November 15, 2012 |
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The shadowy Hamas military chief killed in an Israeli missile strike Wednesday had long topped the Jewish state's most-wanted list for masterminding a string of deadly attacks. One was the 2006 capture of an Israeli soldier in a complex cross-border raid that killed two other soldiers. Ahmad Jabari, a former history student who spent 13 years in Israeli prisons, also commanded Hamas fighters during a 2007 takeover of Gaza in which they drove out forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
May 15, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners agreed Monday to halt a weeks-long hunger strike in exchange for promises of better conditions, ending a standoff that left several participants clinging to life and drew thousands of Palestinians to the streets in shows of solidarity. The Palestinians won key concessions in a deal mediated by Egyptian officials, including more family visits and limits to a controversial Israeli policy that can imprison people for years without charge. In return, Israel extracted pledges by militant groups to halt violent activities, and prevented the potentially explosive scenario of prisoners dying of hunger.
December 19, 2011 |
JERUSALEM - Israel was releasing about 550 Palestinian prisoners Sunday in the second half of a swap that freed one of its soldiers, Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas in Gaza for more than five years. The prisoners had been gathered at several spots and were being sent by bus, most of them to the West Bank, with a small group going to Gaza and a few to East Jerusalem and Jordan. The first phase of the exchange took place in October and involved hundreds of Palestinians serving life sentences, many of them Hamas members convicted of killing Israelis.
October 24, 2011
By Uri Dromi The news that, after almost six years in the hands of his Hamas kidnappers, army Sgt. Gilad Shalit will return home a free man sparked a spontaneous celebration in Israel. However, as always in our country, joy was quickly mixed with gloom. In exchange for Shalit, Israel agreed to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, some of them responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Israeli citizens slain in vicious terrorist attacks. Since the record shows that many released Palestinian prisoners return to the macabre business of murder, the life of Gilad Shalit may have been saved, but the lives of many other Israelis will now be threatened.
October 18, 2011 |
JERUSALEM - The elaborate machinery of a prisoner swap deal between two bitter enemies swung into motion Monday, as hundreds of Palestinians and one Israeli soldier prepared to return home in one of the most dramatic recent developments in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Israel-Hamas deal, to take place Tuesday morning, is going ahead despite criticism and court appeals in Israel against the release of 1,027 Palestinians for a single captured Armored Corps sergeant, Gilad Shalit, held by militants in Gaza since 2006.
June 6, 2010 |
What do you do when an ally keeps digging itself into a hole - and is pulling you in with it? I'm referring to the Israeli leadership, whose policies on the Palestinian issue - including the raid on the Gaza aid flotilla - are achieving the reverse of what's intended. A relentless focus on military tactics, to the exclusion of long-term political strategy, is isolating Israel and bolstering Hamas. Israel has legitimate concerns about Hamas militants, who barraged southern Israel with rockets before Israel's 2009 invasion of Gaza, and who seek Israel's demise.
July 18, 2006 |
With CNN blaring the latest from the Mideast in the background, an assortment of passengers boarded Continental Airlines' Newark-to-Tel Aviv Flight 84 on Sunday, some despite the turmoil, others because of it - and very few, if any, because they thought Israel was a great vacation destination these days. There was Jim Guido, headed to a meeting that had been in the planning stages for three years at RAD Data Communications, the Israeli parent company of Radwin, the American subsidiary where Guido, 60, is vice president of sales.
July 11, 2006 |
Underscoring the dangerous stalemate between Israel and Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he refuses to trade Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier abducted last month by Hamas' military wing, while in Damascus, Hamas' political chief, Khaled Mashaal, said the only solution to the burgeoning crisis is a mediated "swap. " The language from both men was fierce and unequivocal. "Khaled Mashaal is a terrorist with blood on his hands," Olmert said. "He is the head of an organization which openly, publicly and officially calls for the liquidation of the State of Israel.
July 2, 2006 |
The abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian gunmen, and Israel's response by rattling the Gaza Strip with tanks and fighter jets, initially played out as a military crisis between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority, led by Hamas. Israel's sudden arrest of scores of Hamas elected and appointed officials added politics to the equation. By day's end Thursday, a large proportion of the Palestinian cabinet and legislature were behind bars in Israel, facing criminal charges.
June 30, 2006 |
If there is a truism in the Middle East on which veteran diplomats can generally agree, it may be this: There is no purely military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But will judicious saber-rattling - with a heavy dose of psychological manipulation - give diplomatic efforts to free a captured Israeli soldier a chance to work? Israel's announcement that it would halt, at least temporarily, its imminent incursion into northern Gaza - while maintaining its ring-of-iron blockade and targeted strikes at infrastructure - would seem to put that question to the test.