Israel Plays a Role
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Analysis) January 16, 2012 - 1:00am

There has always been a very strong correlation between internal Palestinian issues and Palestinian-Israeli relations. This is true because Israel is a key player in all aspects of Palestinian life. Israel's troops are on the ground in the West Bank, and occupy the Gaza Strip by air and sea. But Israel's occupation was never an issue of military or security control alone; it has interfered with Palestinian economic and political development for the four decades of its existence.

Fayyad Still Trying to Create State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jane Eisner - (Opinion) January 13, 2012 - 1:00am

I was last in Ramallah a year and a half ago, and the change since then is striking. The headquarters of the once-feared Palestine Liberation Organization had been on the second floor of a nondescript office building above a furniture store; now it is in a gleaming office tower adjacent to the sprawling compound of the Palestinian Authority’s president. I’m not sure there is reason to fear the PLO anymore, but the organization certainly has a better address.

Interview: Holding Palestinian Elections on May “Impossible”: Official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 12, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Holding the Palestinian presidential and legislative elections on May, as it was agreed upon in the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact signed in Cairo last year, "is practically impossible," the executive director of the Palestinian Central Elections said Thursday. There is a bunch of obstacles that made the agreed principle to hold the general elections in the Palestinian territories on May 2012 "practically impossible," Hisham Keheil said in an interview with Xinhua.

The man Israel didn't release from prison: Marwan Barghouti
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Rebecca Collard - December 18, 2011 - 1:00am

There were rumors and Palestinians hopes that the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap this fall would result in the release of Marwan Barghouti, the man who many see as a possible successor to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Related stories Under the Shalit deal, more than 1,000 Palestinians were to be released over several months in exchange for the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in 2006. But as Israel announced the names of the remaining 550 prisoners to be released today, Mr. Barghouti was not among them.

Palestinian rivals united by drift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - (Analysis) December 15, 2011 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Hamas and Fatah are Palestinian rivals facing the same dilemma: how to justify their role as leaders of the Palestinian people while making little headway in achieving their national goals. With elections overdue, questions over their legitimacy are only likely to increase unless they find a way to galvanise the Palestinians' struggle with Israel.

Zahhar: No elections in May
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 14, 2011 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said Tuesday it was unlikely that elections would be held in May as scheduled. In an interview with Egyptian media, Zahhar said a unity government and security committee needed to be formed to ensure a transparent vote, Cairo-based Al-Ahram reported. He questioned on what basis elections could be held as neither of these prerequisites had been met, according to the newspaper report citing the Middle East News Agency.

Hamas demands Palestinian elections be held in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas will only agree to hold presidential and parliamentary elections next May if voting takes place in East Jerusalem and Hamas is allowed to participate, Haaretz has learned - a condition to which Israel will almost certainly object.

'Abbas says he'll plan elections with Hamas, but won't run'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told members of his Fatah faction on Monday that he plans to discuss Palestinian elections with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal when the two meet in Cairo later this month. However, Abbas said he would not run for office again, London-based daily Al-Hayat reported. Elections for the PA presidency and the National Legislative Council will be held in May, 2012, and Abbas asked the senior Fatah officials to make serious preparations for the polls, according to the report.

Palestinians should vote in Jerusalem elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avraham Burg - (Opinion) October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

It was depressing to see American President Barack Obama's weak appearance at the United Nations. It was depressing to see this talented man, who brought such great hope to the world, presenting the pitiable position of a feeble empire. It was embarrassing to see him defending positions and people whom only a few months earlier he had attacked with fury. His obsequiousness is shameful, and this weakness is a real danger to the world. Therefore anyone who wants peace cannot make do merely with accusing Obama. One cannot allow his desperation to have veto power over our hope.

Palestinian leader Abbas to propose early presidential, parliamentary elections: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 2, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- President Mahmoud Abbas will soon propose to the Islamic Hamas Movement to hold early presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories, a senior Palestinian official said Sunday. Jamal Mheisen, member of Abbas' Fatah Party's Central Committee, told the "Voice of Palestine" radio that the idea of holding early elections "aims to get the Palestinian people out of the crisis of internal division."

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