Too Islamist-friendly for NATO, too pro-European for Russia, too pro-Sunni for Iran, and too pro-democracy for Saudi Arabia, Turkey can’t seem to manage lasting alliances. It’s an issue that figures to play a role in the Turkish parliamentary elections on June 7.Read more
Today the Palestinian Authority announced a joint interim government uniting Fatah and Hamas. West Bankers and Gazans cheer the move because the division between the two most powerful Palestinian factions has been a black eye for the Palestinian nationalist movement. Their rival religious and political visions, dating back to the creation of Hamas in 1987, have divided the Palestinians ideologically. Moreover, the territorial divisions resulting from the 2007 civil war in Gaza had made the creation of a unified, viable Palestinian entity all but impossible, until now.Read more
On Sunday, the leading experts on terrorism finance in the Middle East and North Africa will convene for a five-day conference. The Financial Action Task Force is essentially the United Nations for combating terror finance, and MENAFATF ranks among its most important regional bodies. So why is the group meeting, in all places, in Khartoum?Read more
“Bir Halek, Ya Fayyad” is not a catchy tune. But the popularity of Palestinian singer Kassem Najar’s song, which translates to “Get A Grip, Fayyad,” is an indication that Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, may be on the way out. Najar, however, is the least of Fayyad’s problems.Read more
Since President Obama decided not to support the rebels fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a handful of Saudi religious figures have taken matters into their own hands.Read more
The first flotilla in 2010 ended in a bloodbath on the high seas, when the Israeli navy intercepted Islamists and activists seeking to challenge Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The second flotilla fizzled, when international lawyers prevented a second round of boats from embarking on another ill-fated mission in 2011.Read more
Palestinian news sources reported earlier this month that Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised $300 million to the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas. If true, this pledge would cover nearly half of Hamas’s reported $769 million budget next year, and would make Turkey its primary benefactor.Read more
In a move that should startle members of Congress, a Palestinian sovereign wealth fund that has long received American taxpayer support will soon begin building houses for convicted members of terrorist organizations.Read more
Last week, Jordan's new prime minister Awn Khasawneh boldly announced that Jordan’s 1999 decision to deport leaders of the Palestinian jihadist group Hamas was a political mistake and a violation of the constitution. With U.S. regional influence in decline and Jordanian stability on the line, the London-based Arabic daily al-Quds al-Arabi now reports that Abdullah’s new government is set to welcome Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for an official visit in the near future.Read more
The Palestinians zealously celebrated last week’s unity deal between Hamas and Fatah. Young men in both the West Bank and Gaza cruised around in their cars, honking and flashing the victory sign out of their windows. There was dancing, singing, and firecrackers. Indeed, the civil war between the two most powerful Palestinian factions appears to have ended.Read more
While most of the world celebrates the U.S. military operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the sentiment is not unanimous. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has condemned the United States, accusing Washington of assassinating a “Muslim and Arabic warrior” and the “continuation of the American oppression and shedding of blood of Muslims and Arabs.”Read more
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