Gaza Strip

Ariel Sharon: A hawk who might just have liberated the Palestinians

What would have happened if Ariel Sharon had not been struck down by his stroke in January 2006? Could the man Palestinians saw as the butcher of Beirut, who had urged Jewish settlers to grab every hilltop in the West Bank – and provided the spark that ignited the second intifada – have been the  general-politician to end the occupation, in a local version of De Gaulle’s withdrawal from Algeria?

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Hamas rival Fatah party stages first Gaza rally since 2007

The Fatah party of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas staged a massive rally today in the Gaza Strip, the first such gathering in the territory since the Islamist Hamas group took control there in 2007 and a reflection of the warming ties between the two rival factions.

Israel eases some restrictions on Gaza

After more than five weeks of calm on its border with Gaza, Israel is allowing more building materials into the territory and considering easing other restrictions as part of an Egypt-brokered cease-fire with Hamas that ended an eight-day conflict in November, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Hamas rally stirs hope among Palestinians for unity

The green banners of Hamas were openly raised at Nablus on the West Bank as thousands gathered for the militant Islamist group's first permitted rally in the West Bank in five years, a sign of a thaw in a bitter split with Fatah, the faction that dominates the Palestinian Authority.