Advantage Hamas After Flotilla Fiasco

RAMALLAH — Israel may allow soft drinks, juice, canned fruit, salads, biscuits, and potato chips into the Gaza Strip from next week. What should be an unremarkable event is making news headlines and portends unseen consequences. After four years of a crippling Israeli blockade, which has reduced the poverty-stricken territory to a humanitarian basket-case, the … Continue reading “Advantage Hamas After Flotilla Fiasco”

Hamas Demolishes Palestinian Homes

RAMALLAH – On Sunday approximately 150 Palestinians from 20 families were driven out of their homes in Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip, by heavily armed police and soldiers who menaced them with clubs. The difference this time was that it was not the Israeli Defense Forces carrying out evictions and demolitions but Hamas security … Continue reading “Hamas Demolishes Palestinian Homes”

Egypt, Hamas Complicit in Israel’s Gaza Blockade

RAMALLAH — A convoy of boats laden with humanitarian goods and accompanied by hundreds of journalists, human rights activists and European parliamentarians, is due to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza at the end of May. The Free Gaza movement’s "Freedom Flotilla" will see three cargo ships and five passenger boats with about 600 people … Continue reading “Egypt, Hamas Complicit in Israel’s Gaza Blockade”

Dubai Hit Exposes Hamas’ Weaknesses

RAMALLAH – Hamas has closed ranks and is licking its wounds following the Jan. 20 assassination in Dubai of one of its top operatives, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It is alleged that one of its own was responsible for providing the hit team with vital logistical information. Dubai’s chief of police, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, on … Continue reading “Dubai Hit Exposes Hamas’ Weaknesses”

‘Hamas Accepts Existence of Israel Within 1967 Borders’

Mel Frykberg interviews MAHMOUDI RAMAHI, secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council RAMALLAH – Palestinian politics are at an impasse. The four-year term of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) ended on Jan. 25 with no new elections planned. Presidential elections, meant to be held last year, were also postponed indefinitely. IPS spoke with Dr. Mahmoud Ramahi, … Continue reading “‘Hamas Accepts Existence of Israel Within 1967 Borders’”

Gaza Extremists Drifting Toward al-Qaeda?

RAMALLAH – Two separate bomb attacks on Internet cafes in Gaza last week have served as an uncomfortable reminder that extremist groups within the coastal territory may be stronger than the moderate Hamas organization that rules the strip. The attacks in Khan Yunis preceded a warning in a study, due to be released this week … Continue reading “Gaza Extremists Drifting Toward al-Qaeda?”

Cast Lead 2

Did we win? Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Gaza War, alias Operation Cast Lead, and this question fills the public space. Within the Israeli consensus, the answer has already been given: Certainly we won; the Qassams have stopped coming. A simple, not to say primitive, answer. But that is how it looks to … Continue reading “Cast Lead 2”

Rift Developing Between PA and Fatah

RAMALLAH – An increasingly isolated and unpopular Palestinian Authority (PA) has again made a 180-degree turn in the Goldstone report fiasco as it tries to fend off mounting criticism from all and sundry, including its own organization. On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did a complete about-face over UN-appointed Justice Richard Goldstone’s controversial report on … Continue reading “Rift Developing Between PA and Fatah”

The Betrayal of Gilad Shalit

  Saturday was the 1,196th day in captivity for the soldier Gilad Shalit. A prisoner of war must not be left in captivity. A wounded soldier must not be left in the field. The state signs an unwritten contract with every person who joins the army, and most definitely with everyone who serves in a … Continue reading “The Betrayal of Gilad Shalit”

Embattled Hamas Shows its Moderate Face

RAMALLAH – The Islamic resistance movement Hamas’s rule of Gaza is facing protracted political and military opposition from within Gaza, other Palestinian territories and abroad. On Saturday a guerrilla group put down the fiercest military challenge to Hamas rule since it took over the coastal territory in the June 2007 coup when it overthrew a … Continue reading “Embattled Hamas Shows its Moderate Face”