An Najah National University professor Raed Nairat tells Isra Namy said that Hamas hopes to alleviate its regional isolation and open new doors with the West and other neighboring Arab countries with its new charter: “The new document plays down the relations with the Hamas parent base, the Muslim Brotherhood, in an attempt to detach itself from this organization that is in hot water after the dramatic changes in Egypt and Tunisia, and the obvious hatred of the oil-rich Arab Emirates,” Nairat says. “Hamas looks forward to trying new ways to mend relations with Egypt and the Gulf States since they can assist Hamas to confront its grave and stubborn crisis in the Gaza Strip where Hamas rules.”
Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the street in Gaza this December to mark the 29th anniversary of the establishment of Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that governs the besieged strip. A military parade of Hamas’s armed wing thrilled demonstrators as Hamas leaders delivered speeches affirming the group’s ongoing commitment to military resistance against the Israeli occupation. This year, however, the anniversary came amid mounting challenges facing Hamas on the domestic and international front.
News of a possible rapprochement between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is welcomed by the Palestinian population of the besieged territory. While one motivation for the Egyptian shift may be economic, analysts in Gaza believe that Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi’s government may be seeking to undermine Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as well.
The implications of Donald Trump’s shocking victory in the U.S. presidential race have not taken long to emerge in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as the Israeli officials seem to be seizing the chance to create facts on the ground before Trump’s four-year term even begins. Hussam el-Dajani, a political commentator based in Gaza, says the incoming administration’s policy is unclear, but if the U.S. gives Israel a green light to expand settlements in the West Bank, “Palestinians will detonate in the face of Israel.”
The Palestinian Authority’s high court has delayed elections, once set for Oct. 9, because of concerns that it was impossible to ensure free and fair voting in the Gaza. The decision comes as two rival Palestinian parties, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, continue to struggle for power. Gaza-based analyst Ibrahim el-Madhoun tells Mondoweiss, “It is shameful and totally unacceptable that the Palestinian judiciary system serves particular political interests and does not abide with the Palestinian people’s aspirations.”
Newly released female Palestinian prisoner Sanaa el-Hafi served a one-year term in Israeli prisons. Upon her release, el-Hafi revealed the horrifying realities female Palestinian prisoners face under Israeli detention including arbitrary strip searches, night raids, and compulsory transfers between prisons.
Fatah and Hamas reached consensus in July to hold municipal elections on October 8th. The agreement came about amid reconciliation efforts aimed at ending internal Palestinian political divisions. Hani el-Massri, a Palestinian political analyst based in Gaza, believes this election cycle is the last best chance to settle the division.
Yaser el-Shanti, the head of the Gaza Water Authority, has said that 95 percent of the water in Gaza is not safe for the human use. Isra Saleh El-Namy interviews Gaza residents who explain how they are coping. Samer el-Shaer in Rafah says, “This water is not safe, we are sure of this. Its taste, or even color are very worrying, this is why we do not trust it.”
After nine years of Israel’s blockade and consistent assaults on Gaza, Gazans are faced with a financial crisis that impedes on daily and personal decisions leading to disastrous social consequences: young couples lack basic resources to marry and sustain families.
In the aftermath of successive Israeli onslaught waged on the Gaza Strip, the number of Palestinians with physical disabilities drastically increased. Gaza journalist Isra El-Namy covers American coach Jess Markt’s visit to Khan Younis as he trains disabled Palestinians to play basketball and train for future tournaments.