Analysis Brief

Palestinians Divided as Israeli Strike Looms

The Hamas leadership of the Palestinian Authority has come close to an agreement that calls for a Palestinian state, but denies it is recognizing Israel. Reports of the agreement between Hamas and Fatah come after weeks of bitter negotiations and escalating violence have prompted Israeli forces to mass on the Gaza border in preparation for an invasion.

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Analysis Brief

Hamas' Tight Spot

Mahmoud Abbas extends the deadline for Hamas to agree to negotiate with Israel, or else face a public referendum on the issue. Polls show Palestinians are overwhelmingly in favor of the deal, but Hamas—which leads the Palestinian Authority government—still refuses to recognize Israel. The group's intransigence is causing widespread hardship.

See more in Palestine; Israel; Peacekeeping

Analysis Brief

Abbas’ Bold Gamble

Mahmoud Abbas threatens to call a referendum if Hamas will not agree to a plan that recognizes Israel. The move comes after Israeli PM Ehud Olmert wins measured approval for his unilateral withdrawal plans from President Bush. Meanwhile, clashes between Fatah and Hamas continue in the Palestinian territories.

See more in Palestine; Israel; Peacekeeping

Analysis Brief

U.S. Finesses Olmert Plan

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's first trip to Washington won him tentative support for his plans for further unilateral withdrawals from occupied territories. But, while there's broad agreement on the need to quarantine Hamas, Bush told the Israeli leader to exhaust all possible avenues for a negotiated pullout before moving forward.

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Analysis Brief

Kadima Wins, Moderately

Author: editorial staff

Israel's election took place against the backdrop of a vastly transformed political climate. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima party took the most Knesset seats and seems poised to follow the path set by its founder, Ariel Sharon.

See more in Israel; Elections

Analysis Brief

Hamas’ Account Overdrawn

Since winning elections in January, Hamas can no longer rely on the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) long-time European and American donors. The PA now runs a monthly deficit of $120 million, adding to the pressures it faces to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

See more in Israel; Palestine; Elections

Analysis Brief

Iran and the 'Israeli card'

With international diplomacy fixed on Iran's nuclear ambitions, Israel's nuclear arsenal has been drawn into the debate. Tensions between Iran and Israel are complicating efforts to prevent further proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region.

See more in Proliferation; Iran; Israel

Analysis Brief

For Hamas, Victory Brings Dilemmas

Two weeks after a stunning electoral upset, the thrill of victory is wearing off for Hamas. Faced with the options of abandoning its hard-line rhetoric or risking the loss of desperately needed foreign aid, Hamas' leaders must make some difficult decisions.

See more in Elections; Palestine; Israel


Iran Becomes a 'Front Line' State

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses  Iran’s transformation into a "front line state" against Israel. This turn of events alarms Israelis and Arabs alike, but not nearly so much as another fact: that Iran's expansionism and military adventurism are being met with approval from the Obama administration.

See more in Iran; Israel; Conflict Assessment