Khader Adnan and Hana al Shalabi have reinvigorated resistance and raised the long-flagging morale of people on the streets. This is a dramatic testament to the adage that change can only come from below --- so maybe it's time we stop looking to the top.
Entries in Hamas (87)
What is distinctive about Netanyahu's invocation of the “Iranian threat” now?
This is not just a tactical manoeuvre against Kadima, the rival to Netayahu's party Likud, ahead of elections. It is also the device to bypass serious and difficult negotiations, especially on the "peace process" with the Palestinians.
And with recent developments, Benjamin Netanyahu might need "strength" and Iran more than ever.
Iran Feature: Explaining the Israeli "War Talk" --- Look to the Domestic Politics...And Who Wins (Zilber)
Israeli posturing is for the benefit of the international community, to increase pressure on Iran. The only difference this time is the heightened intensity of the internal debate within the Israeli security establishment, which is leaking out in torrents.
The benefits to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak of this media campaign are immense, and are not just limited to the upcoming International Atomic Energy Agency report and potential UN Security Council action
UPDATE 1445 GMT: Al Jazeera English has updated on developments, including details of the 477 Palestinians --- the first of two sets of detainees to be released --- who were freed today:
In Israel, 96 Palestinian prisoners left the Ketziot prison, bound for the Ofer military camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah, public radio reported early on Tuesday morning.
Another 334 were transferred to the Kerem Shalom crossing, at the southern-most point of the Israel-Gaza border. The first prisoners were dressed in civilian clothes, with their hands and feet manacled, the radio report said.
A convoy of vehicles left the Israeli Katsiout prison in Naqab, near the Egyptian border, before dawn on Tuesday. Vehicles carrying female prisoners also left HaSharon Prison in central Israel.
At the Beituniya border crossing, a "great sense of excitement" quickly evaporated after a last-minute change of plans meant that prisoners would not be brought in through the checkpoint to meet their families, Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reported.
After the announcement, the assembled crowd threw stones at the Israeli border post, prompting them to retaliate with tear gas and water cannon.
In July, we speculated that --- given the Palestinian application for United Nations recognition, deadlocked negotiations, and collapsed diplomatic manoeuvres ---the Obama Administration might acknowledge Hamas behind closed doors, give Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas a guarantee that Ramallah will never need to recognise a “Jewish state”, and promise a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in a year. None of that has happened; however, we also noted htat “a sign can be given to Netanyahu that he can be a peace-making hero ahead of Israeli elections. How? The release of Gilad Shalit, the detained Israel soldier, by Hamas.”
In a week when Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to punish Turkey by supporting the Kurdish insurgency PKK, this document, released by WikiLeaks, is a useful reminder of public illusions and private politics --- even as Israel criticised Ankara's acceptance of Hamas as a legitimate political force, it was trying to take advantage of Turkey's relationship with the Gazan leadership.
A month after an unusual terror attack killed eight Israelis along a desert highway approaching the Red Sea, the incident remains shrouded in mystery, especially in Gaza, where Israeli officials insist the complex, military-style attack was orchestrated but where no group has taken responsibility. "Usually the problem is more than one group takes credit after a successful operation," says Taheri Al-Nunu, a spokesman for Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza. Hamas had immediately denied knowledge of the attack, and hurriedly surveyed the other militant groups operating in the enclave. "All of them denied it."
Among them was the Popular Resistance Committees, the group Israel almost immediately blamed for the attack, and promptly launched what it called a reprisal strike. Before the fighting was finished in the desert outside the resort city of Eilat, a missile from an Israeli drone exploded outside a house in Rafah, near the Egyptian border. The PRC's top commander and two aides were killed, as well as a two-year-old child.
Hamas appears fragile and divided over its actions, nearing a possible September vote in the United Nations General Assembly on recognition of a Palestinian state. But Hamas also showed once again --- despite its weakness and division --- that it exists in the Gaza Strip and that Israel has to negotiate with it if West Jerusalem wants order in the south of the country. The immediate escalation after the bus attack increased Hamas's bargaining powerwith Israel, Egypt and, indirectly, with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Israel-Gaza Latest: Airstrikes Kill 6+ Palestinians, 2 Egypt Soldiers after Border Attack Slays 8 Israelis (Al Jazeera English)
UPDATE 1025 GMT: Israeli officials say one person has been seriously injured and others hurt in the Israeli town of Ashdod by a rocket, one of 12 fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
Israeli reports said rockets were fired at Ashkelon, Beersheva, Kiryat Gat, and Ashdod.
Al Jazeera English summarises a deadly Thursday:
Israeli aircraft have struck Hamas security installations in Gaza, killing at least six Palestinians, in further retaliation for attacks along the Egyptian border in which eight Israelis died.
This time, Washington has to bring something more than Obama’s speech, with more flexibility for the European Union initiative, to the table. One possibility? Acknowledging Hamas behind closed doors, giving Abbas a guarantee that Ramallah will never need to recognise a “Jewish state”, and promising a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in a year.
At the same time, a sign can be given to Prime Minister Netanyahu that he can be a peace-making hero ahead of Israeli elections. How? The release of Gilad Shalit, the detained Israel soldier, by Hamas.
And if this is not pursued? Well, get ready for the September display at the United Nations.