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Posts tagged ‘Palestinian Authority’

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

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Israel’s friends at Westminster ‘hijack’ foreign aid debate

Pro-Israel MPs were accused this week of ‘hijacking’ a Westminster debate on UK government foreign aid in order to attack the Palestinian Authority (PA) and smear Israeli human rights groups.

Monday’s debate came in response to an e-petition initiated by The Mail on Sunday, asking the government to “stop spending a fixed 0.7 per cent slice of our national wealth on Foreign Aid.” A handful of MPs, however, used the forum to repeatedly raise the topic of alleged ‘incitement’ and payments to ‘terrorists’ by the PA, a recipient of UK aid money. Read more

49 facts about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

This week marked the 49th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. So here are 49 facts about a military regime that has lasted almost half a century. Read more

Palestine: The Road Ahead

On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well.

The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum dwarfing the campaign coffers of other parties. The money funded “dozens of quick projects…to bolster the governing Fatah faction’s image with voters,” and focused on “constituencies where Hamas was doing well.”

It was money spent in vain. Hamas won 74 of 132 seats in the PLC, while Fatah, the long-dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority (PA), secured just 45. The new parliament was inaugurated on February 18, 2006. Read more

A new intifada? You’re asking the wrong question

Over the last few days, one question has been repeated over and over again: are we witnessing the beginning of a new intifada in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)?

It is understandable that people are asking this: more than 500 Palestinians were injured in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank over 72 hours – a third of whom were shot with live ammunition or rubber-coated metal bullets.

Since last Thursday, four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in different incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The latest fatality was a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, shot and killed by an Israeli soldier in Aida refugee camp in northern Bethlehem on Monday. Read more

Doubts over Abbas’ future highlight wider malaise

Mahmoud Abbas last received the approval of Palestinian voters in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip more than a decade ago. He is now 80 years old, with no vice president, no publicly anointed successor, and no prospect of new elections any time soon.

Last summer was all about Gaza, as Israel unleashed unprecedented violence on the fenced-in enclave. In the West Bank, meanwhile, Israeli forces conducted a clampdown the likes of which had not been seen since the Second Intifada.

This summer, however, with the peace process showing no signs of emerging from its coma, and the occupation’s violence at a relatively low ebb, the focus has been on the intensifying internal political machinations in Ramallah, and in particular, the question mark over Abu Mazen’s presidency. Read more

Does Abbas’s ‘genocide’ speech really signal a change of policy?

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN on September 26, became known for his claim that Israel perpetrated a “genocidal crime” in its attack on Gaza over the summer.

But the distance between rhetoric and reality in Mr Abbas’s speech was gaping. Security “coordination” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel prompted Palestinians in the West Bank over the summer to confront those PA forces trying to prevent them reaching occupation soldiers. Read more

On Palestine, BDS and solidarity in a time of political crisis

At a recent conference on Palestine in Doha, organised by Azmi Bishara’s Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, there was one thing that everyone agreed on: the Palestinian national movement is in a state of crisis with regards to leadership, representation and strategies. How this predicament came about, and what needs to happen to improve this state of affairs, was a topic of debate and divergent views; the basic fact of, as Dr. Bishara put it, the need for a “reformulation of the Palestinian national project” enjoyed a gloomy consensus, however. Read more

Why has there been no ‘Palestinian spring’? One word: Oslo

Ever since the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt began a regional earthquake 18 months ago, commentators have wondered about the absence of a “Palestinian spring”. Attempting to explain this is useful, since it also helps to shed light on key problems with the now-comatose peace process.

To some extent, the question “Why no Palestinian spring?” can be answered with one word: Oslo. The Oslo accords, signed in 1993, established a paradigm where the Palestinian struggle for return and decolonisation was turned into a facade of sovereignty, piecemeal concessions and occupation management. Read more

The problem with Palestinian political leadership

For a few months now, discussion of Palestine/Israel has focused on the looming UN vote on Palestinian statehood, but this is obscuring more fundamental problems in the Palestinian political arena – of which the forthcoming UN vote is a symptom.

In three critical areas, there are significant flaws hampering Palestinian political leadership.

The first is a legitimacy deficit. Both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas have, with the most generous interpretation, a minority mandate from the Palestinian people. The last elections of any sort took place in 2005-2006, and overdue local elections have been indefinitely postponed. And even if presidential or parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza were to take place tomorrow, they would still exclude Palestinian refugees. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) remains a potential vehicle for democratic decision-making, but serious reform is still not on the horizon. Read more