'Split in Hamas is frustrating Palestinian unity'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 13, 2012 - 12:00am

Disagreement within the Hamas leadership over a reconciliation deal signed by leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in Qatar is stalling the formation of a unity government, senior Fatah member Nabil Sha'ath said Monday. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is waiting to hear confirmation from Hamas that they will stand behind an interim government under his premiership, Sha'ath told Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

A failure of Israeli strategic thinking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 13, 2012 - 12:00am

The Fateh-Hamas Doha declaration of February 5 is many things, some more grounded in reality than others.

Dialogue is the way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) February 13, 2012 - 12:00am

The agreement that was announced in Doha last week between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, generated healthy debate and discussion among Palestinians, but especially within Hamas. Once again, the Palestinian argument that engaging Hamas in dialogue is always useful has been proven true.

Putting Doha in Context
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Hani al-Masri - (Opinion) February 13, 2012 - 12:00am

The signing of last May's reconciliation agreement would likely not have been possible without the shifting of various Arab, regional and international factors that were hampering reconciliation. The fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was committed to Israeli and United States conditions on Palestinian reconciliation for fear of strengthening Hamas' ally, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (the main threat to his rule), as well as the active opposition in Syria have positively influenced efforts to end Palestinian division and restore unity.

Hamas Chiefs Wrestle with Split on Palestinian Pact
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - February 13, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The two top leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas failed at secret talks in Qatar on Sunday to resolve an internal crisis over a reconciliation pact with the rival Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, a diplomat in the region said. The first open leadership split in the 25-year history of Hamas -- the militant, Iranian-funded organisation which opposes a peace treaty with Israel -- arose over how far it should go in closing ranks with Fatah, the Palestinian mainstream group.

Fatah Official: Palestine Seeks Arab Support for Halt to Israel Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 10, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul said Friday that Palestinian leaders will seek Arab support for their decision not to return to direct negotiations with Israel, after exploratory talks ended last month without agreement. PLO officials are set to brief the Arab League follow-up committee on Sunday, after Palestinian and Israeli envoys met for a series of talks in Jordan before an international Quartet deadline of Jan. 26 to submit proposals on borders and security issues.

Abbas says reconciliation not contradict with Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 9, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday told U.S. peace envoy David Hale that there are no contradictions between the Palestinian reconciliation and peace with Israel. The state-run Wafa news agency quoted Abbas, who held talks in Ramallah with Hale, as saying that peace for the Palestinians is strategic and the internal Palestinian reconciliation is a national Palestinian need.

Special from Israel: Officials mull path forward after historic Palestinian reconciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Egyptian Independent
by Roger Hercz - (Opinion) February 9, 2012 - 12:00am

Jaffa -- Mahmoud al-Zahar, the co-founder of Hamas, was clearly satisfied as he spoke to Israeli TV following the historic Palestinian reconciliation pact signing last week. “Your intelligence organizations are not so impressive after all,” he told Channel 10 News. Israeli leaders were certainly caught off guard when news broke that Fatah and Hamas had reached a deal to mend ties, four years after a schism erupted between the two Palestinian factions and Hamas security forcibly ousted Fatah personnel from the Gaza Strip. Al-Zahar was rubbing Israel’s lack of anticipation in its face.

Egyptian intelligence chief discusses Palestinian reconciliation efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 8, 2012 - 12:00am

Egyptian Intelligence Chief Mourad Mowafi on Wednesday met with Azzam al-Ahmed, member of Fatah’s Central Committee, to discuss Palestinian reconciliation efforts. Ahmed briefed Mowafi on the Doha Declaration in this regard, which was signed Monday by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, the state-run Middle East News Agency MENA reported. After the meeting, Ahmed said he briefed Mowafi because Egypt sponsors the reconciliation and is tasked by the Arab League to monitor its implementation.

Hamas-Fatah deal is realpolitik with real consequences
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Magid Shihade - (Opinion) February 8, 2012 - 12:00am

The agreement signed in Doha on Monday stipulates that President Mahmoud Abbas will lead an interim government, as well as keep his duties as head of the Palestinian Authority, in preparation for elections for the legislative council and for the presidency. Sponsored by Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, the agreement was produced in large part because of regional and global developments. But it is better understood in terms of how these outside forces have affected internal changes in Palestinian politics.

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