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Iris Swinkels

Iris Swinkels has written 51 posts for The Middle-East Observer

In Gaza, Hamas rule has not turned out as many expected

The article analyses the current situation in Gaza, after more than 5 years of Hamas administration. Palestinians who are interviewed say that, when they elected Hamas 5 years ago, they expected more of the party. They are disappointed that the economic situation only seem to have gotten worse, and that Hamas officials mainly work for their own … Continue reading

Don’t Give Up on Mideast Peace

Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States and founder of the Carter Center, argues that a two-state solution is in Israel’s best interests. According to Carter, Israel’s policies are nevertheless directed towards one “greater Israel” from the River Jordan towards the Mediterranean Sea. He argues that this one state solution would eventually lead to either Israelis … Continue reading

Can Israel survive?

The author of the article, MJ Rosenberg, argues that so called “pro-Israel” policy makers in mainly the US are not lobbying in favor of a well-working state of Israel, but just in favor of Israeli policies that are mainly targeted at repressing Palestinians. His main argument is that Israel can only survive if the two-state … Continue reading

Tiny Gulf islands rekindle big Arab-Iran dispute

Tiny Gulf islands rekindle big Arab-Iran dispute

Jews, Palestinians plant trees together in West Bank

On Wednesday, an initiative to promote coexistence in the West Bank, Palestinian residents and school children from the nearby settlement planted trees together. The event was held on the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat, a nature-oriented holiday. The trees are aimed to block hazardous dust that was bothering both Palestinian and Jewish residents of the … Continue reading

Hamas ‘will never recognise Israel’ — Gaza premier

Gaza Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh said on Saturday in Iran that Hamas “will never recognize Israel”. He furthermore stated that “The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including Al Quds [Jerusalem], has been liberated and all the refugees have returned.” His speech was made on the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, to a crowd … Continue reading

HRW to Israel: charge or free Palestinian hunger striker

A statement of the international NGO Human Rights Watch called on Israel for the “immediately charge or release” of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner that has been on a hunger strike for 56 days. Adnan was a spokesman for ‘Islamic Jihad’, but has so far not been charged formally, neither has Israel revealed any evidence against … Continue reading

Foundation: New structure near Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem

According to the Al-Aqsa foundation for Endowment and Heritage, a committee within the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem has submitted plans for a new structure adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The 3,700-square-meter structure will consist of five floors, two of which will be underground. In its statement, the foundation said that the purpose of the building will … Continue reading

Syria ‘relaunches’ assault on Homs

After the reports that gunmen had assassinated a high-ranking military officer in the Syrian capital of Damascus, Syrian forces are said to have launched new tank and rocket attacks on the city of Homs.This latest assault on the besieged city has resulted in the dead of at least seven people, while some reports give numbers … Continue reading

PCHR Weekly Report: 11 civilians wounded, 25 abducted by Israeli troops this week

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights released their weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on Friday, stating that 11 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces this week, including 4 children. The article describes in detail which casualties have taken place in the Gaza strip, the West Bank and which … Continue reading

Analysis: Is Syria the next Iraq?

Ron Ben Yishai writes about the possibility that the Syrian uprising will result in the country’s breaking up in ethnic, autonomic, hostile regions that are barely connected. One of the signs of disintegration is that some chiefs of important Alawite tribes, once loyal to Bashar Al Assad, have started to declare that they are no … Continue reading

Israel’s general strike called off as State, unions reach deal

On Sunday, the fifth day of the general strike that has paralyzed Israel’s public sector, the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry have reached an agreement to end the strike. The strike has so far resulted in large piles of garbage along the streets, while it has not been collected since Wednesday. The agreement … Continue reading

Iran to announce ‘major nuclear progress’

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said that it will soon announce “very important and very major nuclear achievements”. He spoke on a rally in Tehran, that marked the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Ahmadinejad said furthermore that Iran would never give up its nuclear program, of which it still says that it will only … Continue reading

Israeli ministers to debate tax cuts for settlement donors

A bill proposed by Ze’ev Elkin and Tzion Pinyan (Likud) will be debated on Sunday. The bill would allow people to receive a 35% tax dispensation on donations to NGO’s that encourage settlement activity. Elkin has said that he first wanted to make the bill more explicit by using the words ‘zionist settlement’, but that … Continue reading

Report: Palestinian killed, three injured in IAF strike on Gaza sites

One Palestinian man died and three others were injured after strikes of the Israeli Air Force on the north of Gaza. The strikes aimed at tunnels and a weapon depot, and were a reaction to a short-ranged rocket launch from Gaza on Saturday, that wounded an Israeli woman. Haaretz, Israel. Click here for the full story 

Israel’s Mossad trained assassins of Iran nuclear scientists, report says

NBC News on Thursday cited U.S. officials who stated that Israel’s Mossad is training Iranian dissident activists to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists. They have also been recruiting members of a Pakistani terror group to carry out attacks against the Iranian regime. And a link between Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) has also been confirmed. … Continue reading

Palestinian economy could be ‘double’ without Israeli occupation

Jad Isaac, director of the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem, said on a UN meeting in Cairo that Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the main impediment to any prospects for a sustainable Palestinian economy. The total measured cost of the Israeli occupation is estimated to be at 84 percent of Palestinian GDP. The majority of financial … Continue reading

Syria uprising is now a battle to the death

Martin Chulov of The Guardian reports from a small town near the city of Homs in Syria. He describes the rockets that fall down on the city, and the seemingly impossibility to flee the city or its surroundings. At a makeshift medical center at the heart of the town, dead and severely wounded man are … Continue reading

Israeli deputy FM Ayalon calls on UN to impose oil embargo on Iran

Israeli deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon asked Colombia, which leads the UN Committee that overseas sanctions on Iran, to implement an oil embargo on Iran. To prevent a regional crisis to happen because of rising oil prices after such an embargo, Ayalon called on Colombia, a major oil exporter, to increase its outputs and in … Continue reading

Support grows for Palestinian hunger striker

Supporters of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian activist who has been on hunger strike since he was detained mid-December, have called for a worldwide solidarity hunger strike. Adnan is believed to be the leader of the Palestinian group ‘Islamic Jihad’ and is currently in administrative detention, a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge … Continue reading

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Debate: Is there a rift between the Prime Minster and the security establishment, and how might it affect his chances of re-election?

Interview: Dr. Einat Wilf, Israeli MP, Chair of the ‘Independence’ faction

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