Archive for the ‘Abbas’ Category

Israel Hits Gaza With Airstrike As Troubles Simmer

February 2, 2009

Palestinian medical officials say two people have been wounded by an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses say the men were wounded while traveling in a car in Rafah, a town near the Egyptian border. Their conditions and identities weren’t immediately known.

Monday’s airstrike comes in response to recent rocket attacks on southern Israel. Israel often targets Rafah because it is the site of a brisk smuggling industry.

Israel recently ended a three-week offensive meant to halt rocket attacks on Israel and end weapons smuggling into Gaza.

The Israeli army had no comment on the reported airstrike.

–Associated Press


The incident shows the continuing and festering troubles that are an ever-present undercurrent in the region…

Israeli’s prime minister threatened “harsh and disproportionate” retaliation after Gaza militants fired at least 10 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel on Sunday, wounding three people and raising the risk of fresh violence days ahead of elections.

More Rockets Hit Israel, “Disproportionate” Response Threatened
Abbas Says He Runs Gaza, Not Hamas

Hamas Boss Praises Iran’s Help in Gaza ‘Victory,’ Meets Ahmadinejad

Israel urges Turkey to rethink its ties with Hamas and Iran

Abbas Says He Runs Gaza, Not Hamas

February 2, 2009

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that he will not hold reconciliation talks with the rival Hamas group unless it accepts his authority.

That may not be easy as Hamas is the elected government of Gaza.

And the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, directly challenged the Palestinian Authority president’s power Wednesday, saying the group of Palestinian factions led by Abbas – known as the PLO – “in its current state is no authority.”

Today Abbas discussed the matter with Egypt’s President Mubarak in Cairo.

Hamas also has a group of diplomats in Cairo today to discuss the cease fire with Israel.

Jerusalem Post:


Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) talks with Palestinian ... 
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal during their meeting in Cairo February 2, 2009. Abbas on Sunday ruled out dialogue with Hamas unless it recognises the supremacy of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), deepening the split between the two main Palestinian groups.REUTERS/Amr Dalsh (EGYPT)

Palestinian President Abbas weakened by Gaza war

January 12, 2009

Mahmoud Abbas hasn’t been in this much trouble with his people in four years as Palestinian president. Never very popular, he is widely dismissed here as ineffective and now he seems to have misread popular sentiment regarding Israel’s war on his Hamas rivals in Gaza.


In this photo released by the Jordan Royal Palace, King Abdullah ... 
In this photo released by the Jordan Royal Palace, King Abdullah II of Jordan, right, receives Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009.(AP Photo/Jordan Royal Palace, Yousef Allan)

With continued international support, the Western-backed moderate will likely be able to stay on, despite Hamas’ insistence that his presidency ended Friday. But his declining popularity at home does not bode well for the inevitable next round in the battle between Islamic militants and Palestinian moderates seeking a peace deal with Israel.

At the start of Israel’s offensive, Abbas, widely known as Abu Mazen, said the territory’s Hamas rulers were at least partly to blame, because they provoked Israel with constant rocket fire.

Many West Bankers, even those who oppose Hamas’ violent ideology, view the war in Gaza as an assault on all Palestinians. Israel says it’s targeting Hamas strongholds in Gaza, but hundreds of civilians have also been killed. In West Bank homes, TVs are obsessively tuned to Arab satellite stations which run the brutal pictures of Gaza’s dead and wounded that Western audiences are less exposed to.

“When it comes to Israel, we are all Hamas,” said Nablus resident, Hanan Izzat, 42.

Abbas has since hardened his tone toward Israel, describing the unprecedented bombing from air, land and sea as “brutal aggression.”

However, in recent meetings with advisers and Palestinian activists, he rejected more dramatic steps, participants said. Ideas raised included halting security coordination with Israel, suspending already dormant peace talks or releasing hundreds of Hamas security prisoners as a goodwill gesture.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Can He Regain Gaza?

January 5, 2009

With Hamas weakened by Israel‘s Gaza offensive, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to regain a foothold in the territory he lost to the Islamic militants in 2007.

Abbas is backing international efforts to end the violence, particularly an Egyptian proposal to deploy his forces on Gaza’s borders, along with other monitors. Yet he’s lost points at home for not displaying more sympathy for battered Gazans and for being perceived as too soft on Israel.

By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a PLO Executive ... 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a PLO Executive Committee meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a rival of Hamas who governs from the West Bank, condemned the Israeli invasion to the Gaza Strip as ‘brutal aggression.’ (AP Photo/Fadi Arouri, Pool)

It’s not clear whether Hamas has been weakened enough by Israel’s air and ground attacks to even consider relinquishing some power to Abbas in Gaza. Before the operation, the rivals were on a collision course, with Hamas saying Abbas’ four-year term ends Friday and that it will not recognize him after that.

Abbas is heading to the United Nations in New York on Monday, after meetings with the French president and top European diplomats in the West Bank, to lobby for a ….

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