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Posts Tagged ‘Abbas’

Defection of a broadcaster in Syria

July 28th, 2012 Comments off
From Akram:  “O’ola Abbas, a Syrian news broadcaster in “Al-Ikbaryyia Assouryia”, a state-owned TV station, attacked last month. A’abbas defected and issued a statement on this issue (Arabic).

Her motivations are unclear: she could have been paid for or she simply and sincerely defected. The lesson to be learned from this short and insignificant story is the following:

would she be there at the time of attack, she wouldn’t have the chance to defect 20 days later. The FSA gangs would slaughter her as a, female, Alawite and Shabyiha”.

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Israelis and Palestinians trade blame for peace deadlock

July 7th, 2012 Comments off

Palestinian president Mahmud AbbasPalestinian president Mahmud Abbas said in an interview broadcast on Israeli TV on Saturday that Israel's continuing settlement building was worsening the chances for two states at peace with one another.

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Hamas Agrees to Egypt-brokered Gaza Truce

June 27th, 2012 Comments off

Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal are set to organize a meeting now the Egyptian presidential election results have been announced, a Fatah official said …
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New Palestinian cabinet sworn in

May 17th, 2012 Comments off

Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas swears in a new cabinet in the West Bank, a move Hamas describes as a “big error”.
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Palestinian reconciliation: Hamas’ opening gambit

February 25th, 2012 Comments off

Hamas and Fatah leaders have been meeting Cairo this week to continue hammering out the details of the third unity agreement they’ve tried to reach in the past five years. The agreement would give Mahmoud Abbas the authority to appoint a transitional cabinet, sidelining Hamas and, in theory, his own Fatah party. Officially, Hamas’s top leaders – Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh – have committed to them. But Al-Ahram, Egypt’s state-owned daily, is reporting that Hamas is determined to secure their own concessions from Abbas in exchange for allowing him to assume the post of interim prime minister. It is not clear which Hamas leaders are pushing these measures, though if there is a concerted effort from within the group, I would not be surprised to see the name of their #2 man in Gaza, Mahmoud Zahhar, pop up.

If this debate is indeed going on as Al-Ahram describes, it first of all shows that despite efforts to show unity, Hamas’s Gazan leadership is still livid over Khaled Mashaal’s decision to conclude the Doha agreement without consulting them first, and is determined to ensure that it gets a “fair share” of the spoils, which are spelled out in no uncertain terms:

“conditions also feature Hamas’s selection of one of its leaders to assume the post of deputy prime minister and handling of three ministerial portfolios which include the Interior, Justice and Finance ministries … Hamas also wants to select 15% of the members of this government”

The three ministries named are the ones Hamas would most need in order to reinsert itself in the West Bank after losing much of its organizational apparatus there following the 2007 split with Fatah, because since then, Israel and the Palestinian National Authority have cooperated to root out Hamas operatives in the West Bank. This is simply pragmatic self-interest on Hamas’s part. Control of the Justice and Interior ministries would put the movement in a position to influence court decisions and to control appointments/hirings among the internal security forces. Given the power of the purse, a Hamas Minister of Finance would be able to channel money to favored projects and organizations: Hamas’s successes have, since the 1980s in part stemmed from the popular support its charitable and welfare activities generate.

[Editor’s note: Hard to see of a MoF controlled by Hamas would be dealt with by the international community that finances the PA! Or how a Hamas Interior Minister would be accepted by security forces that are basically Fatah gangs trained by US forces! This plan implies a break with the US, at the very least.]

In theory, it would only be fair to give the office of deputy prime minister to Ismail Haniyeh since he is the de facto prime minister of Gaza, or to Hamas’s legislative leader, Ismail al-Ashkar – yet Abbas and Mashaal seem to have already ruled out doing such a thing while meeting in Doha.

These demands are not at all surprising, but they could become yet another stumbling block on the road to fulfilling the unity agreement.

Hamas might settle for some compromise – its leaders, if they are serious about implementing the unity agreement, must know that Abbas will not agree to all of these demands – but a compromise by either Abbas or Mashaal here would be hard for their followers to swallow. Al-Ahram notes that Abbas “will [likely] refuse these conditions, as he is insisting on choosing figures who are accepted on the international level to occupy these sensitive positions.” He’d have to reverse his position, or agree to allot certain ministerial posts to Hamas members ahead of the legislative and prime ministerial elections that are theoretically going to be held in a few months. Either way, he’d look like he was caving in and end up antagonizing both the US and Israel by making concessions. Israel has made clear it will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas members, and giving any of these portfolios to Hamas members would jeopardize distribution of US aid to the Palestinian National Authority.

The talks in Cairo are now reportedly on hold as a result of Hamas’s demands.



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Old picture of Nasrallah

February 20th, 2012 Comments off

A very old picture of Hasan Nasrallah (probably late 1970s).  Nasrallah is to the left and Abbas Musawi is to the right.  The man in the middle is `Imad Mughniyyah. (thanks Sara)

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Abbas: No Israel talks without settlement freeze (AP)

February 12th, 2012 Comments off

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2012 file photo, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, center, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, right, arrive to sign an agreement in Doha, Qatar. A rare public rift broke open Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 in the usually tightly disciplined Islamic movement Hamas over a reconciliation deal that would require it to relinquish key areas of control in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File)AP – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told the Arab League he will not resume peace talks without an Israeli settlement freeze.

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Gaza’s Hamas says ready to cede power to Abbas (AP)

February 7th, 2012 Comments off

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, shakes hands with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, right, as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, center, looks on, after signing an agreement in Doha, Qatar, Monday,  Feb 6, 2012. The main Palestinian political rivals on Monday took a major step toward healing their bitter rift, agreeing that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would head an interim unity government to prepare for general elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)AP – A spokesman says Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement is willing to cede power to an interim unity government led by its longtime rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Abbas to head new unity Palestinian government: senior official (Reuters)

February 6th, 2012 Comments off

Reuters – Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed at a meeting in Qatar on Monday to form a unified Palestinian government for the West Bank and Gaza headed by Palestinian President and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas, a senior Palestinian official said.
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Abbas to head interim government

February 6th, 2012 Comments off

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will head an interim unity government to prepare for elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
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