Political struggle over West Bank town
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Heather Sharp - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

"The decision was purely political," says Wajih Qawas, fiddling with a string of prayer beads as he explains how he lost his job. Until a month ago, the softly-spoken management systems graduate was the mayor of the West Bank town of Qalqilya, although he has spent much of that time in Israeli prisons. The town of 40,000 was one of several major West Bank towns in which Hamas won control of municipal councils in elections in 2004 and 2005. Locals and outsiders alike wondered how a group known for suicide bombings would handle fixing potholes and sewage pipes.

Two Palestinian Causes… or More
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Husam Itani - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The path taken by the Palestinian reconciliation suggests that the current situation between the struggling parties requires much more than reconciliation. Indeed, the difficulties that obstruct ratifying the Egyptian agreement are only a sample of how deeply rooted and difficult the disagreement is between the components of Palestinian political society.

When the Arabs Shut their Ears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Mohammad Salah - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

You can close your eyes at will, without falling asleep or becoming unconscious, even if for the only reason that you do not want to see something in front of you. However, you cannot shut your ears at will, and as long as your hearing is unimpaired, and also as long as you are conscious, you can still hear, even if you did not want to.

Don't count Abbas out, Palestinian pollster says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has suffered a serious blow to his standing versus Hamas in recent weeks, but he should be able to recover that ground, according to a top Palestinian pollster. Recently reported surveys show Abbas having lost support to Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, with them each now commanding about 16 percent of the Palestinian public as opposed to a month earlier when Abbas pulled twice that figure.

Fatah Considering Elections Without Hamas Approval
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - October 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Palestinian presidency was surprised on Friday by Egypt's stand toward Hamas's request to postpone the signing of the reconciliation agreement and its agreement on postponing the date of the signing, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned. Earlier, Azzam al-Ahmad, official in charge of national relations in the Fatah Movement Central Committee, conveyed to the Egyptian side the movement's approval of the reconciliation agreement, provided that the signing date would not be postponed and no new words would be introduced to the text.

Press Release: The PLO, the Hijab, the Government, Security and Elections.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from AWRAD
by Nader Said - (Analysis) October 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Margin of error: +3 % Field work dates: September 31 – October 3, 2009 Publication Date: Saturday - October 17, 2009 (1200 questionnaire in the West Bank and Gaza)

Leadership failure betrays the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) October 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Who would be George Mitchell? As the US peace envoy wearily boarded a plane for Washington after yet another fruitless round of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, two of the key players in the process were hurling abuse at each other between the West Bank and Damascus. If the scenario were not so tragic, it would be a farce. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas ,and the Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, traded insults in separate televised speeches, leaving Mr Mitchell looking like a travelling salesman trying in vain to sell hair-restorer to two bald men fighting over a comb.

U.S. to Egypt: Fatah-Hamas deal undermines Israel-PA talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 13, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States sent a message to Egypt stating it does not support the proposed reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas as it would undermine negotiations with Israel, Haaretz has learned. George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy to the Middle East, met on Saturday night in Cairo with the chief of Egyptian intelligence, Gen. Omar Suleiman, and told him the United States would not support an agreement not aligned with the principles of the Quartet.

Hamas to Abbas: Don't call new elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - October 12, 2009 - 12:00am

In another sign of increased tensions between Hamas and Fatah in light of the Palestinian Authority's controversial decision to abandon a vote at the UN Human Rights Council on the Goldstone Report, the Islamic movement on Sunday warned PA President Mahmoud Abbas against unilaterally calling new elections. The Fatah Central Committee on Saturday night urged Abbas to issue a presidential decree on October 25 for holding presidential and parliamentary elections.

Sources: Unity agreement to be signed on 15 October
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 11, 2009 - 12:00am

The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah will finally sign a reconciliation agreement on 15 October, effectively ending two years of disunity and violence that began in the summer of 2007. Ma'an has learned from informed sources in Cairo that the deal proposed by Egypt will be accepted by both parties without amendment. According to these sources, Hamas and Fatah will receive copies of the draft agreement by Monday at the latest, and its signing will be scheduled as follows. - Drafts will be handed to Hamas and Fatah within 24 hours.

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