Barak says Lieberman’s letter calling for Abbas’ ouster harms Israeli interests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 23, 2012 - 12:00am

In closed discussions Wednesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak sharply criticized Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s letter to foreign ministers from the Middle East Quartet, calling for Palestinian Authority elections to replace PA President Mahmoud Abbas. “This letter harms Israeli national interests, and will aggravate circumstances with the Palestinians. This is deeply misguided policy,” Barak stated in the private discussion.

FM: Abbas engaging in political terrorism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Herb Keinon - August 23, 2012 - 12:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stepped up his campaign against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, saying not only is Abbas engaged in “diplomatic terror” against Israel, but he is also not in a position to make commitments for the Palestinians. Liberman’s highly critical comments in an Israel Radio interview came just four days after he sent a letter to the Quartet calling for new elections in the PA and the replacement of Abbas.

CEC: Voter registration opens in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 6, 2012 - 12:00am

Voter registration opened in the West Bank on Sunday to prepare for elections, the chairman of the Central Elections Commission announced. At a news conference in Ramallah, Hanna Nasser said 754 voter registration centers would be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday until Thursday. Nasser added that he hoped it would be the last time he announced the start of local elections, which are overdue and have been stalled by the infighting between Hamas and Fatah.

UN envoy: Elections commission must be allowed to work in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 5, 2012 - 12:00am

UN envoy Robert Serry on Thursday called on authorities in Gaza to allow the Central Elections Commission to operate, after Hamas suspended its work. Serry, the UN special coordinator for the peace process, visited the commission's headquarters in Gaza on Thursday, a statement from his office said.

Is Hamas losing control?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) June 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Hamas's failure to enforce the latest Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel is seen by Palestinians as a sign that the Islamist movement may be losing control over the Gaza Strip. In the past, Hamas has shown that its security forces are capable of implementing cease-fires with Israel. Hamas, whose leaders maintain that they are not interested in providing Israel with an excuse to launch another major military offensive in Gaza, had even gone as far as detaining members of other groups who insisted on launching rockets at Israel.

Lally Weymouth interviews Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Lally Weymouth - (Interview) June 22, 2012 - 12:00am

“If only we could clone him,” a senior U.S. official said to me recently, speaking about Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Held in great respect by foreigners, Fayyad may soon find himself out of a job if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (also called Abu Mazen) forges a national unity government with Hamas. This past week, Fayyad sat down in the West Bank city of Ramallah with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth. Excerpts:

Gaza Five Years On: Hamas Settles In
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
by Nathan J. Brown - (Analysis) June 14, 2012 - 12:00am

As political upheavals spread over much of the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, regimes throughout the region were shaken and a few fell. But in both the West Bank and Gaza, a soft authoritarianism that has provoked uprisings elsewhere has only been further entrenching itself.

Palestinians agree on electoral system for PLO's parliament
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 6, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of Palestinian factions agreed Tuesday on the electoral system of the National Council, the parliament of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The agreement opens the door for factions like Hamas and the Islamic jihad to join the PLO, which represents all Palestinians, including those in Diaspora, or exile. The factions reached the deal during two days of discussions in Amman, Jordan, a statement said.

Poll: Fatah would win national elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah would win an election if it were held today, according to the results of a poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center released Tuesday. Some 42 percent of Palestinians would vote for Fatah and 19.5 percent would elect Hamas, according to the poll which surveyed 1,188 people selected at random in the West Bank and Gaza.

When the next intifada breaks out, Netanyahu will have only himself to blame
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) May 29, 2012 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's sword-polishing hasn't frightened the Iranians, according to recent reports about last week's nuclear talks in Baghdad. Foot-dragging by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opposite the six world powers has been accompanied by an attempt to strengthen the Iranian foothold in Lebanon.

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