JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas in a formal ceremony signed a unity agreement, repairing a four-year rift.
The ceremony Wednesday in Cairo was delayed for two hours after a question about whether the head of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, should sit on stage and if he would speak at the event.
The signing of the unity deal turns "the black page of division," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Fatah party, said following the signing at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters.
What's most striking to me about recent events in the Middle East is how just about all the experts – the administration deep thinkers, their Republican critics, the academics and the foreign policy talking heads – failed to predict the seismic forces that are reshaping the region in ways we can't begin to fathom.
This isn't a matter of partisan politics. The Obama administration is clearly clueless about a region in turmoil, but I haven't heard anything resembling acumen from the Republicans, either.
You don’t have to work for a Middle East think tank or have a doctorate in international relations to understand that a Palestinian state created through unilateral action can never be anything resembling a real state — even if it is endorsed by the United Nations.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Palestinian human rights group in the Gaza Strip condemned the storage of rockets used against Israel in civilian populated areas.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights in a statement posted on its website Tuesday called on the Hamas-controlled government in Gaza to investigate three incidents of homemade rockets exploding in densely populated civilian neighborhoods, causing heavy property damage and injuring six Palestinians, including a baby.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Facebook will monitor a page calling for a third Palestinian uprising against Israel but will not remove it.
"Third Palestinian Intifada," established on Facebook less than a month ago, calls for a third Palestinian uprising to begin May 15. The page, which as of March 27 had more than 330,000 friends, includes quotes and film clips calling for killing Jews and Israelis, and for "liberating" Jerusalem and Palestine using violence. It also directs users to related content on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere.
Ponderousness, more than anti-Israel bias, is problem with the film based on Palestinian novel.
Special To The Jewish Week
Let’s get the controversy out of the way immediately: Anyone who finds Julian Schnabel’s new film “Miral” to be any more pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli than dozens of other recent films about Israel’s policies in the West Bank hasn’t been getting out much.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- It’s time for the West to woo Latin America -- some will say it's about time.
The United States and Israel appear to be heading toward increasing their focus on the area following years of neglect that has resulted in closer ties between Latin America and Iran -- and gains for the Palestinians. The shift comes amid Iran’s deepening influence in the region, as well as the successes of a Palestinian diplomatic offensive that has seen eight Latin American nations agree to recognize a Palestinian “state” in recent months.
(JTA) -- An unrepentant Helen Thomas said in an interview with Playboy magazine that she knew exactly what she was doing when she said on camera that Jews "should get the hell out of Palestine."
"I knew I’d hit the third rail," she said in an interview published in the April issue of Playboy. "You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Thousands of Palestinians rallied for unity in Ramallah and Gaza City.
The rallies on Tuesday were organized on Facebook by young Palestinian activists who are calling for an end to the division between Fatah, which governs the West Bank, and Hamas, which ousted Fatah and took over Gaza in 2007.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians reportedly gathered in Gaza City's Square of the Unknown Soldier. Rallies in Gaza City reportedly began on Monday out of fear the Tuesday rallies would be quashed by Hamas.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.