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Posts tagged ‘Hamas’

What does Israel’s election mean for Palestinian factions?

Days in advance of Israel‘s second election in six months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life.

The long-serving leader faces potential indictments in three corruption cases, while his right-wing Likud party has failed to open up a significant gap in the opinion polls ahead of its biggest rival, the Blue and White party, headed by former military chief Benny Gantz. Read more

Will western governments push back against Israel’s assault on civil society?

In recent years, a crackdown by Israeli authorities on human rights NGOs – particularly those focused on Palestinian rights – has caused considerable concern internationally, attracting attention in both the media and at the governmental level.

Yet, perhaps the most egregious case of Israel’s targeting of the humanitarian sector has been taking place over the last three years with almost zero coverage.

In June 2016, Israeli authorities arrested Mohammed Halabi at the Gaza Strip’s Erez crossing. Halabi, a father of five, was working as the Gaza director for the international humanitarian NGO World Vision, and was returning from a meeting in Jerusalem at the time of his arrest. Read more

Gaza: Isolation and control

This summer marks an important but often overlooked anniversary in the history of the Gaza Strip. Thirty years ago, in June 1989, Israel imposed for the first time a magnetic-card system to restrict the exit of Palestinian residents. Anyone denied a card would be prevented from leaving.

While Israel‘s blockade of Gaza is often seen to have originated in 2006-2007 as a response to Hamas’s rise to power, the isolation of the enclave in fact goes back three decades – and for many analysts, this historical perspective is essential for understanding today’s developments. Read more

Israel’s alleged impersonation of Gaza aid workers raises concern

Since the exposure of Israeli undercover forces by Hamas fighters in the occupied Gaza Strip on November 11, an incident that triggered the most intense round of escalation since 2014, a number of reports have emerged about the circumstances surrounding Israel’s thwarted raid.

On November 22, Hamas published photos of individuals it said were involved, images that Israel’s military censor immediately subjected to a publication ban. Read more

Analysis: What does Gaza escalation mean for appetite for calm?

As recently as Sunday morning, all signs pointed to a longer-term truce taking hold between Israel and Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

But only a four hours later, that prospect seemed far more distant.

On Sunday evening, the Israeli army launched a secret operation in the coastal enclave that killed seven Palestinians, including a senior commander of the armed wing of Hamas, the group administering the Strip, as well as one of its soldiers. Read more

Can Hamas walk the fine line between deterrence and escalation?

More than a month has passed since the last significant exchange of fire between the Israeli military and Palestinian factions in the occupied Gaza Strip.

Thus, despite a number of significant and deadly flare-ups, the summer passed without a new large-scale Israeli assault on the blockaded territory materialising.

While Israeli military strategy has long relied on deterrence – the idea that short, sharp shocks to enemy forces and civilian population will secure periods of “quiet” – events this summer beg the question whether Hamas and other factions in Gaza have established their own deterrence. Read more

Gaza: Will the next war be the last?

In a recent, controversial interview with Al-Quds newspaper, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed that the next war on the Gaza Strip would be the last. Was this just bluster, or does it represent a shift in Israeli strategy towards Gaza and Hamas?

Analysts are divided. “No one has a clear-cut answer about this,” Adnan Abu-Amer, political commentator and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Gaza’s Al-Ummah University, told Al Jazeera. But if there is a war, he continued, “it will be fiercer than ever, and Israel won’t let it last 51 days”. Read more

Why is Israel tightening the Gaza blockade?

Let us begin with the facts: Israeli authorities have, over the course of the last year, tightened the long-standing blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Even before these more recent restrictions, the Israeli blockade – an illegal policy of collective punishment in the words of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – was continuing to severely harm the lives of Gaza’s two million residents, furthering the enclave’s de-development. Read more

Is Israel gearing up for another offensive in Gaza?

More than two years have passed since the conclusion of ‘Operation Protective Edge’, Israel’s most recent, and most devastating, offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Superficially, things remain calm – but disturbing developments in recent months suggest that the Israeli government may be preparing for a renewed – and even more brutal – attack on the enclave.

There are three clearly identifiable trends in terms of a shift in Israeli policy towards Gaza. Read more

Palestinian vote suspended amid deep divisions

Exactly one month before the long-awaited local elections were set to take place across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian high court in Ramallah suspended the vote – and it is now unclear whether polling will go ahead at all.

The October 8 vote was meant to elect local councils in more than 400 cities and towns across the occupied Palestinian territories. Thursday’s ruling does not definitively cancel the polls, with the court announcing a further hearing for September 21. Read more