The announcement this week of a new Palestinian unity government was greeted with cautious optimism by most of the world, outside of Israel. In the United States, however, it set off political rumblings that threaten to swell into a storm.
The formation of a new Palestinian government between Fatah and Hamas announced on Monday is an important station on the path to reconciliation, “but there still many stations to be reached before achieving real unity based on partnership among all Palestinians.”
The United States' decision to "work with" the new Palestinian government has virtually isolated Israel: the only country so far to have publicly rejected the political alliance between Fatah and Hamas.
The nascent move for reconciliation between the Fatah party in the West Bank and Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip could change the balance in the Middle East – if it were to proceed and deliver as promised.
The recently restarted talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are the only peaceful political activity amidst ongoing violence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world.
There is a real opportunity for peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians, even though the obstacles are more formidable than in the past. That was the assessment of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, speaking Monday at a public event which posed the question “Can the Two-State Solution Be Saved?”
Mohammed Assaf is on to a winning track with recordings in Dubai and performances scheduled across Arab countries after winning the Arab Idol contest. But the 23-year-old who has become Gaza’s pride is virtually disowned by the government in Gaza.
While the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip hasn’t been so quiet for the past two decades, it’s now the turn of the occupied West Bank to show signs of eruption.
A new Palestinian group called the National Union Battalions (NUB), comprising Palestinians from across the political spectrum, has called for a third Palestinian uprising or Intifada. Simultaneously, Israeli intelligence is warning that conditions on the ground in the West Bank are ripe for another Palestinian revolt.
The Islamist party Hamas had been losing support as a result of economic difficulties and factional fighting. Today Hamas is popular again, heralded for its retaliation in Israel’s latest military assault on the Gaza Strip.
After successfully upgrading their status at the United Nations, and securing what has been locally deemed a victory in eight days of fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Palestinians are taking on their next difficult challenge: bridging the long-standing rift between the major Palestinian political factions.
As the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas seems to be holding, many are hoping that one of the agreement’s main points – the easing of restrictions on people and goods coming in and out of the Gaza Strip – signals a new era for the besieged Palestinian territory.
The reaction of post-revolution Egypt to Israel's weeklong onslaught on the next-door Gaza Strip – brought to a halt temporarily at least by a Wednesday night ceasefire – has contrasted sharply with the former regime's callous approach to the besieged coastal enclave.
The ceasefire has brought extremities in Gaza. In the morning the coastal territory woke up bashed and bloody from one of Israel’s most intensive nights of bombardment since a week’s tit for tat violence broke out between Hamas and Israel. By late morning the coastal strip was ghostly quiet, gripped with fear as people stayed indoors awaiting the inevitable retaliation from Israel for a bus bombing carried out in Tel Aviv by Palestinian extremists. But as night fell thousands of Gazans took to the streets in joyful celebration in what they see as victory over Israel.
As people anxiously wait to see if the newly-signed ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas will hold, local and international human rights groups are calling for investigations into Israeli human rights abuses committed during its eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, including flagrant attacks on journalists.
Fouad Hijazi was watching the 7 p.m. news with his wife and eight children when a missile fired by an Israeli F-16 hit their house in Jabalyia refugee camp, Gaza’s most densely populated area.
Hundreds of Palestinians marched through Ramallah Tuesday afternoon to mourn the death of a Palestinian protester who was fatally wounded during a demonstration against the ongoing Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.
Dozens of Israeli tanks slowly made their way south on the back of flatbed trucks along Israel’s Road 6 highway Sunday. Emblazoned with Stars of David and Hebrew letters, and carrying frayed Israeli flags, the movement of these tanks has left many believing that Israel will soon launch a large-scale ground operation into the Gaza Strip.
Four days into Israel’s fierce assault on Hamas in Gaza, the ongoing operation looks on the surface a remake of the Gaza War of 2008-9 – with one unanswered distinction: whether it is aimed at completing what the previous onslaught didn’t achieve – the removal of the Palestinian Islamic movement from power once and for all.
As Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip enters its second day, Palestinians fear that this is only the beginning of another widespread Israeli offensive into the besieged Palestinian territory that would leave them nowhere to hide.
Sudan has accused Israel of bombing a military arms factory, threatening retaliation after a resulting fire killed two people and injured a third.