Legal Controversy on Abbas’ Posts Grows After Doha Delaration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- A legal controversy over the posts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rose on Tuesday, one day after he agreed in Qatar with Islamic Hamas movement's chief Khaled Meshaal that Abbas will form and lead a unified transitional government. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that if Abbas as president of the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) also becomes the prime minister of the Palestinian government, "there would be doubts on whether he will be able to run in the upcoming presidential elections or not."

Is Palestinian Handshake Much Ado About Nothing?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM // After Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government and hold elections, you would think their rapprochement would be cause for optimism among Palestinians. But just ask Mohammed Youssef. He flatly dismissed Monday's accord as nothing more than a ruse between Fatah's chairman and the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and outgoing Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to quell public anger over the slow pace of their reconciliation.

EU: No Change in Palestinian Aid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

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 - 1:00am

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.

Palestinian Committee Suspends Work as Demands Neglected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian committee pushing for public freedom suspended its work Wednesday because rival Hamas and Fatah parties did not consider its recommendations, sources said. The committee will soon write to the Palestinian president and Fatah head, Mahmoud Abbas, and all the other Palestinian factions to inform them of its decision, the sources told Xinhua.

A ‘Major Triumph for Qatari Diplomacy’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Qatar News Agency
(Editorial) February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

The Doha Declaration signed between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah and Hamas - should be considered as a “major triumph for Qatari diplomacy”, a number of Palestinian and Arab political experts said yesterday. They said that that Qatari diplomacy’s “strenuous efforts” succeeded in bringing the Palestinian people back together. They expressed their thanks to Qatar, under the leadership of HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, for supporting Palestinian reconciliation.

Egyptian intelligence chief discusses Palestinian reconciliation efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

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.

Doha agreement divides political opinion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Doha agreement signed on Monday by President Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal has been welcomed and criticized in equal measure by politicians and analysts. Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar told Ma'an that the agreement "contradicted basic Palestinian law and overstepped the Palestinian Legislative Council." He urged President Abbas to take serious steps to implement the Cairo agreement as a whole, rather than being selective about which articles to implement.

Analysis: Will Qatar succeed where others failed?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

First there was the Saudi-sponsored Mecca Agreement between Fatah and Hamas in February 2007. That agreement collapsed four months later when Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority. Then came the Sanaa Agreement in March 2008 in Yemen. That agreement lasted only a few hours before it was pronounced dead by the two parties. The Yemeni agreement was followed by two similar reconciliation pacts that were reached under the auspices of the Egyptians. Needless to say, the Egyptian-brokered accords remained ink on paper.

State Department Plays Down Warnings about Hamas-Fatah Announcement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Fox News
February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

The State Department played down warnings Tuesday over the latest step toward a unity government between Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah, saying "the fundamentals have not changed" despite claims that the deal imperils the already anemic peace process. Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Tuesday with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and they discussed how "it's not particularly clear what this agreement will change."

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