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.
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.
Israel has sworn in a new, more moderate government. His coalition in place, new Prime Minister Ehud Olmert must now address the challenges posed by the new Hamas leadership in the Palestinian Territories.
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.
Israelis go to the polls in a political landscape transformed by the emergence of a new centrist party, the stroke that debilitated Ariel Sharon, and the rise of their archenemy, Hamas, to power in the Palestinian Authority.
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.
The acrimonious start to the new Palestinian Authority legislature shows cooperation between the two main parties remains unlikely. It has also cast further doubt on the willingness of Hamas to moderate.
As Hamas prepares to reconvene the Palestinian parliament and appoint a new prime minister, the United States and Israel continue to doubt the group's apparent unwillingness to renounce violence and recognize Israel.
The Palestinian parliament meets this week for the first time since Hamas' win in last month's elections. Amid intense rhetoric, observers are left guessing about the future of the Palistinan Authority.
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.
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.
Though the results of Israel's recent election point to the creation of a new and potentially more conciliatory government, Steven A. Cook saystensions between Jerusalem and Ankara run too deeply for a single election to make much difference.
Elliott Abrams sums up impressions of a recent trip to Israel, where he found Israelis worried but not depressed about the challenges they face and wistful about what they see as the ways in which American power could address the major problems--but is not being used.
Elliott Abrams says that while former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert claims he had very nearly clinched a peace deal with the Palestinians before leaving office, an agreement was in fact not at hand.
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