Hamas

Shalit deal could end Gaza chokehold

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Gilad Shalit’s father has said his son’s captivity is the obstacle preventing Gaza from overcoming “economic chokehold”.

Noam Shalit said that if Hamas were to agree a deal to release the soldier, kidnapped nearly four years ago, it would encourage Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza.

He told a Jerusalem conference that the continued imprisonment of the soldier for the purpose of bargaining and political blackmail “is a grave war crime”.

Calling on Hamas to release him, Mr Shalit said: "This will allow for rebuilding the ruins in Gaza in wake of Operation Cast Lead.”

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Israel takes step to ease Gaza blockade

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Israel has relaxed the blockade of Gaza to permit more provisions into the area.

Officials said the list of items allowed into the Gaza Strip has been expanded to include goods from Coca Cola to shaving cream and spices.

There has been international pressure for Israel to lift the blockade following the raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying supplies.

The blockade has been in place since Hamas won power in the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Egypt had also closed its borders to Gaza, although restrictions have been lifted temporarily in the aftermath of the flotilla clash.

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Hamas refuse to let aid into Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Hamas has refused to allow the supplies from the flotilla ships into the Gaza Strip and has accused Israel of tampering with the equipment.

Israel has loaded 20 trucks with the cargo from the aid ships, including clothing, medical supplies and blankets, to bring into the area.

But Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is apparently preventing its delivery.

A Hamas spokesperson said they would only accept the transfer of the humanitarian supplies when all the pro-Palestinian activists detained by Israel were released.

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Hague calls for investigation into flotilla raid

By Robyn Rosen, June 2, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he is “seriously concerned” about Israel’s actions and called for a full investigation.

Mr Hague gave a statement to the House of Commons today and said the government had expressed its “disappointment” to the Israeli government about its lack of access to the 37 British nationals who were on board the flotilla, of whom it has been in contact with twenty-eight.

He said: “We have demanded urgent information about and access to all UK nationals involved. Their welfare is our top priority at this time.

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Israel to make jail harsher for Hamas

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 27, 2010

The Knesset this week passed a first reading of a new law mandating harsher prison conditions for Hamas members.

The measure, which was supported by the government, has been nicknamed the "Shalit Law" in reference to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who is being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Proposed by Likud MK Danny Danon, the legislation will allow prison authorities to deny Hamas prisoners rights they have enjoyed until now, including family and conjugal visits, academic studies and watching television.

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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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