Fears of fresh Gaza violence as ceasefire nears end

By Yaakov Katz, December 16, 2008

The Israel Defense Forces have gone on high alert as Hamas threatened to not renew their ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The six-month truce between Israel and Hamas is due to expire on Friday. While Israel prefers to extend it, Hamas appears to be split between continuing the truce and ending it. Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday that the ceasefire would not be renewed, while Hamas officials in Gaza said only that the issue was under review.


Israel plans to extend Gaza Strip ceasefire

By Yaakov Katz, December 4, 2008

Despite a mortar attack that wounded eight Israeli soldiers last week and almost daily Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since then, Israel is hoping to extend the ceasefire with Hamas that is scheduled to expire later this month.

On December 19, the six-month truce with Hamas will officially expire. Defence officials said this week that the IDF assessment is that Hamas will want to extend the truce under which the crossings — which have been closed for most of the last month due to the rocket attacks — will be opened.


Israel hopes to extend Gaza ceasefire

By Yaakov Katz, December 2, 2008

Despite a mortar attack that wounded eight Israeli soldiers last week and almost daily Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since, Israel is hoping to extend the ceasefire with Hamas that is scheduled to expire later this month.


Muslim advocates on tour

November 27, 2008

Two members of a Muslim advocacy group implicated in a trial of Hamas funders were due to begin a speaking tour in Scotland this week.

Yaser Tabbara and Ahmed Rehab are members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations which was listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a trial which found the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, and five of its former leaders, guilty of funding Hamas to the tune of more than $12 million (£7.8m).


US charity gave $12.4m to Hamas

November 27, 2008

Five former leaders of a Muslim charity may face lengthy prison sentences after being convicted on multiple charges of transferring money to Hamas.

A court in the United States ruled that the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development - once the largest Muslim charity in the US - must now forfeit some $12.4 million (£8m) to the United States government.

The move follows a lengthy legal process and a trial last year which broke down in disarray after a jury deadlock, prompting a mis-trial.


Hamas pledges truce as Kassams hit Ashkelon

November 5, 2008

Palestinians have fired 35 Kassam rockets into Israel today from the Gaza Strip, in the worst outbreak of violence since June's ceasefire.

Hamas have claimed responsibility for the rockets but have vowed to maintain the five-month truce with Israel.


PA to curb Hamas with 700 police in Hebron

By Yaakov Katz, October 23, 2008

IDF officers met their Palestinian counterparts this week to co-ordinate the arrival of 700 Palestinian policemen in Hebron in an effort to crack down on Hamas before Mahmoud Abbas's presidential term ends in January.

The 700 recently completed US-backed military training in Jordan and were due to be sent to the Palestinian section of Hebron, one of the largest and most volatile cities in the West Bank.


Israel ‘ill-prepared’ for Hamas-Fatah clash

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2008

The Israeli government is planning to review its policy and procedures regarding intervention in the ongoing bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip.

About 190 Fatah members escaped to Israel over the last weekend following a crackdown by Hamas, with 87 allowed to continue to Jericho after being questioned by the IDF. Fourteen were detained for further questions and 23 remained in hospital in Israel. About 70 returned to Gaza.



Commons committees urge UK to talk to Hamas

By Bernard Josephs, July 31, 2008

The government is under pressure from two influential House of Commons select committees to drop the boycott of contacts with Hamas which it shares with members of the international Middle East Quartet.

The chairman of one of the committees, Labour MP Mike Gapes, last week held private talks on the issue with Tony Blair, Middle East envoy of the Quartet - the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.


Fatah and Hamas in bitter clash

By Ben Lynfield, July 31, 2008

Hamas security forces beat many of the 200 Fatah prisoners they arrested last weekend in the largest crackdown by the Islamist movement on its secular rivals since they seized power in the Gaza Strip 13 months ago, human rights monitors claim.

The crackdown was launched after a bombing in a beachfront café in Gaza City last Friday which Hamas blamed on Fatah. A four-year-old girl and five Hamas militants were killed, and 27 people were injured. Fatah denied involvement.