In a stunning about-face, and after decades of violence justified by excuses of being under occupation, this week Hamas has admitted that Gaza is not occupied by Israel. And yet, the United Nations, which has long been reluctant to acknowledge Gaza's change in status, is still silent on the issue.
Israeli pundits skeptical unity will last, especially with pressure from U.S. and Jordan.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority may announce this week that they have overcome differences that delayed implementation last May of a new unity government, but Israeli analysts doubt the rapprochement will last.
Editor's note: Earlier this year Rabbi Hammerman discussed the ethical implications of exchanging terrorists to save the life of an Israeli soldier. In light of the dramatic news of such a deal emerging from Israel he is revisiting that issue this week.
Q – Is the release of Gilad Shalit worth an exchange of a thousand Hamas prisoners, including some who have blood on their hands and could well kill more innocent Israelis (and others)?
More than five ears after he was seized by Hamas militants, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit may be on the verge of going home, and more than 1,000 Palestinian militants may be the price.
The deal could include a range of notorious prisoners including Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for terrorist attacks, Ahmad Sadat of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Ibrahim Hamed, former Hamas commander and plotter of the 2002 terror bombing at the Moment cafe in Jerusalem, Haaretz reported, citing Arab-language media.
By ramping up the incendiary rhetoric with accusations of Israeli racism, ethnic cleansing, targeted assassinations, waging a war of aggression, apartheid and threatening Islamic holy places, Mahmoud Abbas was fanning the flames of a Third Intifada he claims he doesn't want.
A group of prominent American Muslims, including two members of Congress, issued a letter urging Hamas to immediately release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Aug. 26 letter’s 11 signatories includeReps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as well as Muslim academics and communal figures.
“We believe Hamas’ harsh treatment and five-year detention of Shalit is wrong,” the Muslim leaders wrote in their letter, which was addressed to Khaled Mashal, the Syrian-based chairman of Hamas’ political bureau.