Fatah Official: Abbas Can Head Government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 8, 2012 - 12:00am


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas can appoint himself as head of the next government, a Fatah official said Wednesday, dismissing criticism that the move to bolster unity had no standing in Palestinian law. Azzam Ahmad said no law prevented Abbas from heading the government. "I advise those who reject this to read the laws again; we are a presidential system, not parliamentary." The Doha agreement signed Monday by Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal has been welcomed and criticized, with some saying the president had overstepped the parliament's authority.


The New Palestinian Prime Minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Elliott Abrams - (Opinion) February 7, 2012 - 12:00am


Once upon a time, progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace was thought to require reform of Palestinian political institutions. Creation of the post of Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, separate from that of PA president, was viewed as a milestone. On March 14, 2003, President Bush marked creation of the prime minister post in a press conference:


Abbas, Mashaal Expected to Agree to New Govt Thursday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2012 - 12:00am


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal are expected to agree on the structure of a Palestinian national unity government during their meeting in Cairo on Thursday. Secretary-general of Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul told Ma'an Monday that failure to appoint a new government was the main obstacle to elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Mashaal, who lives in exile, arrived in Jordan on Sunday where he met King Abdullah II, his first visit since being expelled from the country in 1999.


Support for Palestinian Authority Erodes as Prices and Taxes Rise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 31, 2012 - 12:00am


RAMALLAH, West Bank — For many Palestinians and their international supporters, the one bright spot in an otherwise dreary political landscape has been the nation-building efforts of Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, who has restored law and order and encouraged economic growth in the West Bank. Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, is under increasing pressure.


Hard Questions, Tough Answer with Yossi Alpher – January 30, 2012
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
(Interview) January 30, 2012 - 12:00am


Alpher discusses the Israeli-Palestinian pre-negotiation talks in Amman, interim conclusions from the "Arab spring" one year after the outbreak of the revolution in Egypt and the meaning of the 2009 survey just published on Israeli attitudes towards religiosity. Q. The Israeli-Palestinian pre-negotiation talks in Amman adjourned after a meeting last Thursday without agreement to continue. What have we learned?


CEC 'ready for elections'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2012 - 12:00am


Elections can go ahead as planned on May 4 if President Mahmoud Abbas issues a decree in the coming days, a Central Elections Commission official said Thursday. Jamil Khalidi, who heads the commission's office in Gaza, told Ma'an the elections register in Gaza could be updated within six weeks. The Gaza office reopened on Tuesday after a two-year closure. Hamas shut down the office in November 2009 saying fair elections could not be held while political activists were threatened by the infighting.


Palestinian politicians doubt elections will take place
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 26, 2012 - 12:00am


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Several Palestinian officials expressed doubt on Wednesday that elections scheduled for May would take place. Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan told Ma'an that "the pre-date is nearing.... elections can not be held under two governments as the national unity government has not been formed." He added: "Occupation may be a reason, but we have to overcome any obstacles that may be preventing elections." Fatah leader Thiab al-Loh told Ma’an that elections need to be prepared for in advance and at the moment "we are at the beginning (...) now we are not ready."


Israeli soldiers arrest Hamas lawmaker in West Bank, fifth such arrest in as many days
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 23, 2012 - 12:00am


RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israeli troops detained a Hamas legislator in the West Bank early Tuesday in the fifth such arrest in as many days, the Islamic militant group said. Hamas has accused Israel of trying to sabotage possible Palestinian elections, the centerpiece of reconciliation attempts between Hamas and the rival Fatah movement of internationally backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas has said it would only participate in elections, tentatively set for late spring, if its candidates are safe from arrest by Israel.


Palestinian leader dismisses presidential rumors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Ben Birnbaum - (Interview) January 23, 2012 - 12:00am


RAMALLAH, West Bank — A top Palestinian leader says he will not run for president, even as the two main Palestinian factions inch toward a unity deal that would allow elections as early as May. Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, dismissed reports that he is considering a presidential bid, particularly if President Mahmoud Abbas makes good on his pledge not to run again.


Toddling to talks about talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
(Analysis) January 21, 2012 - 12:00am


NO ONE disagreed with the cautious assessment of King Abdullah of Jordan that “little baby steps” had been taken when Israelis and Palestinians met several times in Amman, the king’s capital, in early January to see if there were grounds to resume full-scale peace talks that might one day lead to the peaceful coexistence of two states. Even this tentative diplomatic toe-dipping was fraught. Big grown-up strides still seem a long way off.



American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017