The Week: Most Recent Middle East:Israel vs. The Palestinians recent posts.en-usTue, 08 Jan 2013 14:50:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Middle East:Israel vs. The Palestinians from THE WEEKTue, 08 Jan 2013 14:50:00 -0500'Palestine': What a new name means for the West Bank and Gaza<img src="" /></P><p>Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is flaunting the United Nations General Assembly's recognition of the Palestinian territories as a state, by announcing that his Palestinian Authority will be called the "State of Palestine" from now on. Abbas ordered that all official documents issued by his administration, which controls the West Bank, will be stamped with a new logo to mark the change. Israeli leaders are still fuming over Abbas' power play at the U.N. in November, as previous agreements established that a Palestinian state could only be created through a negotiated peace deal with Israel...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Tue, 08 Jan 2013 14:50:00 -0500How the U.S. should react to the U.N.'s recognition of a Palestinian state<img src="" /></P><p>The United Nations General Assembly's lopsided Thursday vote recognizing the Palestinian territories as a "state" was hailed as a huge victory for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinians took to the streets of Ramallah in the West Bank to celebrate. The convincing result &mdash; 138 countries in favor, 9 opposed, and 41 abstaining &mdash; amounted to a stinging rebuke of Israel and the U.S., which lobbied hard to get Abbas to withdraw his bid for a status upgrade from "observer entity" to "non-member observer state." What should the Obama administration do now that the vote...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:40:00 -0500What the Palestinians will get from U.N. recognition<img src="" /></P><p>As of Thursday morning, it appeared likely that the United Nations General Assembly would approve the Palestinian Authority's bid for recognition as a state. (<em>Update</em>: The General Assembly has indeed voted in Palestinians' favor.) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' plan to make a personal appeal to upgrade the Palestinians' status from an "entity" to a "non-member observer state" gained momentum this week as France, Spain, and other powerful nations ignored opposition from the U.S. and Israel, and vowed to back the move. Israel at first declared Abbas' bid a dangerous provocation, saying...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Thu, 29 Nov 2012 11:46:00 -0500Will the Palestinian Authority's bid for U.N. recognition kill hopes for Mideast peace?<img src="" /></P><p>If you thought the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas across the Gaza Strip border "harmed the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace, just wait," says Peter Beinart at <em>The Daily Beast</em>. "Things are about to get worse." This Thursday, on the 65th anniversary of the United Nations resolution to carve up the former British Mandatory Palestine, <strong>Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask the U.N. General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a "nonmember state."</strong>&nbsp;(Abbas is likely to succeed, as 132 nations have already recognized Palestine on their own, and he only needs a simple...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 26 Nov 2012 12:50:00 -0500The Israel-Gaza conflict: Proof that President Obama is a true friend to Israel?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">During the presidential campaign, <strong>the near-constant refrain from Republicans was that President Obama had been a poor friend to Israel</strong> &mdash; in the words of Mitt Romney, he had thrown America's closest ally "under the bus." Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's hawkish prime minister, did next to nothing to correct that impression, all but campaigning for Romney in the apparent hopes that a GOP presidency would free Israel from the obligation to earnestly pursue peace talks. However, the characterization of Obama as an unreliable Israeli ally may soon join his alleged apology tour around the world in...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 21 Nov 2012 13:20:00 -0500How Hamas' rockets and Israel's missile-defense system work<img src="" /></P><p>The most stunning piece of hardware employed so far during Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense has been Iron Dome, the shield ably intercepting rockets fired by Hamas militants. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli weapons manufacturer previously responsible for the highly effective Python air-to-air missile, developed Iron Dome. The system isn't powered by magic, though it certainly calls Clarke's Third Law to mind. Here is how it works:</p><p>Iron Dome has five batteries, each of which is mobile and comprised of radar, a sophisticated computer, and three missile launchers. When a rocket is...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/david-w-brown" ><span class="byline">David W. Brown</span></a>Wed, 21 Nov 2012 12:10:00 -0500The Israel-Gaza conflict: An opportunity to revive the long-stalled peace process?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">A potential cease-fire is&nbsp;reportedly&nbsp;in the works to end fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip &mdash; a conflict that has killed more than 100 people in the past week, many of them civilians. President Obama has dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the region to "put an American imprimatur" on any cease-fire, says Mark Landler at <em>The New York Times</em>, "a sharp shift from his hands-off posture of the past two years," which was largely marked by a "futile effort to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians." The latest burst of fighting...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 20 Nov 2012 17:25:00 -050010 incredibly moving images from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict<img src="" /></P><p>Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hastily dispatched to the&nbsp;Mideast&nbsp;on Nov. 20 to help end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants. While a potential cease-fire is in the works, many people continue to report via Twitter that explosions are ongoing. Here, a Palestinian boy stands in the rubble of a home after an Israeli&nbsp;airstrike. Click through for a look at more civilians on both sides of the war.</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 20 Nov 2012 16:55:00 -0500How Hamas' long-range rockets changed Israel and the Middle East<img src="" /></P><p>Watching Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip engage in a missile war, which could possibly lead to an Israeli ground invasion, has something of a bad-rerun quality to it (as this cartoon in <em>The Week</em> points out). But 2012's Operation Pillar of Defense, as Israel calls it, is different than 2008's Operation Cast Lead, the last time Israel invaded Gaza. One of the biggest changes: Hamas-aligned Qassam militants debuted new longer-range rockets on Sunday that can reach as far as the heavily populated metropolis of Tel Aviv.</p><p>"The significance of rockets fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem should not be...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 20 Nov 2012 07:00:00 -0500Could Bill Clinton broker peace in Gaza?<img src="" /></P><p>As Israel and Palestinian militants trade missile strikes across the border of the Gaza Strip, the death toll is rising. And the conflict is threatening to escalate. While President Obama has publicly supported Israel's right to defend itself after enduring months of rocket attacks, his administration is warning the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is massing troops just outside the Palestinian territory, against launching a bloody ground invasion. Sen. John McCain on Sunday urged Obama to send a high-profile envoy, such as former president Bill Clinton, to push aggressively...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Nov 2012 12:42:00 -0500WATCH: Anderson Cooper rattled by a bomb explosion in Gaza<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video:</strong> As the violence escalates between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza, Anderson Cooper went live in the midst of the hostilities to report for CNN. While he spoke on camera, a bomb exploded alarmingly close to him, interrupting his broadcast and leaving him visibly shaken. "Whoa," he exclaimed, grimacing slightly. "That was a rather large explosion." After the blast, Cooper was surprisingly calm as he continued his report, calling the explosion the largest one he'd heard in the past hour. Take a look at Cooper's close call:</p><p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p><strong>The reaction:</strong> "Talk about courage under fire," says Hillary...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Nov 2012 11:27:00 -0500Would a ground war in Gaza backfire on Israel?<img src="" /></P><p>Israel and Hamas appear to be careening from mutual rocket attacks toward all-out war. Early Monday, Israel launched a sixth day of deadly airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian militants continued their barrage of more primitive (but improving) missiles. Over the weekend, two reached as far as Tel Aviv before being shot down by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. So far, the back-and-forth has killed at least 81 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, and three Israeli civilians. Meanwhile, Israel is amping up its rhetoric: "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Nov 2012 06:50:00 -0500Israel's air strikes on Gaza: Is all-out war inevitable?<img src="" /></P><p>Israel called up 16,000 reserve troops on Friday as it massed ground forces on the border of the Gaza Strip. Israel and Hamas had agreed to a ceasefire during a three-hour visit to the Palestinian territory by Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil, but the truce collapsed after militants fired a dozen rockets into Israel and the Israeli air force responded by bombing the house of a Hamas commander. Kandil called the Israeli strikes, now in their third day, a "disaster," but said that his country would "spare no effort" to broker a truce. After a pair of Palestinian long-range rockets hit near the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 16 Nov 2012 11:13:00 -0500Should Twitter bar Israel from live-tweeting its Gaza offensive?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Twitter's terms of service state that users "may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others." Yet the Israeli army, formally known as the Israeli Defense Forces, has unleashed <strong>a stream of tweets tracking its offensive against Palestinian militants</strong> in Gaza, which include what appear to be threats against senior leaders of the Islamic group Hamas.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Here's one of the most talked-about tweets:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.</p>&mdash; IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 14,...</blockquote> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 15 Nov 2012 16:40:00 -0500Israel's Gaza offensive: What's next?<img src="" /></P><p>On Thursday, Israel launched a second day of punishing air strikes&nbsp;on Gaza, escalating an offensive that began in response to Palestinian rocket fire. In Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, health officials said the Israeli strikes had killed 15 people, including Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jabari. In southern Israel, three civilians have been killed by retaliatory strikes from Gaza. The international repercussions from the fighting are only just beginning.&nbsp;Egypt's Islamist-led government recalled its ambassador to Israel, while the United Nations Security Council...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 15 Nov 2012 14:50:00 -0500Israel's assault on Gaza: The bizarre, uncomfortable live-tweets from Israel's military<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">On Wednesday, after months of tension between Israel and Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a major offensive in&nbsp;the Gaza Strip.&nbsp;But instead of holding a press conference to spread the news, the Israeli forces took to social media, making this the world's first military campaign to be announced through Twitter.&nbsp;At around 9:30 a.m. on America's east coast, the Israeli Defense Forces' Twitter account, @IDFSpokesperson, tweeted news of "<span class="s1">a widespread campaign on terror sites &amp; operatives in the #Gaza Strip." Since then, the </span>account has been live-tweeting the incursion, which...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jessica-hullinger" ><span class="byline">Jessica Hullinger</span></a>Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:53:00 -0500