Posts Tagged ‘ Hamas Government ’

Hamas, Israel reach agreement on prisoner swap for captured soldier Shalit

JERUSALEM (BNO NEWS) — Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement which will secure the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, officials at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on late Tuesday.

Shalit was abducted by Hamas militants on June 25, 2006 and has been held in captivity since. His family has been attempting for years to have contact with him without avail.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that “a brief window of opportunity” has been opened that would possibly lead to Gilad Shalit’s homecoming. They added: “The window appeared following fears that collapsing Mideast regimes and the rise of extremist forces would make Gilad Shalit’s return impossible.”

The Israeli cabinet is due to vote on the prisoner exchange agreement, but Netanyahu aides estimate that the deal will be approved by the cabinet. Several ministers who have voiced opposition to freeing terrorists in exchange for Shalit are being pushed to approve the deal.

The Egyptian intelligence has been mediating the previous rounds of talks between the Israeli delegation and Hamas. Speaking with Haaertz, one Egyptian official said: “After 64 months of tough negotiations we were able to complete the deal. It was a very difficult task, which included thousands of hours of negotiations.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the deal that will reportedly free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. He said from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, where he arrived on Tuesday, that he hopes that all Palestinian prisoners would be released from Israeli jails.

According to the deal, Israel will release 450 prisoners next week, including 315 prisoners serving life sentences. Another 577 prisoners, including all 27 female prisoners, will be released two months after concluding the first part of the deal, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.

Governments around the world have strongly condemned the continued detention of the IDF soldier and called on Hamas, a group the United States has designated as a terrorist organization, to release him immediately. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the deal, saying that holding Shalit “in captivity has been utterly unjustified from the beginning and yet it has gone on for 5 long years.”

He added: “We have always called for his unconditional release. We are pleased that this long overdue development is finally taking place.”

However, it remains to be seen whether the agreement will be carried out. Last December, Israel and Hamas apparently also reached a deal for the release of Shalit, but the agreement never came about. Since then, negotiations for his release as part of a prisoner swap between Israel and the Palestinian movement have dragged on.

Since Shalit’s capture, the only signs of life have been three letters, an audio tape released a year after he was taken and a brief video broadcast on October 2, 2009.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Source: Wire Update.

Link: http://wireupdate.com/news/hamas-israel-reach-agreement-on-prisoner-swap-for-captured-soldier-shalit.html.

Hamas renews call for national uprising leadership

Saturday, 14 November 2015

The head of the Hamas Political Bureau renewed his movement’s call on Friday for a national leadership for the ongoing Palestinian uprising, Al-Resalah has reported.

“We have to work together based on one strategy to achieve active national goals,” Khaled Meshaal told Al-Quds TV channel. “We [Hamas leaders] are working to achieve an agreement on the tactics and tools of Al-Quds Intifada as well as an agreement to achieve strategic goals together.”

Meshaal stressed the importance of forming a united field leadership for the intifada, which was ignited at the beginning of October as a response to the continuous Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and Jerusalem, mainly in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/22282-hamas-renews-call-for-national-uprising-leadership.

Hamas launches Hebrew website

13 July 2014 Sunday

Qassam Brigades, the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, said it has launched a new website in Hebrew.

It added in a statement on Saturday that the website contains videos, breaking news and reports about ongoing Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The brigades said the website also contains speeches, statements and photo albums of the victims of the Israeli operations in Gaza.

It called the website “Empty Field of Stalks”. The brigades gave the same name to its resistance to the ongoing Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

At least 165 Gazans, mostly civilians, have been killed and hundreds injured since Monday in a series of Israeli airstrikes.

Israel’s military offensive, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” is ostensibly aimed at ending rocket fire from Gaza.

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets into Israel – without causing any fatalities thus far – in response to the unrelenting Israeli attacks.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/haber/140594/hamas-launches-hebrew-website.

Gaza’s Hamas government says ready to step aside

May 27, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The government installed by the Islamic militant group Hamas after its takeover of the Gaza Strip seven years ago said it held its last meeting Tuesday and is ready to hand “full responsibility” to a Palestinian unity government.

Tuesday’s Cabinet statement was the latest sign that rival factions Hamas and Fatah are close to a deal on a unity government that is to end a crippling political rift and prepare for elections in 2015.

The longstanding conflict between the opponents peaked in 2007, when the Islamic militant Hamas drove the Fatah movement of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas out of Gaza, leaving his forces confined to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Since then, both sides have run separate governments in their respective territories on the opposite ends of Israel. Abbas seeks both the West Bank and Gaza as parts of a future Palestinian state, and the internal rift is a major impediment to any potential peace deal.

Repeated reconciliation attempts have failed, but the rivals appear more flexible this time because both are struggling with crises. Hamas faces severe money problems and has been unable to cover the government payroll because of a tightening border blockade of Gaza by neighboring Egypt over the past year. Israel continues to enforce its border blockade of Gaza, in place since 2007.

Abbas, meanwhile, needs a new political strategy after the latest attempt to negotiate the terms of Palestinian statehood with Israel collapsed in April. Abbas is skeptical about reaching a deal with Israel’s hardline prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

In April, reconciliation efforts resumed. Negotiators said Tuesday they are close to agreement on the new Cabinet lineup. A formal announcement is expected as early as Thursday. Meanwhile, the Hamas Cabinet said it held its 343rd and final weekly meeting Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Ziad al-Zaza said the government “is ready to hand over its full responsibilities to the unity government,” the statement said.

Hamas, Jordan probe possibility of better ties

March 31, 2014

The March 10 killing of Jordanian judge Raed Zuaiter by an Israeli soldier at a West Bank border crossing strained Israeli-Jordanian relations, and now a third party has entered into the crisis between Amman and Tel Aviv: Hamas. Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ head of international relations, condemned the killing and expressed his “deep appreciation for the popular movement in Jordan that is raising the issue of reopening Hamas offices in Amman in response to the incident.”

The reconciliation file

Ahmed Youssef, the former political adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, announced that the movement “is looking to transfer its political bureau to Jordan, as it is keen to have a presence in the country. Jordan is the best location for [this office], considering it is an open arena and close to Palestine. Given the special and reliable relations that link the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples, it is an option the movement is inclined to choose.”

This statement came in response to a March 12 request by Jordanian parliament member Musa Abu Sweilem, who called on the government to reopen Hamas offices in Amman. Sweilem also expressed his readiness to mediate a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.

A rapprochement between the Hamas and Jordan was further encouraged by Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran, who currently resides in Qatar. Badran told Al-Monitor that he doesn’t “mind Jordan taking on the role of mediator for a reconciliation in principle.” At the same time, however, he said that “Hamas has [not] received an official invitation regarding this topic.” He further noted, “Withdrawing this file from Egypt to Jordan requires a decision from Fatah and Hamas.”

Meanwhile, a Jordanian official who previously worked on the mediation file between Amman and Hamas told Al-Monitor in a phone conversation, “The relations between [Amman and Hamas], in terms of the role and mutual needs, are not new, in light of political, geographic and demographic reasons. Jordan is concerned with the rights of the Palestinian people — first and foremost, the right of return. It is also interested in internal Palestinian stability in order to prevent a collapse of the situation, and the resulting spillover, and dissociating itself from the internal Palestinian conflict.”

The official added that on the other hand, Hamas “is interested in the Arab and Islamic dimension, beginning with neighboring states, first and foremost Jordan. This is because the two sides have many common interests relating to security, stability and demographics, and to face the repercussions of Israel’s recent demands aimed at making Jordan an alternative homeland for the Palestinians.”

Jordanian chill in relations with Abbas

Talk of a rapprochement between Hamas and Jordan coincided with a chill in relations between the latter and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has expressed his concern about the “presence of secret negotiating channels, of which Amman is not aware, between Tel Aviv and Ramallah. This is in agreement with [statements made by] former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, who said that he feared the existence of secret arrangements for an ‘Oslo II’ between the PA and Israel that would come at the expense of Jordan.”

The same Jordanian official, who preferred to remain anonymous, commented on this to Al-Monitor. He said, “Increasing talk about Amman’s fears regarding the PA could open the door for a rapprochement in relations with Hamas. The ‘alternate homeland’ option proposed by Israel in order to get out of the bottleneck in negotiations with the Palestinians is rejected by Hamas and Jordan more than by the PA. This means an increasing intersection of interests between the two, and is pushing toward the establishment of a strategic relationship.”

Thus, political circles in Amman heard private objections from the PA about a possible rapprochement with Hamas in the near future, despite assurances from the royal palace. The latter said that Jordan has no intention of making any substitutions in its map of allies and that the issue does not go beyond responding to the developments of the current stage and for purely tactical purposes.

Of interest, talk about Hamas’ possible return to Jordan coincided with the almost complete break in the movement’s relations with Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan condemned Egypt’s decision to ban Hamas, calling it a “serious turnaround in Egypt’s role in supporting the Palestinian cause and a frank expression of [Cairo’s] alliance and identification with Israel. This was done to alleviate the predicament of the coup and internal problems and to work to appease [Israel] in order to gain more international support.”

It would appear that relations between Hamas and Jordan are strengthened by Amman not banning the Brotherhood like Saudi Arabia and Egypt have done. Jordan’s internal equation does not allow for this dangerous scenario, which would harm its position with the Brotherhood and make this sensitive stage even more difficult.

Meshaal’s visit

Hamas is well aware that Jordan’s goal in improving relations with the movement isn’t necessarily to provide Amman new horizons in the region. Rather, the goal is more internal, aimed at helping to absorb the Muslim Brotherhood, which is influential and seeks real reform and the trial of figures involved in corruption in the Hashemite kingdom. Coming to an understanding with Hamas is considered a gesture of good faith toward the Brotherhood, whose influence in the street is a source of concern among decision-making circles.

A senior official in Hamas residing outside Palestine and speaking on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor that the movement informed Jordan that it does not intend to use the kingdom as its primary arena for organizational work and came to an understanding regarding the limits on its relationship with the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. The movement is aware that any new relationship with Jordan will be restricted to a minimum and will depend on its relations with the PA. Moreover, these ties would not affect Jordan’s commitment to its peace treaty with Israel nor its excellent ties with the United States, according to the official.

Despite the above steps and declarations, Al-Monitor has learned in a phone interview with a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan that Amman has yet to approve a visit to the kingdom by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. His trip has been postponed several times in recent months for various reasons amid silence on both sides.

Source: al-Monitor.

Link: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/jordan-hamas-palestine-relations-amman.html.

PPP: Hamas plans to impose new penal code on Gaza

March 29, 2014 Saturday

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Palestinian People’s Party said in a statement Saturday that it opposes Hamas’ attempts to change the penal code in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas movement that governs Gaza is attempting to impose a new penal code on the Strip, one that is inconsistent with basic the Palestinian law that has been applicable in the West Bank and Gaza since 1936, the PPP statement said.

Citing comments from the secretary of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza and the chief of the council’s legal committee, the PPP said that Hamas-affiliated lawyers were preparing to replace the 1936 penal code with a new one.

“Hamas and its parliamentarian bloc do not have the right to pass such a law in the name of the Palestinian parliament,” the PPP statement said, adding that changing the penal code in Gaza would further divide Fatah and Hamas.

A legal adviser from the Palestinian human rights organization al-Haq said that the new penal code in Gaza would include regulations from Shariah law.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.

Link: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=685656.

Thousands of Hamas supporters rally in Gaza

March 23, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters thronged the streets of downtown Gaza City on Sunday, a show of strength at a time when the Islamic militant group faces its deepest crisis since seizing power seven years ago.

Hamas is dealing with a severe financial shortfall, caused by heavy pressure from both Israel and Egypt. But leaders stressed that the group remains opposed to Mideast peace efforts and is ready for battle against Israel at any time.

“The resistance is stronger than you think, and our force has doubled and our arsenal has doubled,” Hamas’ prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, told the crowd. “What is hidden from you is bigger than you think.”

Hamas staged Sunday’s rally to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the death of its spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, in an Israeli airstrike, and the assassinations of other top figures a decade ago. But a series of events in recent days, including Israel’s discovery of a tunnel stretching from Gaza into Israel, presumably to carry out militant attacks, and the killing of a top Hamas operative in the West Bank by Israeli forces, gave the rally an extra sense of defiance.

“From under the ground and above the ground, we say it loud: Occupiers go out. You do not have a place to stay on the land of Palestine,” Haniyeh said. Hamas, an armed group committed to the destruction of Israel, took control of Gaza in 2007 after overrunning the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Since then, the Palestinians have been divided between two governments, the Hamas regime in Gaza and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In contrast to Hamas, Abbas favors a negotiated peace agreement with Israel and has been engaged in U.S.-brokered negotiations for the past eight months.

Hamas has fallen onto hard times since its key ally, Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, was ousted in a coup last July. Egypt’s new military government has cracked down on a system of smuggling tunnels along the border with Gaza, robbing Hamas of a lifeline that provided consumer goods, weapons and a key source of tax revenue. Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007, restricting imports and exports and controlling the territory’s coastline and airspace.

The dual Israel-Egyptian blockade has plunged Hamas into its worst economic crisis since taking power. The group has struggled to pay its thousands of workers and has begun to face some discontent, even among core supporters.

In another setback for the group, Israel on Friday said it had discovered a new sophisticated tunnel stretching from Gaza into Israel. It was the largest in a series of tunnels Israel has found recently that it says are meant to carry out deadly attacks or kidnappings. On Saturday, Israeli forces in the West Bank killed a top Hamas operative after a standoff in the town of Jenin.

The financial crunch forced Hamas to call off its annual anniversary celebration late last year. Sunday’s rally was also scaled back due to budget woes. Unlike past rallies, Hamas did not provide buses to bring in supporters, and it refrained from putting up large displays and decorations.

Even so, the rally was meant to send a message that Hamas remains firmly in control. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets, including schoolchildren in military fatigues and women wearing veils. Waving Hamas flags into the air, the crowd turned downtown Gaza City into a sea of green. Hamas security forces carefully maintained order and diverted traffic from the area.

Hamas battled Israel during eight days of intense fighting in November 2012, firing some 1,500 rockets into Israel before Egypt brokered a truce. Since then, the group has largely refrained from direct confrontation with Israel, though smaller armed groups have continued to fire rockets.

Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks emanating from the territory. Top leaders of Islamic Jihad, a smaller group responsible for much of the rocket fire, sat in the front row of Sunday’s rally.

It was an unusually high profile role for the radical movement in a Hamas event, signaling that Hamas is at the least turning a blind eye to — if not actually supporting — the rocket attacks. Mahmoud Zahar, a top Hamas official in Gaza, said Israel should not be fooled by the period of calm.

“We are not interested in an escalation with the occupation,” he told Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV station. “However, if they dare to launch aggression on Gaza, our response will be more painful than what we did in 2012.”

Thousands attend festival organized by Hamas in Gaza

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Thousands of Palestinian citizens will attend a festival organized by the Hamas government in Gaza Sunday under the title “loyalty and steadfastness on the path of martyrs”.

Hamas is scheduled to hold a mass rally Sunday noon in commemoration of the assassination of the movement’s founder Ahmad Yassin, and its leaders Abdel-Aziz Al-Rantisi and Ibrahim Al-Makadima.

Leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Jihad, will attend the event.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend the rally.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/10461-thousands-attend-festival-organised-by-hamas-in-gaza.

Hamas slams ruling banning the movement in Egypt

Tuesday, 04 March 2014

Hamas criticized on Tuesday an Egyptian Court’s ruling to ban the group’s activities and close its offices in Cairo.

A member of the Islamic Resistance Movement’s political bureau; Ezzat Al-Resheq said in a brief statement posted on Twitter: “The decision is political which targets the Palestinian people and their resistance”.

The movement’s spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said the court’s decision proves Egypt has abandoned its role to support the Palestinian steadfastness and resistance; stressing that Hamas will not retaliate despite this decision which he described as “unjust and unfair”.

“Our goal and our weapons will remain towards the Israeli enemy,” he said.

Egyptian advocate Samir Sabri sent an urgent appeal to Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour; Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim and Prime Minister; Ibrahim Mahlab, demanding they ban the group’s activities and to list it as a terrorist organisation; claiming that many countries around the world have already done so.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/10092-hamas-slams-ruling-banning-the-movement-in-egypt.

Hamas rejects intl. forces in Palestine

Sun Feb 16, 2014

The Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has expressed its opposition to the idea of international troops being stationed in a future Palestinian state under a deal between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

“From time to time we hear people making offers during the negotiations, primarily about the idea of an international force following the retreat of the (Israeli) occupier,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement released on Saturday.

He added that the presence of an international force in a future Palestinian state would be “just like the Israeli occupation.”

He further urged US Secretary of State John Kerry and others to revise their positions, stressing that Hamas would not let anyone undermine its rights.

This is while the Israeli regime insists on keeping a military presence along the Jordan Valley that runs down the eastern flank of the occupied West Bank, bordering Jordan. However, the Palestinians have rejected such an idea.

“This so-called Kerry plan was put together by the Americans and the Zionist entity to eradicate the Palestinian cause. We will not let such an agreement give away our people’s rights,” Zuhri said, calling for “a united front of factions to reject the talks and their outcome.”

Earlier on Saturday, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh slammed the talks and said the Palestinian resistance movement would not be bound by any deal with Israel.

“The so-called American framework is not binding for us,” he added, referring to the US framework for the negotiations.

The US secretary of state is planning to unveil a framework document as part of the US-brokered talks between Israel and the PA.

Since the resumption of the direct talks, Palestinians have also objected to a number of other issues including the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/350959.html.