Hamas twists and turns over unity

February 16, 2012

Hamas appears to be split over the unity deal it signed with Fatah and the movement's relationship with Iran.

According to the deal signed two weeks ago in Qatar by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas's political bureau Khaled Mashal, the two movements will form a joint government of technocrats with Mr Abbas as prime minister.


Is the peace process over with handshake between Fatah and Hamas?

February 9, 2012

The agreement between Fatah and Hamas for a Palestinian unity government, to be headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, almost certainly signals the end of the short-lived attempt to re-launch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.


Hamas hunts for new base in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 2, 2012

Hamas is searching for a new political base following its departure from Damascus. Turkey and Jordan have both denied reports that they may host the Palestinian movement.

On Sunday, the head of Hamas's political bureau, Khaled Mashal, made his first official visit to Jordan since the kingdom closed down the movement's offices in 1999.


Now Hamas leaders 'seek legitimacy'

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 5, 2012

Senior Israeli analysts are convinced that some Hamas leaders genuinely want the terror group to become a legitimate political force.

Hamas has been under pressure in recent weeks from Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to renounce violence, and there are clear signs that a new direction is being considered.

One Israeli expert on Hamas said this week: "There is a true change of direc


Is Hamas really divorcing Syria?

January 5, 2012

They are said to be in the process of a political break-up. So why are Hamas and the Syrian regime reportedly planning to meet in the coming days?


Deal struck for Hamas to join the PLO

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2011

The terrorist organisation Hamas is planning to join the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

The partnership, agreed on at a meeting in Cairo on Thursday, marks the next step in efforts to forge unity between long-time rivals Hamas and Fatah.


Hamas dispels reports of a 'no violence' deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2011

Reports of a shift of policy by Hamas to non-violent resistance against Israel appear premature at best.

In a Friday interview with the Euronews network, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed to have reached an agreement with Hamas that, from now on, the Palestinian struggle against Israel would "be population-based and not with weapons".


Israel prepares for second stage of Shalit prisoner swap

By Jennifer Lipman, December 16, 2011

Five hundred and fifty Palestinian prisoners will walk free on Sunday in the second stage of the deal that was struck to secure the release of Gilad Shalit.

Two months after the soldier returned home after more than five years as a captive of Hamas, Israel will again pay the heavy price accepted for his freedom.

A list of names of those who would be freed was published earlier this week.


A bridge too far for 'outraged' of Hamas

By Tim Marshall, December 15, 2011

Hamas cannot see a top without verbally going over it.

Even by the standards of their usual outbursts, they've excelled over the closure of a wooden ramp leading from the Western Wall to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.

Spokesman Fawzi Barhum said this was a "violent act… a declaration of religious war on the Muslim holy places… a serious step that shows the Zionist scheme of aggression


Hamas exits Syria - and orbit of Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 8, 2011

Hamas has largely deserted its headquarters in the Syrian capital in recent weeks, in what has become an unofficial departure by the Palestinian movement.

The exodus reflects both the widely-held belief that the Assad regime is entering its dying days, and the proximity of Hamas to Islamist elements in the Syrian opposition.

Hamas was founded 24 years ago in the Gaza Strip by Palestinian mem