The gap between resistance and governance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Mahmoud Abu Rahma - (Opinion) January 6, 2012 - 12:00am


Once again, the media have begun to focus their attention on Palestinian reconciliation talks, which seem at last to be headed in a positive direction. These talks will include the particularly difficult process of social reconciliation for the period between 2004 and 2007 when inter-communal violence led to the terrorizing, wounding, and killing of scores of people as well as the widespread destruction of property.


Rivals who may need each other
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
(Analysis) January 5, 2012 - 12:00am


FIVE years after Western governments sought to turn the West Bank into a model of statehood for peace-minded Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority (PA) that runs it is being cast adrift—possibly with dramatic consequences. The cafés of Ramallah, the Palestinians’ fledgling seat of government near Jerusalem, have been bereft of chattering aid workers from the West since the American administration withdrew its support in the wake of President Mahmoud Abbas’s controversial bid for full statehood at the UN in late 2011.


A critical moment for Palestinian unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) December 31, 2011 - 12:00am


What event this month is likely to reverberate across the Middle East most clearly next year? My prediction is that it will be the continued attempts by the leading Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, to reconstitute a unified national leadership and government. If this initiative succeeds in holding elections for a new parliament and government, it will soon generate a more coherent Palestinian strategy for dealing with Israel. This in turn will allow democratic and legitimate Arab leaderships to harness public support for the Palestinian cause in a more credible and effective manner.


Officials say PNI joined PLO at Cairo talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 23, 2011 - 12:00am


Officials from Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian National Initiative said late Thursday that they had accepted positions on an "interim leadership" of the PLO. Ayed Yaghi, a PNI leader, said the small faction joined the PLO and that it was a natural position to take. Yaghi told Ma’an that Thursday's talks in Cairo marked a milestone in the history of the Palestinian people. He pointed out that the PNI had previously submitted a request to join the PLO in 2004.


Abbas in a stronger position with Hamas in PLO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Herb Keinon - December 23, 2011 - 12:00am


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be in a stronger position to deal with Israel and the United States if Hamas joins the PLO, a senior Hamas official told pan-Arab London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat Saturday. According to the source, who spoke to Asharq Alaqsat following productive meetings between Palestinian factions aiming to "activate" the reconstruction of of a unity Palestinian government, reconciliation of Hamas with the PA would see Abbas become president of a more united Palestinian people, instead of just a segment of it in the West Bank.


Jihad official: PLO membership not final
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 23, 2011 - 12:00am


An Islamic Jihad leader said Thursday that joining an "interim leadership framework" of the PLO did not necessarily mean it had formally joined the Palestinian body. Khaled Al-Batsh told Ma’an that joining the organization requires a clear framework for how the PLO will be restructured. He added that if there was an agreement concerning these issues, Islamic Jihad would become a member in the organization. However, if there was no agreement, the group said it was still willing to contribute.


Militant Hamas agrees to join PLO umbrella in key step toward unifying Palestinian leadership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 22, 2011 - 12:00am


CAIRO — Rival Palestinian factions reached a key agreement in Cairo Thursday to admit the Hamas militant group into the Palestine Liberation Organization — the umbrella organization of the Palestinian independence movement that has overseen two decades of on-and-off peace talks with Israel, both sides said.


Hamas: Factions agree on 6 reconciliation steps in Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 21, 2011 - 12:00am


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Wednesday that Palestinian factions have reached agreement on six steps to be taken as part of ongoing reconciliation talks. In a statement received by Ma'an, Barhoum said that a committee composed of nine members has been formed to take charge of elections. The committee will be headed by Dr. Hanna Nasser, chairman of the Palestinian Authority's Central Elections Commission, and former president of Birzeit university.


Poll: Palestinians have doubts about outcome of reconciliation talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) December 19, 2011 - 12:00am


REPORTING FROM RAMALLAH, WEST BANK -– As new reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions get underway in Cairo, including a meeting set for Wednesday between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, a poll suggests there are serious doubts among the Palestinian people about whether the negotiations will succeed. A public opinion poll by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research published Monday found that, regarding the reconciliation efforts, Palestinians are equally divided between believers and skeptics.


Fatah: No elections until unity government formed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 7, 2011 - 12:00am


RAMALLAH -- Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said Wednesday that a unity government must be formed before elections can be held. During a meeting in Cairo on Nov. 24, Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal approved a two-page document saying they would establish a joint government after elections in May 2012. But on Wednesday, al-Ahmad told Voice of Palestine radio: "It is illegal to run elections while we have two governments."



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