One of the most reliable lessons one gleans from observing intra-Palestinian politics is the need to always expect the unexpected. Important events have a tendency not to unfold according to plan. We should keep that in mind when considering Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ sudden call for new parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on Jan. 24. Less than three weeks ago, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced that, at long last, the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah would sign a reconciliation agreement in Cairo on Oct. 26. Egypt, as the mediator that helped craft the deal, […]
Radical Movements Archive
RAMALLAH, West Bank — On most days, Ramallah bustles with the sounds of commerce typical of Middle Eastern towns. The city, seat of power for the Palestinian Authority, is experiencing an economic boom that looks deceptively like normalcy. Pedestrians move along crowded sidewalks while traffic crawls along in the city center. In newer parts of town, bright new buildings give the city an air of prosperity reminiscent of the wealthiest areas of Jerusalem or Amman, the Jordanian capital. Underneath the visible progress, however, signs are growing that the months ahead could bring heightened tension and even violence in the Palestinian […]
As Pakistan prepares to launch an offensive against the Taliban inSouth Waziristan, and in the wake of the bombing of the headquarters ofthe World Food Program in Islamabad, a new video appeared thatpurported to demonstrate that Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is stillalive. Al Jazeera reports below that the person in the video is indeedHakimullah, though Pakistani officials claim the person in the video isHakimullah’s brother, who strongly resembles the allegedly deceasedfighter. These officials believe Hakimullah was killed in a powerstruggle in the wake of the death of another Taliban leader, BaitullahMehsud, in August, by a U.S. drone strike.