In a diplomatic surprise, the Palestinians have threatened to turn to the International Criminal Court if no date is set for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders – a move that +972 writers predicted more than a year ago. The PLO will demand that the UN Security Council announce a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, to the 1967 ceasefire lines, reported Haaretz today. Ma’an News Agency writes that Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah figure and veteran negotiator, has said the bid will be submitted on September 15, 2014. If it is not accepted, he told Ma’an…Read More... | 6 Comments
Those who spot an existential threat at every turn, turn their backs on diplomacy and mock peace efforts are now astonished to find that the enemy has sought out their own weapons of attack. The tunnels are a self-fulfilling prophecy; the time has come to look for another way. By Nir Baram It is heartrending and frustrating to see us, citizens of a country full of accomplishment and potential, repeatedly stupefied by a cynical propaganda machine whose real intent is simply inaction. What is meant by “inaction”? To avoid putting forth any solution, to not present any creative initiative or…Read More... | 20 Comments
Israeli incursions in the West Bank are the largest since the Second Intifada, while airstrikes over Gaza continue for a fifth consecutive night. "The 'party' tonight is lasting longer than usual," says my friend from Gaza. He recently married, and he and his wife moved to the top floor of an apartment building with panoramic views of Gaza City. For the last five nights, those views have given him a reporter's vantage point on a sustained Israeli bombing campaign - the longest since Operation Pillar of Defense, the nine-day attack on the 25-mile-long strip in November of 2012. At the…Read More... | 32 Comments
The Islamic group has good reason to believe that violence will work for it, and maybe even set the stage for diplomatic engagement with Israel: it has in the past, both for itself and the PLO. It is ironic that Israel rushed to point to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens as the reason it cannot negotiate with a Palestinian leadership affiliated with Hamas. Indeed, in the wake of the kidnapping -- regardless of the outcome -- Israel will very likely use the event as an excuse to stay away from the already comatose peace talks with the Mahmoud Abbas’s…Read More... | 7 Comments
Hamas could be moderated by entering the mainstream, internationally acceptable Palestinian government. Or it could follow the Hezbollah model and slowly reverse Abbas's legacy. The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation is either the end of days, or the dawn over new horizons. The deal is so confusing because it might mean one thing – or else the opposite. Here are some of the polarized possible outcomes: 1. Fatah will become one with terrorists, OR terrorists were just co-opted by a more moderate political leadership. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Liberman look at this as Hamas spreading its terrorist stain over Palestinian politics.…Read More... | 18 Comments
Swearing in of technocratic government is a first step in ending a seven-year rift between Hamas and Fatah. Israel takes punitive measures against the inclusion of Hamas. A technocratic Palestinian unity government was sworn in on Monday, a first step toward ending a seven-year rift between rival factions Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, respectively. The government is by design temporary until new Palestinian elections can be held and Hamas is included in the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Israel was expected to adopt punitive measures against the Palestinians in response to the inclusion of Hamas, which it…Read More... | 4 Comments
The makeup and formation of a technocratic unity government could be announced within days, or as soon as Egypt's elections are finalized, Palestinian officials tell +972. Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed on the formation of a unity government in accordance with the reconciliation deal reached last month, a number of Palestinian officials told +972 Magazine on Wednesday. An official announcement about the formation of the government is expected in the coming days or as soon as Thursday. The announcement is being delayed until the results of Egypt’s presidential elections are published, along with a few final disagreements about appointments…Read More... | 1 Comment
Time and again, Hamas’ willingness to abide by ceasefires with Israel has been driven by political considerations, mostly vis-a-vis its participation in the Palestinian Authority and PLO. By Moriel Rothman There are few skills more crucial for understanding the Palestinian-Israeli landscape than the ability to differentiate between rhetoric and reality. For example: The Netanyahu government is committed to reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians: rhetoric or reality? Or another example, made increasingly relevant over the last few days with the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation-deal: Hamas is Islamically committed to destroying Israel and thus unable to make political compromise. Rhetoric or reality?…Read More...
He needs the world to win independence for his nation, and in the eyes of the world, Hamas, with whom he just joined forces, is anathema. I’m truly hoping that there’s some deep strategic genius on Mahmoud Abbas’ part that I’m missing here, because I keep turning it around and I can’t escape the impression that he has shot the cause of Palestinian independence in the foot by signing a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. And just when the Palestinians seemed ready to go on the march. The world, including even Washington, blames Israel for the failure of the Kerry peace…Read More... | 86 Comments
Unlike previous efforts, the current Palestinian reconciliation agreement appears to have been cemented from within; and it might just offer a lifeline to Gaza. By Samer Badawi Just as word emerged early Wednesday of an imminent unity accord between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seized upon the news to issue his Palestinian counterpart an ultimatum: Make peace with Hamas, and you can forget about peace with Israel. In lockstep, Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman immediately dubbed any intra-Palestinian reconciliation a veritable “termination of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” If that was a…Read More... | 25 Comments
It’s hard to think of more divisive activities in Palestinian society today. Regardless of whether one agrees with his actions, it is exceedingly rare to see someone publicly buck the fiercely dominant trends in Palestinian discourse. For nearly 40 years, Mohammed Dajani Daoudi has felt that something was wrong with Palestinian politics. In 1975, while studying at the American University at Beirut (“doing everything except studying”), he was deported to Syria for political activities. Fatah operatives supplied him with a fake passport to get back. But they mistakenly put a Syrian exit stamp into the passport rather than an entry…Read More... | 1 Comment
What does the possibly-revived peace process John Kerry announced on Friday have going for it? - “Diplomatic Tsunami” – a catch-phrase that stands for high-level global isolation of Israel as punishment for its policies is the great fear on everyone’s mind in Israel this week. Israel is smarting from a recent spate of symbolic blows highlighting international opprobrium in new and painful ways: Stephen Hawking refusing to attend the President’s conference, and the new EU guidelines are two very significant examples of very mainstream figures increasingly putting actions behind words Israel has come to ignore. - Palestinian power play. The…Read More... | 11 Comments
An interview with a key Hamas figure in al-Monitor published Friday explores a pragmatic potential and a shift in tactics for the movement. ‘Pragmatic’ is certainly the word interviewer Shlomi Eldar, one of Israel’s top television reporters covering Palestinian affairs, wants readers to remember. His subject is Dr. Ghazi Hamad, currently Deputy Foreign Minister of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, heads the “pragmatic wing” of Hamas and the interview is all about the changes of policy, external relations, and possibly even ideology. Three specific points are worth noting, two internal and one related to Israel: First, in the context of…Read More... | 36 Comments
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