Ali Abunimah will be here for Sunday’s FDL Book Salon!
The Palestinians are making progress towards unity between themselves…
Officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the rival Islamist Hamas group met in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss the make-up of a unity government they hope will end a seven-year schism.
Officials from the two groups said they planned to propose non-politically affiliated candidates for seats in a unity cabinet which will be tasked with preparing presidential and parliamentary elections after six months.
Azzam Al-Ahmed, the senior Fatah official sent by Western-backed Abbas from the West Bank, led the talks with Hamas’s delegation, headed by exiled Islamist leader Moussa Abu Marzouk.
Abbas announced plans for a unity government as a step towards Palestinian elections on April 23. Many past attempts to heal the rift between Fatah, that dominates the Palestinian Authority-run West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, have failed.
Palestinian sources in Ramallah, the seat of Abbas’s administration, said they wanted the list of names to be ready by Thursday when he meets U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in London to discuss the stalled peace talks with Israel.
Meanwhile, Israel is stymieing their efforts…
Accusations of torture and mistreatment abound as several Palestinian lawyers are arrested by Israeli authorities.
A Ramallah-based rights group is accusing Israeli authorities of cracking down on Palestinian lawyers, following a series of indictments and arrests of attorneys based on charges of passing information between Hamas members in and outside Israeli prisons.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society said the moves against the lawyers were ‘dangerous’ and ‘unprecedented.’ ‘It’s a scare tactic to instil fear into those who are working hard to provide the basic levels of protection for Palestinian detainees,’ said Qaddura Fares, the group’s head.
Fares was referring to the recent indictment of a 42-year-old Palestinian-Israeli lawyer, and the arrest of six people, five of them lawyers, from East Jerusalem.
Mohammad Abed, a Galilee native, was indicted last month on charges of passing messages between detainees and the Hamas leadership, and receiving approximately one million shekels ($288,800) for his alleged services. Abed was arrested along with four others who worked for the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
This was a shocker…
I totally concur with this excellent +972 Mag article…
During his premiership, Ehud Olmert was responsible for two of the most horrific military operations of the past decade. More than a thousands Lebanese, a third of them civilians, and 165 Israelis, a quarter of them civilians, were killed in the Second Lebanon War.
In the wake of the war, the IDF developed the Dahiya doctrine, by which the army deliberately targets civilian infrastructure as a means of inducing suffering for the civilian population in ‘enemy cities.’ Not three years had gone by and Olmert sent the army to implement the new doctrine in Gaza. Operation Cast Lead took the lives of nearly 1,400 Palestinians, more than half of whom were civilians, and nine Israelis, of whom three were civilians (these statistics do not include Palestinians and Israelis killed by friendly fire).
The IDF stated that each military operation is taken under serious consideration and implemented with utmost care. And yet, somehow, in the operations that followed, the army was somehow able to show more restraint and decrease the number of deaths, especially among non-combatants.
Ehud Olmert is responsible for both of these terrible events. He has blood on his hands. The blood of over 2,000 people. Today he was sent to jail for six years for accepting bribes in order to build some ugly buildings in Jerusalem. When will he be put on trial for the serious crimes he committed?
Moral considerations for military intervention should be weighed alongside strategic ones, says Amos Yadlin, also calling for NATO-led no-fly zone
Now, speaking of war crimes, I wonder if anybody in the MSM will mention this little bombshell…