division between the two sides that has interfered with peace talks with Israel and hampered reconstruction of war damage in Gaza.


Hamas Demands Guarantees before Reconciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Saleh Al-Naeimi - October 20, 2009 - 12:00am


The Hamas movement has stressed that it needs guarantees for implementing any agreement reached with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. Ismail Radwan, a leading movement figure, asserted that the countries sponsoring the reconciliation should offer such guarantees so that any future agreement would not have the same fate as that of agreements reached in the past between the two movements. He stressed at the same time that reconciliation is the movement's strategic option and that it is committed to its success.


Poll: Abbas approval plummets after UN delay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 19, 2009 - 12:00am


President Mahmoud Abbas lost significant public support over his role in delaying international action on a United Nations report that accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, a new opinion poll shows. The survey released on Sunday by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) indicates that if an election were held today, Abbas would receive just 16.8 percent of the vote, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh 16 percent. A similar percentage said they would vote for Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, who is currently in prison in Israel.



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