Hamas Crackdown on Opposition Imminent?

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Sinai jihadis said they were attacked by an Israeli drone — while preparing a rocket attack on the Jewish state. It’s possible that the strike was coordinated with the Egyptian military, but Jerusalem’s keeping quiet and Egyptian sources are making conflicting statements. More on the story at AP/Times of Israel.

Avi Issacharoff and Yaakov Lappin analyze what the incident means.

Heron UAV

An Israeli Heron drone, 2003.

2. Sounds like Gaza’s a volcano waiting to erupt, with Several reports describing an imminent Hamas crackdown on opposition. Members of Gaza’s emerging secular opposition, Yala Felistini Tamarod –  which is pushing for national reconciliation — talked to the Daily Telegraph:

The group’s first public demonstration last week was broken up by uniformed officers even though it was protesting against Israel‘s plans to re-settle a section of its Bedouin population.

“We were shocked,” said Ouroula Othman, Tamarod’s spokesperson. “If it had been the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, we could have understood, because they have a relationship with Israel.

“But even though Hamas is always talking about resistance against Israel, they thought people might use this campaign against them. Their thinking was affected by what’s happened in Egypt. They wouldn’t say it frankly but it was very clear.”

Fatah’s also warned its people in Gaza to hunker down after Hamas police raided the homes of Gaza’s Fatah leaders during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. More on that at Maan News. Lastly — do my eyes deceive me? — Amnesty International condemned Hamas for plans to publicly execute two men — one an alleged collaborator, the other who was apparently tortured into confessing other crimes. See also the Jerusalem Post and Fox News.

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3. Egypt’s state-run media is fueling a lot of anti-American hostility, reports the Wall St. Journal (via Google News). Whoda thunk it?

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Israel and the Palestinians

Three days before peace talks resume, Israel’s housing minister announced that 1,200 apartments in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank would go up for sale. YNet adds one important fact you can bet Big Media will overlook: construction won’t even begin for at least two years.

Toronto police are investigating whether a Palestinian activist’s inflammatory comments at an Al-Quds day event violated any criminal laws. The activist, Elias Hazineh, told the Jerusalem Post his remarks were a metaphor and that he doesn’t advocate violence.

A few reporters visited Rawabi, the first Palestinian city being developed in the West Bank. Unlike The Guardian and LA Times, NY Times reporter Isabel Kershner got a fresh quote from an Israeli source about a contentious water issue:

Israeli security officials said that part of the problem was that the developers wanted to transfer water through territory under full Israeli control rather than that of the Palestinian Authority and that discussions were under way to resolve the issue.

Rawabi

After two years of working in the IDF spokesman’s unit, Barak Raz steps down and shares some thoughts.

Worth reading: Over at i24, Emmanuel Navon on evacuating settlers:

The partition (or two-state) model has been applied to partially solve conflicts in other parts of the world, but nowhere does this model entail the absence of minorities. The Indian sub-continent was divided between India and Pakistan in 1947. Although this partition engendered a tragic mutual population transfer (about 7 million Muslims left India for Pakistan, and about 7 million Hindus and Sikhs left Pakistan for India), both countries retained minorities: there is a 14 percent Muslim minority in India, and a two percent Hindu minority in Pakistan.

Navon cites a helluva lot more examples, before concluding:

So the fact that Abbas is rejecting the idea of retaining a Jewish minority in a Palestinian state is not only anti-Semitic. It would also turn the resolution the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into the only case of a two-state solution in which only one state retains a minority belonging to the other state. Abbas’ “minority opinion” not only says a lot about his liberal credentials; it also says a lot about the West’s double-standards.

With Gaza under a serious Egyptian siege, Khaled Abu Toameh wonders why the world’s looking the other way. Where are all the flotillas?

For more commentary/analysis, see Frida Ghitis, YNet, Roger Cohen, Robert Fulford, and a Vancouver Sun staff-ed.

On the next page:

  • Hezbollah backlash against UNIFIL?
  • Why are Syrian rebels abducting so many journalists?
  • Uganda to deliver uranium to Iran?

Continued on Page 2


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