9 May 2010 0 Comments

Hamas rebuilds in West Bank

Hamas is steadily rebuilding its power in the West Bank, stockpiling weapons and material underground, biding its time for a renewal of the conflict with its Fatah rivals. Palestinian security officials have been telling me this for some time, and they are frankly filled with fear and foreboding. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mentioned it again […]

5 May 2010 0 Comments

Good times, danger signs in West Bank

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The good news is that the West Bank is normal — kind of — and that people are content — sort of. The bad news, the Palestine Liberation Organization thinks it’s responsible for the good news. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who’s also the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief, has decided to […]

13 January 2010 0 Comments

The “Palestinian Mandela”?

Marwan Barghouti, serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail, is a key sticking point in negotiations between Israel and Hamas over kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. (I posted this on Global Post.) The most important man in Palestinian politics is neither president nor prime minister. He doesn’t shuttle between meetings at the U.S. ambassador’s residence […]

20 December 2009 0 Comments

4-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians?

My latest dispatch on Global Post — a week or so after it posted, because I’ve been in Italy and, well, the Middle East wasn’t on my mind…I didn’t miss the taste of humus too much either, not with all that saltimboca and gelato… Palestinians are divided; Israelis too. Not a good basis for negotiation. […]

13 November 2009 0 Comments

Is Abbas really ready to quit this time?

Worn out has-been or drama queen? Interpretations of the Palestinian president’s threat to quit vary greatly. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost JERUSALEM — Sometimes a quitter really does quit for good. The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced last week that he wouldn’t run for re-election in the proposed January elections. Back when he […]

23 October 2009 0 Comments

All rise for the Palestinian anthem

A parody of a nationalistic Palestinian song ridicules the intractable dispute between Hamas and Fatah leaders. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost RAMALLAH, West Bank — Last week, Hamas and Fatah were on the verge of an agreement to end more than two years of civil strife. Then Hamas tore it up, and both sides […]

15 October 2009 0 Comments

US unhappy over Hamas-Fatah deal

The planned agreement goes some way toward validating Hamas control of the Gaza Strip. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost RAMALLAH, West Bank — Warring Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have drafted an agreement to end their two-year civil war. But U.S. diplomats oppose the deal. Here’s why. The planned agreement, a copy of which […]

9 October 2009 0 Comments

Let’s do the time warp again

A brouhaha over who can pray at the Temple Mount recalls a similar disagreement … that became known as the second intifada. by Matt Beynon Rees on GlobalPost JERUSALEM — I just returned to Jerusalem after a month away. Or at least I thought I did. I suspect I entered a cosmic wormhole that popped […]

27 August 2009 3 Comments

Can Palestinians step up to self-government?

Tax breaks, smaller government, a rationalized legal system? No, this is a long way from New Jersey. By Matt Beynon Rees, Global Post RAMALLAH — More than two decades after declaring an independent state, the Palestinians now say they may be able to run one. Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat declared an independent Palestinian […]

13 August 2009 0 Comments

Israel: Less corrupt than Somalia!

Seems even those holding the keys to the Holy Land need reminding that thou shall not steal. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost JERUSALEM — In its international survey of corruption, Transparency International (TI) ranks Israel a respectable number 33 out of 180 countries. Pity the poor people of Somalia (rank: 180), because the graft […]