Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Hamas’

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

Advertisements

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

Increased Israeli attacks on civilians in Gaza endanger two-year-old ceasefire

Israeli forces markedly increased their attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during the second quarter of 2016, United Nations (UN) data has revealed, with concerns that such violence endangers the viability of the ceasefire that ended ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in 2014.

During the period April-June, there were an average of more than 90 shooting incidents per month by Israeli forces in Gaza’s so-called access restricted areas (ARA) – some 60 on land, and 30 at sea. This is more than double the equivalent average figures for the last six months of 2015. Read more

Israel under scrutiny, as secret trial of international NGO official begins

A senior Gaza-based employee of US-headquartered charity World Vision appeared in an Israeli court on Tuesday, charged with numerous counts of ‘supporting terrorism’.

According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet), Mohammad al-Halabi infiltrated the charity on behalf of Hamas, redirecting tens of millions of dollars to Al-Qassam Brigades over many years.

But to the consternation of Halabi’s lawyer, family, and colleagues, as well as diplomats and human rights workers, the trial – which reconvenes in October – is being conducted entirely in secret. Read more

Israeli escalation in Gaza seeks to ‘change equation’ – but at what cost?

Late on Sunday night, the Israeli Air Force launched dozens of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip – as many as 50, according to an official source – after a single rocket had struck Sderot earlier in the day, causing no damage or injuries.

The airstrikes, which primarily struck sites used by Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), constituted, in the words of one analyst, a “deliberate escalation” by Israeli authorities. Read more

Has Hamas Reached A Dead End?

In Gaza, the movement is strapped for cash, as the territory’s residents continue to suffer under Israel’s illegal blockade.

The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2016 stood at 41.2 percent, while 80 percent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

The Egyptians, meanwhile, are keeping the Rafah crossing almost entirely shut, and have cracked down on the cross-border tunnels that were a major boost to Gaza’s economy. Read more

Gaza NGO arrests are about the Israeli blockade, not aid or Hamas

In recent days, Israeli authorities have announced charges against two, Gaza-based employees of international NGOs – one from World Vision, one from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Each individual faces accusations of varying degrees of assisting Hamas.

Many have expressed scepticism about the charges, particularly given the lack of due process. Mohammed Halabi, for example, was detained without charge for 50 days and alleges that he was tortured by Shin Bet officials during his interrogation. He was also denied access to a lawyer for three weeks. Read more