Palestinian Unity Talks in Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - February 23, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian unity talks in Cairo faced a crisis on Thursday as President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal agreed to postpone talks about the formation of a new government, a PA official in Ramallah said. A sharp dispute within Hamas over the recent Qatari-brokered reconciliation deal between Abbas and Mashaal was hindering the establishment of a Palestinian unity government, the official said. On Wednesday, Hamas’s political bureau announced its support for the deal following a 14-hour stormy meeting in the Egyptian capital.

Palestinian Leaders to Meet in Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 22, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – President Mahmoud Abbas is set to chair a meeting Thursday in Cairo that will encompass chiefs of Palestinian factions, PLO leaders and the speaker of the Palestinian National Council. Selected independent figures will join the meeting, which is dedicated to discussing the latest political developments and the ongoing efforts toward Palestinian reconciliation.

Hamas Irons Out Dispute Over Palestinian Unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - February 22, 2012 - 1:00am

CAIRO — A senior Hamas official says the leadership of the Islamic militant group has settled internal disagreements and approved a unity deal with its political rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Izzat al-Rishq, who is an aide to Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, says that Hamas' Syria-based political bureau met in Cairo Wednesday and okayed the agreement. Since 2007, the rivals have run separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza. The agreement signed in Qatar between Mashaal and Abbas on Feb. 6 envisions Abbas heading an interim unity government ahead of elections.

Hamas and Fatah hold talks in Cairo on a national unity government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 22, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas met on Wednesday in Cairo with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal for talks on the formation of a national unity government, an AFP reporter said. The long-time rivals have been struggling to implement the terms of a reconciliation deal signed in Cairo in May, which calls for the formation of an interim government of independents to pave the way for presidential and legislative elections within a year.

Israel reiterates no talks if Hamas in Palestinian gov't
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has reiterated that the Israeli government will not negotiate with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, an official source said Monday. "Negotiations will not take place with a technocratic government that is made out of an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. The current reality is that the other side (of the negotiations) consists of an organization that does not acknowledge Israel," an official said in a PMO briefing.

The Doha Declaration and the Palestinian Mindset
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yisrael Harel - (Opinion) February 15, 2012 - 1:00am

I don't know what developments the Doha declaration will generate at the internal Palestinian level. It certainly won't produce peace between Israel and the Palestinians. When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) "chose Hamas over peace" this was a correct yet trivial statement.

Abbas: We'll remind world what peace process was built on
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 15, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) – President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority would send a message to the Israeli government and to the world reminding them of the bases and terms of reference on which the Middle East peace process was built. “We will not accept continuation of the status quo, and will soon take the steps we have agreed on with the Arab countries,” he said. At a meeting in Ramallah with members of his Fatah party's Revolutionary Council, Abbas said the peace process collapsed because the Israeli government violated previously signed agreements.

Reconciliation deal can succeed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) February 14, 2012 - 1:00am

Good news associated with the Palestinians is very hard to come by these days, but February 6 was an exception. A Qatari initiative succeeded in bringing together two bitter rivals in Doha; Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and head of Hamas' political bureau Khalid Mesha'al. The Doha Declaration represented the biggest leap forward on the road to securing Palestinian reconciliation.

Hamas of Contradictions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) February 14, 2012 - 1:00am

The growing split that has been emerging within the leadership of Hamas has exploded into a bitter public feud. It was prompted an agreement reached last week in Qatar between the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, and the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. According to the deal, Abbas would take on the additional role of prime minister until elections are held later this year.

Hamas chiefs wrestle with split over Abbas premiership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - February 13, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- The two top leaders of Hamas failed to resolve an internal crisis over a reconciliation pact with the rival Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas at secret talks in Qatar on Sunday, a diplomat in the region said. "(Hamas chief) Khalid Mashaal and (Gaza Premier) Ismail Haniyeh met last night in Qatar to discuss the dispute in Hamas over the Doha agreement," the diplomat told Reuters on Monday.

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