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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Crisis Group calls for lifting the siege on Gaza

[ 22/03/2008 - 01:52 AM ]


Crisis Group, an international organisation working to prevent conflict worldwide, recommended, in a report it issued on Wednesday, that the siege on Gaza be lifted and border crossings opened.

The report entitled "Ruling Palestine I: Gaza Under Hamas" analyses the situation in the Gaza Strip since the take over by Hamas in mid-June 2007 and the local and international reactions to the takeover and concludes that the policy of squeezing Gaza and isolating Hamas has not worked and that a new approach is needed if violence is to end and a viable peace process is to be promoted.

"The policy of isolating Hamas and sanctioning Gaza is bankrupt and, by all conceivable measures, has backfired. Violence is rising, harming both Gazans and Israelis. Economic conditions are ruinous, generating anger and despair. The credibility of President Mahmoud Abbas and other pragmatists has been further damaged. The peace process is at a standstill. Meanwhile, Hamas’s hold on Gaza, purportedly the policy’s principal target, has been consolidated," the report concluded.

The group makes recommendations for all parties involved; Hamas, Fatah, Israel, Egypt and the international community.

The main recommendations are: reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel, lifting the siege, incorporating Hamas and Islamic Jihad into a reformed PLO to pave the way for a meaningful peace process.

The report can be found at:


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