Hamas has once more put out feeler presumably seeking to make amends with the Palestinian Authority. Their petition has an obvious outreach and a hidden attempt at subversion. Hamas leaders publicized their agreement to an Egyptian initiative to create a new peace agreement and arrange a meeting in Cairo between Hamas and Fatah leaders. This is irregular in that it was Hamas who complained about obstacles causing the collapse of the last attempt at reconciliation. What are the odds we give this attempt? Honestly, with the reasons given by Hamas and the set of principles and steps they would wish to precede any reengagement, probably ziltch. Hamas is in need of financial assistance and as the Palestinian Authority cut them off from funding, they are almost desperate. Thus, the initial Hamas demand is for the Palestinian Authority to remove all punitive measures against Gaza. Hamas also has made clear…
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Two female Palestinian journalists were beaten during protests in the West Bank in the past week. The two women, Lara Kan’an and Majdoleen Hassona, were assaulted by Palestinian Authority security officers while covering Palestinian demonstrations calling on President Mahmoud Abbas to lift the economic sanctions he imposed last year on the Gaza Strip.
The physical assaults on Kan’an and Hassona are seen by Palestinians as part of the Palestinian Authority’s continued effort to silence critics and intimidate journalists who fail to “toe the line.” The beatings, which took place separately in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Tulkarem, mark a new high in the Palestinian leadership’s crackdown on public freedoms: assaulting an Arab woman on the street is considered a humiliation of the highest order to her and her clan.
While such assaults spark protests among Palestinians, the international community and Western correspondents covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continue to play their game of “See No Evil.” When the perpetrators are Palestinians, they can get away with — literally, murder — from the perspective of International human rights organizations and groups ostensibly concerned about freedom of the media. What would have been the response on the part of the international community and press, one wonders, had the two Palestinian women even been roughed up by Israeli soldiers.