June 14, 2013 |
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A refugee from Syria recently opened a bakery here, drawing long lines of customers eager to taste meat and cheese pastries with the special flavors of Damascus - a rare bright spot in the long shadow that the Syrian civil war is casting over the Gaza Strip. The conflict in Syria, about 190 miles away, is increasingly hurting Hamas-ruled Gaza financially, according to several officials in the Islamic militant group and in Islamic charities. They say Iran, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a former major financial backer of Hamas, has reduced monthly cash transfers because Hamas refuses to side with the Syrian regime.
May 30, 2013 |
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip - Arab Idol is an over-the-top TV ratings smash in the Middle East, and a young crooner from a Palestinian refugee family, whom admirers have nicknamed "the Rocket," is stealing the show. The surprise breakout of the second season is a 23-year-old Gaza Strip resident named Mohammed Assaf, whose patriotic folk songs and romantic ballads - with their themes of grit, longing, and love - have propelled him into the final rounds. "I think this shows the world there are many normal people in Gaza, that Gaza is not just this place of terrorists and criminals but nice people," said Ala'a Nabrees, 22, a longtime friend.
May 29, 2013 |
If all you know, or think you know, of Alice Walker is The Color Purple - either the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel or the 1985 Steven Spielberg film - it might be time to find out what she's been up to since. Not that she's been hiding or kicking back. Walker, who will read from her work at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Free Library of Philadelphia, has two books out at once: The Cushion in the Road (New Press, 366 pp., $26.95), a collection of essays, reviews, public letters, and opinion pieces; and The World Will Follow Joy (New Press, 192 pp., $21.95)
May 1, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - A Palestinian stabbed a Jewish settler to death in the West Bank on Tuesday - the first fatal attack on an Israeli there in more than a year - and the killing triggered retaliatory violence in both the West Bank and Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli air strike killed an Islamist extremist who allegedly was involved in the recent firing of rockets from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula toward the southern Israeli city of Eilat. The air strike was the first targeted killing in Gaza by Israel since a November cease-fire ended eight days of cross-border fighting.
April 8, 2013 |
When Secretary of State John Kerry revisits Israel and the West Bank this week, he's unlikely to talk about what really needs discussing: What will Israel and the Palestinians do once the two-state solution dies? No one wants to discuss such a grim prospect, let alone admit that the peace process is over. Such an admission would have earthshaking repercussions not only for the Palestinians and Israelis, but for Washington and the entire Mideast. So the pretense continues that peace talks can be revived.
April 3, 2013 |
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Starting with the new school year in September, Gaza boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side. Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age 9, enshrines common practice. But women's activists warned Tuesday that it's another step in what it sees as the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza's 1.7 million people. The Gaza rules appear harsh compared to Western practice but are not unusual in parts of the Arab and Muslim world.
December 30, 2012 |
EL-ARISH, Egypt - Thousands of tons of building materials such as cement and steel began crossing into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said, temporarily easing a five-year-old blockade on the coastal territory. An Egyptian security official said the shipment was made in consultation with Israeli officials, who were in Cairo on Thursday to discuss security in the Sinai Peninsula and the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreed upon by Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel last month.
November 27, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly quit politics Monday, potentially robbing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a key ally who enabled his hard-line government to present a moderate face to the world. Barring another comeback by the mercurial former general, Barak's departure marked an end to a distinguished and tumultuous career that spanned half a century. It began on a communal farm, led to military greatness and business success and a mixed record in politics that was highlighted by failed peacemaking efforts during a brief term as prime minister.
November 27, 2012
Why was there an Israel-Gaza war in the first place? Resistance to the occupation, say Hamas and many in the media. What occupation? Seven years ago, in front of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza. It dismantled every settlement, withdrew every soldier, evacuated every Jew, leaving nothing and no one behind. Except for the greenhouses in which the settlers had grown fruit and flowers for export. These were left intact to help Gaza's economy - only to be trashed when the Palestinians took over.
November 26, 2012 |
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A leading Islamic cleric in the Gaza Strip has ruled it a sin to violate the recent cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas militant group that governs the Palestinian territory - according a religious legitimacy to the truce and giving the Gaza government strong backing to enforce it. The fatwa, or religious edict, was issued late Saturday by Suleiman al-Daya, a cleric respected by both ultra-conservative Salafis and Hamas....