December 28, 2008 |
It was graduation day at Gaza City's main police station, and a host of VIPs had turned out Saturday to honor the latest class of Palestinian cadets amid the usual pomp and circumstance. "We were feeling safe and calm," said officer Hussein Ahmad, 24. What happened next has been broadcast repeatedly in all of its chaotic intensity across the Arab world and around the globe. Just after 11 a.m.
December 14, 2008 |
From my home in the Gaza Strip, I followed the American election season with interest. Many times I heard the personal stories of Americans without access to healthcare and the toll illness has taken on their lives. I can relate. For months, I waited in Gaza, unable to leave (despite the fact that I carry a British passport) and increasingly desperate to secure a medical appointment about 45 minutes away in Israel. The advanced medical treatment I need is not available here.
December 7, 2008 |
Palestinian motorists drove freely out of Nablus for the first time in six years after Israel eased long-standing travel restrictions in an apparent goodwill gesture. It was the latest sign of improving cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. After years of fighting, Israel has begun to allow Palestinian security forces in the West Bank to maintain law and order in several major Palestinian population centers. Israel maintains hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints throughout the West Bank, saying they are needed to control militants.
November 29, 2008 |
Bangkok's two main airports were surrounded by riot police early today in the government of Thailand's latest gambit to disperse protesters who have blockaded air traffic and cut the Southeast Asian nation off from the world. Police at the domestic Don Muang airport, overrun by members of the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy, or the PAD, said early Thursday that "necessary measures" would be taken if protesters did not stand down.
November 25, 2008 |
Shipping officials from around the world called Monday for a military blockade along Somalia's coast to intercept pirate vessels heading out to sea. But NATO, which has four warships off the coast of Somalia, rejected the idea. Peter Swift of the International Assn. of Independent Tanker Owners said stronger naval action and aerial support were necessary to battle rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia. About 20 tankers sail through the sea lane daily.
November 14, 2008 |
Much of Gaza City fell into darkness Thursday night after an Israeli blockade, tightened in response to Palestinian hostilities, caused the city's electricity plant to run critically low on fuel and shut down. Israel also barred 30 truckloads of relief supplies from entering the Gaza Strip, leaving a United Nations agency without food to distribute to needy families that make up half the Palestinian territory's 1.5 million people.
October 30, 2008 |
A boatload of pro-Palestinian activists landed on the shores of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the latest move in a campaign to defy Israeli restrictions on access to the territory. A potential showdown at sea was averted at the last minute when the Israeli government abruptly backed down from threats to intercept the 66-foot yacht. "Last night at the highest level, a reverse decision was taken," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
October 19, 2008 |
Hamas' control of the Gaza Strip is now virtually complete. Since the summer, the Islamic militants have silenced and disarmed their remaining opponents, filled the bureaucracy with their supporters, and kept Gaza's economy afloat, even if just barely, despite a 16-month-old international embargo and border blockades by Israel and Egypt. With nothing in sight to weaken Hamas' grip, the political split between Gaza and the West Bank -- the two territories meant to make up a future Palestinian state -- looks increasingly irreversible.
August 31, 2008 |
As the academic year gears up around the world, hundreds of college and graduate students here are growing increasingly desperate. Israel's decision to virtually seal off the Gaza Strip after the militant group Hamas took control last summer has made the students partners in frustrated ambitions and pawns in a larger political struggle. The case of seven Gazan Fulbright scholars who were not being allowed to leave the enclave attracted a flurry of international media attention; four of them got out in June after the U.S. intervened.
August 24, 2008 |
The two boats, named Free Gaza and Liberty, chugged into Gaza City on Saturday with quite an escort: a flotilla of fishing boats, sailboats, skiffs and even a swimmer carrying a Palestinian flag. Arriving to a boisterous reception, the international activists aboard the boats said they hoped their symbolic breaking of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip was just the beginning. "We will surely try to bring the boats back again," said Huwaida Arraf, one of 44 passengers who contended with rough seas and communications problems after setting out Friday from Cyprus.