Is a durable ceasefire really possible? Ex-State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on how Hillary Clinton and the main players in the Gaza conflict should move forward.
Just hours after a celebration of the Obama administration’s most significant engagement success, the transformation of U.S. relations with Burma, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to Jerusalem, the epicenter of its greatest engagement disappointment. She was successful in helping to broker a ceasefire, but there are still critical intermediate and long-term challenges that remain. They are all connected.
In this handout image supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the prime minister's office November 20, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Avi Ohayon/ GPO / Getty Images)
Clinton says U.S. will work with region.
Israel has agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi announced on Wednesday. The ceasefire will take effect at 9 p.m. Cairo time, 1900 GMT. Both sides agreed in principal for a truce, but there was no agreement on the key demands—leading to a second phase of talks that will address the issues that Clinton will be involved in. “There is no substitute for a just and lasting peace,” Clinton said. Israeli sources told Reuters that although the country agreed to a truce, it would not lift the blockade. In the eight days of fighting, more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis have died.
At least 22 people wounded.
At least 22 people were wounded on Wednesday when a bus exploded in Tel Aviv in what Israeli officials immediately denounced as a “terrorist attack.” An Israeli who witnessed the attack told Army Radio that the bus was “completely charred.” The explosion reportedly occurred near the Israeli Defense building. Celebratory gunfire was reportedly heard in Gaza after news of the explosion. In Gaza at least 26 more Palestinians were killed on Wednesday, bringing the death toll of Palestinians up to 138 since the violence began. Five Israelis have died, including two killed by rockets on Wednesday.
The bombing of a Tel Aviv bus has wounded dozens, exposed holes in Israel’s security, and threatened a ceasefire. Dan Ephron reports from the scene.
A bomb detonated on a bus in Tel Aviv brought the eight-day-old Gaza conflict to the heart of Israel Wednesday, wounding 20 and casting a pall over efforts by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others to broker a ceasefire between the two sides.
Smoke rises from a bus after an explosion in Tel Aviv, Nov. 21, 2012. (Ariel Beshor, Reuters / Landov)
Will also sit down with Netanyahu.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met early Tuesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank, and will also sit down in Jerusalem for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She will then travel to Cairo to meet with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who has been attempting to negotiate a ceasefire. Clinton will stay in the West Bank and Jerusalem during her trip and not travel to Gaza, which is run by Hamas, a group designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also meet with Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, violence in Tel Aviv and continued airstrikes shook Israel and Gaza.
A generation of young Palestinians is trapped in the blockaded strip, with little hope for the future. Sarah A. Topol reports from Gaza.
Hisham El Farra is 24 years old and in his final year at university where he studies social education. After graduation, though, he’d like to be a businessman, working with imports and exports. Travel is high on his wish list. One place he wants to visit is Spain, primarily to check out the women, he admits with an embarrassed youthful smile. “They are flawless,” he says.
But leaving his home in Gaza may not be possible. Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, the territory has been under an Israeli-led blockade and, like Farra, an entire generation of Gazan youth has come of age without interaction with the outside world. The effect on their outlook on their own lives and that of the country around them is palpable.
Israel and Palestine may be in talks for a ceasefire, but a Third Intifada will inevitably erupt unless Jerusalem changes course, says Rula Jebreal.
As fighting flared this week in the Holy Land, high-ranking officials in both Israel and Palestine were well aware that a Third Intifada is about to erupt. The recent acceleration of violence in Gaza was merely the last straw. Although a ceasefire is inevitable in the next few days, the Israeli bombardment and threat of a ground invasion has pushed Palestinians in the West Bank and elsewhere ever closer to revolt. When the next intifada comes—and it will come—it will be even more destructive and violent than the Second Intifada that began in 2000.
Palestinian men look at rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City. (Annibale Greco / Corbis)
How one teenager helped prep Gazans for an Internet shut off—with the help of Anonymous. Eli Lake reports.
Last week, when the Israel Defense Forces threatened to pull the switch on the Internet in Gaza, Nour Haridy wanted a backup plan. So the 15-year-old high-school student from Cairo went on Twitter and asked in Arabic and English for help on how Gazans could get back online in the event of a shutoff.
Palestinian men inspect the damage of an Israeli airstrike. (Annibale Greco / Corbis)
Appears confident truce is near.
Delivering remarks in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday evening, Secretary of State Clinton appeared confident that a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants was close at hand. "The rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end," she said. Earlier Tuesday, Hamas announced that a "calming down" in violence was expected, while Egyptian and Palestinian officials called a ceasefire “imminent.” After seven days of deadly fighting, the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 122. Clinton is due in Cairo Wednesday morning to meet with Egyptian leaders who are in contact with Hamas.
Who they say had militant ties.
As rumors of a ceasefire continue, Israeli airstrikes targeted and killed three Palestinian journalists with alleged militant ties on Tuesday. Two cameramen working for the Hamas television station were killed in Gaza City by a missile attack on their car. Later, a missile killed an employee of a private radio station in a Gaza town. A spokeswoman said the three were Hamas operatives linked to terror activity. The building that houses French news service Agence France-Presse was also struck, but no one was injured.
As Gaza toll tops 115.
It’s not a ceasefire until the rockets stop. A Hamas spokesman said on Tuesday that a ceasefire is “in the hands of the Israelis,” while Egyptian officials said a deal is “imminent.” The death toll in the Gaza conflict has hit 115. Both sides have been meeting with Egyptian officials in hopes of brokering a peace deal. As the seventh day of violence begins, a Hamas leader says that to end this “crazy war” Israel has to first stop its bombardment and then lift its Gaza blockade. Israel, despite being open to diplomacy, has amassed tens of thousands of soldiers along the border—more a sign of a ground invasion, less “let’s talk peace.”
In attempt to defuse conflict.
Here comes Hillary. As violence in the Gaza Strip escalates, the president is increasing United States involvement in the conflict by sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East. Clinton left her swing through Asia to fly directly to Jerusalem, where she will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. She will then go to the West Bank and meet with Palestinian leaders—not Hamas—followed by a trip to Cairo, to talk to Egyptian leaders who may have some influence over the rocket-firing Islamic group. Clinton won’t be alone—the U.N.’s Ban Ki-moon will also hit Israel Tuesday.
Air-raid sirens are sending residents of Israel’s most populous city scrambling for shelters—and then, 10 minutes later, back to their normal routines. Ethan Perlson on the fears he hasn’t managed to quell.
London during the Blitz. That’s what I thought about on Sunday night when the air-raid sirens went off as I sat in a café in a ritzy part of Tel Aviv and watched people on the street scrambling to find shelter.
Israeli soldiers take cover as an Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, in response to a rocket launched from the nearby Palestinian Gaza Strip on Nov. 18. Sirens sounded across Tel Aviv for a fourth straight day, AFP correspondents said, as Israeli police confirmed two rockets had been intercepted over the city by the system. (Jack Guez / Getty Images)
Israel may be pounding Hamas militarily, but attacking it politically could do far more damage. Peter Beinart on how Netanyahu should be boosting the group’s main rivals—and recognizing Abbas as a real partner for peace.
On Monday night, as I was mulling the horror in Israel and Gaza, a thought struck me. Maybe Israel should get tough on Hamas.
Palestinians run for cover as tear gas is fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank town of Nablus, Nov. 18, 2012. (Jaadar Ashitiyeh / Getty Images)
Abdelrahman Mansour struck the spark that ignited Egypt’s revolution. Now the wired activist is in Hamas territory, filming Israel’s air war from ground level. Sarah A. Topol reports.
Abdelrahman Mansour knows conflict firsthand. In May 2010 he struck the spark that would ignite the Egyptian revolution when he created a Facebook page called “We Are All Khaled Said.” The page, which took its name from a young Egyptian who was beaten to death by the police, eventually called for the protests that toppled the 30-year rule of then-president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. When Mansour was drafted into Egyptian Army, the page’s administrator kept his identity a secret, shielding him from the risk of military interrogation. Having finished his military service and now working as a journalist, he’s in a house in Gaza City, listening to the incessant buzz of Israeli drones and the boom of intermittent airstrikes.
Yemenis protest against the Israeli bombardment on the Gaza Strip in the capital Sanaa, on November 18, 2012. (Mohammed Huwais / Getty Images)
Speaking at a press conference in Israel Tuesday evening, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States will look for a solution that 'bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves conditions for the people of Gaza, and moves toward a comprehensive peace for all people of the region.'
Raphael Magarik went into a bomb shelter and decided you don't need to be there to criticize Israel.
As Gaza tensions escalate.