Palestinian affairs

This category contains 119 posts

Palestinian Authority, battling debt crisis, raises taxes

The Palestinian Authority has approuved a plan to rise income tax to 20% in order to tackle its debt problem. The Palestinian Authority depends heavily on foreign aid by the United States, the European Union and other Arab states to pay the salaries of their public sector workers. In response to President Mahmoud Abbas quest … Continue reading

Palestinian ‘freedom committee’ downs tools in protest

On Wednesday the Committee on Civil Liberties, a Palestinian committee on freedom of movement and expression decided to suspend its work in Gaza. The committee is hereby protesting the fact that Fatah and Hamas have so far not been able to implement the committees’ recommendations. One of those was a prisoner swap between the two … Continue reading

Hamas Split Threatens Unity Deal

The committee on “Change and Reform” in Hamas’s parliament is questioning the legality of the Doha Agreement, which would make Abbas both Prime Minister and President of a future Palestinian Government. Fatah officials say the move is within the parameters of Palestinian law, claiming that many in Hamas resent the rise of Abbas and its … Continue reading

Report: Mashal temporarily moves Hamas HQ to Qatar

According to Asharq al-Awsat, the headquarters for Hamas will temporarily be located in Qatar, after being moved out of Damascus, Syria. This move will ensure that foreign officials will feel comfortable meeting with Hamas at their headquarters as the volatile situation in Damascus has interfered with the Islamist movement’s ability to host international partners. Nevertheless, … Continue reading

EU to keep paying new Hamas-linked government

Despite Hamas being designated a terrorist group by the European Union, Palestinian authorities will keep on receiving money from Europe despite the Fatah-Hamas unity government taking shape following the Doha declaration. “The EU looks forward to continuing its support, including through direct financial assistance, for a new Palestinian government that should uphold the principle of non-violence,” … Continue reading

PA starts budget crisis talks

The Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister Salem Fayyad met on February 6th with union leaders and employers to discuss measures to decrease their growing debt crisis. The austerity measures approved in January by the PA produced public outcry and protest due to growing fears that any rise in taxation will drive away investments and further stifle … Continue reading

Abbas officially named to head interim Palestinian govt

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal signed the “Doha Declaration” on Monday, which stipulates that Abbas will lead a unity government to oversee the upcoming Palestinian elections. His “national consensus government will be made up of independents and technocrats and they will be responsible for overseeing the elections.” Both parliamentary and presidential elections are … Continue reading

Freed Palestinian prisoners adapt to Qatar exile

Last year, more than a 1,000 Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel, in return for the release of Israeli soldier Sgt Gilad Shalit. About 40 of those prisoners have been forced to leave the country for they are seen as a continuing security threat by Israel. The article portrays one of those prisoners, 47-year old … Continue reading

Palestinians Nix Plans for Income Taxes

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has suspended his plan to start collecting income taxes, after widespread protests erupted across the West Bank over the plan. The income was meant to make the Palestinian Authority less dependable on foreign aid. Since the Palestinian bid to win statehood recognition from the UN, the PA has received less … Continue reading

Hamas Gaza chief begins regional tour

Hamas’ head of government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, arrived in Qatar on Monday. After this visit, he is expected to go to Kuwait, Bahrain and Iran. Earlier this month he visited Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia. New parliamentary and presidential elections will be held in Palestine in May of this year, as part of the … Continue reading

Turkey denies aid to Hamas, leaves door open to its office in Turkey

As Hamas moved its headquarters out of Syria last Friday, speculations have started on which country will host the Palestinian organisation. Turkey, “one of the strongest advocates of the Palestinian case”, according to its president Abdullah Gul, is a potential candidate. International media reported that Turkey offered $300 million to Gazan Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in early … Continue reading

King Abdullah of Jordan receives Hamas chief in presence of Qatar crown prince

On Sunday, Hamas leader Khaled Mishaal had a meeting in Amman, Jordan, with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani. King Abdullah stressed Jordan’s continuing support for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with East-Jerusalem as its capital. This aim can only be achieved through negotiations … Continue reading

Palestinian politicians doubt elections will take place

Holding elections within a year was one of the main issues that Fatah and Hamas agreed on, in their reconciliation agreement that was signed in Cairo in May 2011. But there is much doubt among Palestinian officials about whether they will take place as planned in May 2012. “Elections can not be held under two … Continue reading

Hamas Leader Abandons Longtime Base in Damascus

After weeks of rumors, Khaled Mashal, leader of Hamas, has effectively left Syria after being based there for years. “The situation there does not allow the leadership to be present,” an official from the Islamist movement said referring to the current violence that left thousands death in Syria. “There are no more Hamas leaders in Damascus.” … Continue reading

Hamas officials urge Mashaal against retirement

Hamas leader met on Thursday with the leaders of the movement’s military wing,  the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The Chief of the Brigades Ahmed Jabari and his deputy Marwan Issa reportedly urged Mashal not to step down as Hamas’ political leader. Mashal recently announced his retirement from the position, giving way to rumors as to potential successors. But … Continue reading

Palestinians take step towards elections, unity

Though many are skeptical as to whether presidential and parliamentarian elections will be held in the Palestinian territories in the near future, as the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement stipulates, a first practical step towards the elections was taken with the opening of a voter registration office in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Hamas claims that Israel is trying … Continue reading

Hamas chief won’t visit Gaza soon: official

Despite recent reports, a Hamas official said on Tuesday that the leader of the Islamist mouvement, Khaled Mashal, will not visit the Gaza Strip in the near future. “I do not think the visit will be soon,” Khalil Al-Hayya said. “Mashaal intends to visit Gaza, but the visit is subjected to necessary security and political arrangements.” … Continue reading

Palestinian Authority security services denied collaboration with Israel to undermine Hamas

An argument on the collaboration between Palestinian Authority security services and Israel started last Friday after pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat reported that undercover officers were recruited within the Palestinian Authority by Israel intelligence services to act against Hamas. The Palestinian Authority dismissed the report and denied that its officers had collaborated with Israel to undermine Hamas. … Continue reading

Meshal will not seek reelection; analysts say reason is growing gap between Gaza-based Hamas and exiled leaders

Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, has notified the Hamas leadership that he will not seek reelection. Palestinian analysts claim that the move is due to a growing rift between Hamas’ Gaza-based leader, Ismail Haniyeh, and Syria-based Khaled Meshal. Meshal’s recent statements have been in support of a reconciliation deal with Fatah and have hinted at the acceptance … Continue reading

‘Haniyeh to run for Hamas Political Bureau chair’

Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of Hamas, expressed his desire to run to become chairman of the group’s political bureau. The bureau is the highest authority within Hamas and the most important decision-making body. Khaled Mashal, current chairman, announced his decision to resign. Observers and analysts judge that this decision come at a time of growing … Continue reading


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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