Syria

Israel planning to house Syrian refugees if regime falls

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2012

Israel is preparing to offer refuge to Syrian citizens if the regime of President Bashar al-Assad falls.

Although Syria has long refused officially to recognise the Jewish state, Israel's military chief has revealed that should it be necessary, the country would help house refugees from the Syrian minority Alawite sect.

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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

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Syrian revolt faces secular opposition

By John R Bradley, December 1, 2011

The over-excited response by world leaders to last week's decision by the Arab League to impose economic sanctions on Syria was as predictable as Syria's swift dismissal of what it claimed was an act of misguided and unwarranted interference in its internal affairs by regional powers merely furthering their own geopolitical interests.

French foreign minister Alain Juppé and Israeli vice-prime

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Rockets from Lebanon: Assad's last stand?

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 30, 2011

The launch of two Katyusha rockets across the Lebanese border at an Israeli village in the Western Galilee in the night between Monday and Tuesday did not cause any casualties and succeeded only in setting light to a gas storage unit, but it served as a reminder that the growing Syrian civil war could boil over into neighbouring Lebanon and Israel.

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Israel admits it is still planting landmines

November 24, 2011

An annual report by Landmine Monitor lists Israel along with Syria, Burma and Libya as one of the few countries in the world that laid new minefields in 2011.

Israeli defence officials acknowledged that Israel had indeed maintained minefields this year on its border with Syria. Israel is not a signatory of the Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use of landmines.

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What next for Syria after Assad?

By Michael Weiss, November 24, 2011

Anyone who studies human rights abuses in modern dictatorships is susceptible to one of two ailments: atrocity fatigue or a disconcerting level of anger and resentment.

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Syrian attack on Israel at nuclear conference

By Jennifer Lipman, November 22, 2011

Syria has claimed Israel represents a "grave and serious threat" at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The accusation, about Israel's nuclear capabilities, was made by Syrian delegate Bassam al-Sabbagh.

But according to another delegate present, comments made by other Arab nations were less hostile towards Israel than on previous occasions.

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Syria has two friends left - and more enemies

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 17, 2011

The double blow this week to the Syrian régime - official isolation in the Arab world and the audacious attack by defectors against an Air Force Intelligence compound near Damascus - is further proof that time is running out for Bashar al-Assad.

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Pressure mounts on Syria's Assad after air base attack

By Anshel Pfeffer and Jessica Elgot, November 16, 2011

Dozens more people have died in continuing unrest in Syria, after the country was suspended by the Arab League last week.

In their most high - profile attack so far, Syrian rebels have attacked a major military base near Damascus. Reports say that the Air Force Intelligence building in Harasta, north of the capital, has been partially destroyed by the Free Syrian Army.

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Syrian chaos forces Hamas to relocate

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 6, 2011

The Hamas leadership is seeking to relocate its headquarters from Damascus, in the wake of continuing unrest and pro-democracy protests in Syria, now in their eighth month.

Hamas has three main leadership centres: its political and military wings in the Gaza Strip and the political bureau in Damascus, which functions mainly as the Hamas foreign wing and co-ordinates the shipment of arms and tra

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