Fatah-Hamas Honeymoon Could Face Problems

RAMALLAH—Despite the euphoria surrounding the recent signing in Cairo of the groundbreaking unity accord between Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas, ending their four-year feud, numerous obstacles remain that could impinge on the implementation of a unity government. The Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Islamist movement Hamas still have to overcome mutual suspicion, significant differences … Continue reading “Fatah-Hamas Honeymoon Could Face Problems”

Israel Should Applaud Fatah-Hamas Deal

In one word: Bravo! The news about the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas is good for peace. If the final difficulties are ironed out and a full agreement is signed by the two leaders, it will be a huge step forward for the Palestinians—and for us. There is no sense in making peace with … Continue reading “Israel Should Applaud Fatah-Hamas Deal”

War Clouds Back Over Gaza

RAMALLAH – After several days of intense violence, during which 19 Palestinians were killed and one Israeli wounded, a fragile calm has returned to Gaza. But political commentators argue that this could well be a precursor to Israel’s next war on the coastal territory. During the last week the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a … Continue reading “War Clouds Back Over Gaza”

Palestinian Revolution by Default

RAMALLAH – The Egyptian revolution, and the threat to autocratic Arab regimes all over the region, have forced rapid changes on the Palestinian political scene – with major players Hamas and Fatah scrambling to catch up. "We’ve reached the point of no return. A Palestinian state is in the making," Samir Awad, from Birzeit University … Continue reading “Palestinian Revolution by Default”

Israeli-Palestinian Accommodation: A Circle Not Easily Squared

JERUSALEM – Security first or borders first: security says Israel, borders retort the Palestinians. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are finally again getting under way. Israel, though, remains adamant that the only chance the talks have to make headway is for its security concerns to be satisfactorily addressed. A report by an international think-tank propitiously timed for … Continue reading “Israeli-Palestinian Accommodation: A Circle Not Easily Squared”

Palestinian Authority Has Its Back to the Wall

BANI NAIM, Occupied West Bank – The village of Bani Naim, near Hebron in the southern West Bank, was under curfew and sealed off by Israeli soldiers stationed in troop carriers and jeeps, as peace talks continued in Washington. The only way IPS was able to enter was by taking a circuitous route over a … Continue reading “Palestinian Authority Has Its Back to the Wall”

Palestinian Patients Suffer From Hamas-Fatah Rivalry

RAMALLAH – Cancer patient Ahmed Abu Fuad needs chemotherapy to survive. Muhammad Subeh needs an eye transplant, while paramedic Alaa Sarhan desperately needs surgery to remove shrapnel from his body. But these Gazans are unable to leave the area to seek the required medical treatment elsewhere, and it is not because of the Israeli siege. … Continue reading “Palestinian Patients Suffer From Hamas-Fatah Rivalry”

Two Sit-Ins

At this moment, two sit-ins are taking place in Jerusalem, two kilometers apart. In West Jerusalem, the Shalit family is sitting in a protest tent in front of the prime minister’s residence, swearing to remain there until the return of their son. In East Jerusalem, three members of the Palestinian parliament are holed up in … Continue reading “Two Sit-Ins”

‘Mediterranean Intifada’ Helping Hamas

CAIRO – Israel’s deadly assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last month has led to mounting international pressure to end the ongoing Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. The incident, say local analysts, has also served to bolster the position of Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007. "Israel’s … Continue reading “‘Mediterranean Intifada’ Helping Hamas”

Shalit Debacle Shows Netanyahu’s Incompetence

I am composing these lines while looking through the window at the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and thinking about the young man who is being held not far from this sea, a few dozen kilometers from here. Can Gilad Shalit look out on the same sea through his window? Does he even have … Continue reading “Shalit Debacle Shows Netanyahu’s Incompetence”