Hamas

Israel divided over possible Shalit deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

Efforts to bring about the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit ran into further difficulties this week, when it emerged that the Israeli government is divided on the price to pay.

Fellow members of corporal Shalit’s tank platoon, who were discharged on Tuesday at the end of three years’ service, marched to the office of Defence Minister Ehud Barak to demand that he does more to ensure their comrade, captured two years ago, is freed.

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Ceasefire emboldens Hamas to raise stakes

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 4, 2008

The fragile Gaza ceasefire and the prisoner deal with Hizbollah have emboldened Hamas to demand a larger number of Palestinian prisoners in return for the captured Israeli soldier Sergeant Gilad Shalit.

Sporadic firings on Israel from the Gaza Strip have not caused the ceasefire to break down, despite at least four occasions on which Palestinians have fired mortars and Kassam missiles since the ceasefire began two weeks ago.

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Hamas prisoner swap ‘on course’

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 27, 2008

The negotiations over the release of captured Israeli soldier First-Sergeant Gilad Shalit are expected to intensify this week in Cairo, a week into the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

The ceasefire, which began last Thursday morning, has not been without its hiccups. Though both sides observed their commitments not to launch attacks on and from the Gaza Strip, Hamas did not prevent the Islamic Jihad movement from firing three rockets at Israel on Tuesday, in retaliation to one of its senior members being killed by the IDF near Nablus in the West Bank.

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Olmert talks tough as Gaza ceasefire begins

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 19, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made clear he would not shrink from a military response if Hamas violated the Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Israel due to begin at 6am yesterday (Thursday).

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The view from the Gaza strip

By Ben Lynfield, June 19, 2008

“Everyone is waiting for the ceasefire because our lives are terrible.”

With those words, Raed al-Atamneh, a taxi-driver in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, summed up the mood in advance of the Egyptian-brokered truce.

“People expect goods to come into Gaza now. I hope this agreement will stop the shooting, stop the dying. People want to feel safe and have a good life, but the power is in Israeli hands, not Palestinian hands,” Mr al-Atamneh added.

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Shalit ‘begs for life’ in letter to family

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2008

Hamas has heightened the pressure on Israel by releasing another letter from captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

In the letter, addressed to his parents, First-Sergeant Shalit begged for his life and urged the Israeli government to do everything in its power to secure his release.

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Gaza is no-go for Blair

By Shelly Paz, June 12, 2008

Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair has told the Commons foreign-affairs select committee that he would not visit the Hamas-run Gaza Strip for fear of disrupting peace efforts.

The former prime minister, addressing MPs last Thursday, said: “We need to get a ceasefire in Gaza, progressively to start reopening the crossings, start to get proper humanitarian help through, and then build our way back out of this situation where the people of Gaza can be helped.”

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No Gaza incursion — for now

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2008

A further round of bloodshed in Israel and the Gaza Strip and stalled  ceasefire talks has not given the Israeli leadership a renewed appetite for a large-scale military incursion into Gaza.

Amnon Rosenberg, a 51-year-old worker at a paint factory at Kibbutz Nir Oz, was killed in a mortar attack last Thursday morning and five others wounded. Hamas took responsibility for the attack. In retaliation, the Israeli Air Force attacked a Hamas position in Beit Lahiya.

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Carter presses nuke button

By Francesca Segal, May 29, 2008

Former US president Jimmy Carter has breached diplomatic protocol by making specific public claims about Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

He became the first president to acknowledge publicly Israel’s nuclear capability when he addressed an invited audience of journalists last week at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival, on the Welsh borders.

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Hamas poised to agree Gaza ceasefire

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 22, 2008

Israel is poised to agree to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal with Hamas, despite the deal not including any assurances regarding the release of captured solder Gilad Shalit and an end to arms smuggling over the Egyptian border.

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