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.


Hamas chiefs wrestle with split over Abbas premiership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-Mughrabi - February 13, 2012 - 12:00am


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.


'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.


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.


EU: No Change in Palestinian Aid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
February 8, 2012 - 12:00am


BRUSSELS, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The European Union says the Palestinian Authority's new Fatah-Hamas unity government will not change the EU's ongoing financial assistance to Palestinians. Hamas is officially considered a terrorist group by the European Union but it gained some recognition for freeing Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a recent prisoner swap with Israel, the EUobserver reported.


Who is Hamas? 5 Questions About the Palestinian Militant Group
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Arthur Bright - February 8, 2012 - 12:00am


1. What are the origins of Hamas? Hamas emerged as the Palestinian wing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood after the outbreak of the first intifada in 1987 and is the largest Palestinian militant organization, as Kristen Chick wrote in a 2009 Monitor briefing. An Arabic word that means zeal or enthusiasm, "Hamas" is also an acronym for the group's official Arabic name, the Islamic Resistance Movement.



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