Hamas

Russian President to Hamas: Free Shalit

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev has called for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit at a meeting with Hamas leaders in Damascus.

President Medvedev also called for the Middle East to rid itself of nuclear weapons and signed a bilateral agreement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia is the only country which has direct relations with Hamas.

President Medvedev’s spokeswoman, Natalya Timkova, said: “The Russian president urged solving the problem of releasing Israeli citizen Gilad Shalit as soon as possible."

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Hamas official's daughter treated in Israel

By Jessica Elgot, May 6, 2010

The daughter of a senior Hamas official in Gaza has been treated for a heart condition by Israeli surgeons in Ashkelon, as she was too sick to travel to Jordan.

The girl, aged 3, who is the daughter of Hams Interior Minister Elham Fathi Hammed had previously been treated unsuccessfully in Gaza.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is believed to have personally requested the Israeli authorities to allow the girl to be transported through Israel for surgery in Jordan.

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Gaza tunnels 'shut down by Hamas'

By Jessica Elgot, April 14, 2010

Hamas has ordered Gazans to shut down the network of tunnels used for smuggling along the border with Egypt, in an unprecedented move.

Gazans told Israeli media that they believed the closure of the tunnels was in response to security requests from Egypt. The move comes shortly after Israelis were advised to leave the Sinai peninsula after an urgent warning of an imminent kidnap attempt by Hamas.

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Gaza leaders in 'truce' talks

April 5, 2010

A truce with Israel and the prospects of inter-Palestinian reconcilliation were discussed on Sunday night at a meeting of several Gaza factions.

Islamic Jihad, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front all participated attended the meeting, described by Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha as the “first fruits” of a series of inter-Palestinian talks.

The representatives gathered as a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip missed a kibbutz in the Western Negev.

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Hamas could start executing Israel "collaborators"

By Jessica Elgot, April 1, 2010

Hamas may carry out death sentences for men convicted of “collaboration with Israel” within days.

Amnesty International reports that Hamas officials have indicated the sentences may be carried out in the next few days.

Fourteen people are known to have been sentenced to death in Hamas’ military courts, which do not meet international standards for fair trials.

However, more could be facing execution for charges of collaboration, treason and murder.

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Israel "to be blamed" for Dubai passport cloning

March 23, 2010

Israel's embassy in London is poised to hear whether one of its senior diplomats is to be expelled by Britain, as punishment for Israel's alleged involvement in the Dubai assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Mabhouh in January.

Reports in today's Daily Telegraph say that Ambassador Ron Prosor was summoned to the Foreign Office yesterday and told that Britain formally blames Israel for the cloning of up to 15 British passports during the Dubai operation.

A ministerial statement is due in the House of Commons later today.

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European Parliament calls for Gilad Shalit release

By Jessica Elgot, March 11, 2010

The European Parliament have passed a motion calling for the immediate release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

MEPs from across the political spectrum signed a letter to EU Foreign Policy chief Lady Catherine Ashton, who will visit Israel and Palestinian areas next week. Israel will open the Erez crossing into Gaza for Lady Ashton’s visit.

Gilad Shalit, 23, was abducted almost four years ago by Hamas terrorists. No Red Cross members or negotiators have seen him, but videos and photographs have been released.

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EU chief allowed into Gaza

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 11, 2010

Israel will allow the European Union Foreign Affairs Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to enter the Gaza Strip, in an apparent reversal of policy.

Baroness Ashton will visit next week and Mr Ban in April. Both asked Israel to open the Erez crossing into Gaza for their delegations.

Since Hamas took control of the Strip in 2007, Israel has enforced a ban on visitors. The closure was designed to delegitimise Hamas and help the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority assert its leadership.

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Irish minister visits Gaza

By Jessica Elgot, March 5, 2010

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has called the situation in Gaza “inhumane and unacceptable” after a visit to the region.

Mr Martin, who is the first European Union foreign minister to visit the Gaza Strip in over a year, has called on the EU to put pressure on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza.

Writing in the International Herald Tribune, Mr Martin said: “The tragedy of Gaza is that it is fast in danger of becoming a tolerated humanitarian crisis.”

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Hamas bans male hairdressers in Gaza

By Jessica Elgot, March 5, 2010

Hamas will ban male hairdressers from working in women’s hair salons in the latest bid to impose stricter Islamic law in the Gaza strip.

The Interior Ministry, which announced the new law, has warned of stern consequences for anyone found disobeying.

Islamic women are traditionally not allowed to show their hair to men who are not members of their family.

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