A Year On, Unity Activists Ponder Next Steps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 15, 2012 - 11:00pm


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The anniversary of the March 15 movement to restore unity to the occupied territories passed quietly Wednesday, with no major rallies in Palestinian cities. The principle demands of the masses who demonstrated in the West Bank and Gaza have yet to be met, although the leaders of Fatah and Hamas technically agreed to reconcile in May 2011. Progress has stalled ever since.


Zahhar: Fatah’s Cooperation With Israel Stalling Unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 9, 2012 - 12:00am


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar on Thursday said Fatah's cooperation with Israel was stalling national reconciliation. Hamas does not recognize Israel while Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, coordinates with Israel under agreements signed in the 1990s. Zahhar, speaking at a conference on the Arab Spring in Gaza City, said Fatah's security coordination had delayed the implementation of an agreement signed by the rival factions last May.


Palestinian Elections Delayed by Hamas-Fatah Bickering
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - March 9, 2012 - 12:00am


RAMALLAH // Palestinians will not hold presidential and parliamentary elections in May because of disagreements between the two main political factions, a Palestinian elections official said this week. The gridlocked Hamas-Fatah reconciliation has made it impossible for the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) to hold elections on May 4, the date originally set by the groups, said the Ramallah-based organisation's chief electoral officer, Hisham Kuhail.


'No unity talks until Fatah can operate in Gaza'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - March 8, 2012 - 12:00am


Talks over the formation of a Palestinian unity government will remain suspended until Hamas allows the Palestinian Central Elections Commission to operate in the Gaza Strip, a Fatah leader in the West Bank said Wednesday. Fatah and Hamas agreed two weeks ago to delay the talks over the formation of a unity government that would be headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as envisaged by the Qatari-brokered reconciliation agreement between the organizations. Since then, the two sides have traded allegations over who was responsible for the delay.


Interview: Hamas, Fatah agree to give more time to form unity gov't: Haneya
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Interview) February 28, 2012 - 12:00am


GAZA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Ismail Haneya, head of the deposed government of Islamic Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, said in a special interview with Xinhua on Monday that Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party have agreed to give more time to form the new transitional unity government. At his office in Gaza City, Haneya told Xinhua that leaders of Fatah and Hamas movements had bilaterally agreed in Cairo to give the consultations on forming the new unity government some more time until the two sides come up with a final decision.


Palestinian Unity Undermined by Geographic Divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jon Donnison - February 24, 2012 - 12:00am


The two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, are still trying to thrash out the details of a unity deal to end five years of bitter division. Since 2007, Hamas has been in power in Gaza with Fatah left to govern the West Bank. So, Palestinians face not only a political divide, but also a geographical one. "I just want to see my father. We only have photos and phone calls. It's hard to remember what he's like," says 13-year-old, Uday al-Haddar. Sitting alongside his mother, Alya, and two younger brothers, Uday shows me the family album.


Hamas Denies Placing Barriers to Unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 24, 2012 - 12:00am


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas officials on Thursday played down reports that the movement was placing barriers in front of a reconciliation deal it signed with Fatah earlier this month. Party spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Hamas was moving forward with the deal in line with the terms agreed in Doha by President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal. Barhoum was responding to reports that a Hamas official said the group was setting new terms for implementing the deal, including demands for certain ministries.


Hamas Denies Involvement in Egypt’s Unrest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 24, 2012 - 12:00am


CAIRO, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haneya denied that the Islamic movement had involved in Egypt's unrest last year, as claimed by Egyptian former Interior Minister Habib Adly, state media reported Thursday. In the final day of ex-President Hosni Mubarak's trial, Adly blamed elements from Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and Islamic Hamas movement for sending infiltrators to break the line of peaceful protests, creating chaos and sabotaging.


Hamas sets new terms for reconciliation with Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - February 23, 2012 - 12:00am


(Reuters) - Hamas has set new terms for implementing a reconciliation deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rival Fatah group, an official said Thursday, dimming even further chances the accord will be put into effect. Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, Hamas's political chief in exile, agreed in Qatar earlier this month to form a unity government led by the Western-backed president.


'Hamas will demand key positions in unity gov't'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 23, 2012 - 12:00am


Hamas will demand that members of its organization fill key roles in the unity government with Fatah if it is to agree to allow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to serve as the interim government's prime minister, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Thursday. According to the report, Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mahsaal will present his conditions to Abbas at a meeting between the two leaders in Cairo on Thursday.



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