Fatah: Iran Paid Hamas to Block Unity Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Ali Sawafta - March 21, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- Iran paid Hamas to block a deal with the rival Fatah movement that would have ended a five-year rift between the two main Palestinian factions, a Fatah spokesman said Tuesday. He said Tehran recently resumed financial aid to Hamas which it had suspended six months ago over the movement's failure to back their mutual ally Bashar Assad of Syria in his military campaign to crush dissent.

Hamas: Fatah Prefers US Dollars to National Agreements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 21, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah has not implemented any of its reconciliation commitments because it prefers American money to national agreements, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government in Gaza said Monday. Taher al-Nunu said in a statement that Fatah is trying to destroy the reconciliation agreement it signed with Hamas last May. Al-Nunu's remarks were made in response to comments by senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, who said Hamas was responsible for the ongoing delay in forming a unity government.

A Year On, Unity Activists Ponder Next Steps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 16, 2012 - 12:00am

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.

Unity deal 'next year'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 15, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas' leadership in the Gaza Strip is unlikely to follow through on its end of the reconciliation deal with Fatah anytime soon, a senior party official said Wednesday. The party's external leadership agreed in Qatar to implement the deal in a joint announcement by politburo chief Khalid Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, disappointing the leadership in Gaza.

Zahhar: Fatah’s Cooperation With Israel Stalling Unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 9, 2012 - 1:00am

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 - 1:00am

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.

Palestinian Unity Undermined by Geographic Divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jon Donnison - February 24, 2012 - 1:00am

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.

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.

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.

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.

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