News The female face of Hamas: Isra Al-Modallal

During her teenage years, Isra Al-Modallal was a schoolgirl in Yorkshire. She travelled from her home in Bradford, which she shared with her older brother, to Grange Technology College, two miles outside the city centre.

Gaza Strip: Reconciliation deal for Palestinians

Smaller Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation deal yesterday before a formal ceremony this week to celebrate the accord designed to end a four-year rift between the biggest factions, Hamas and Fatah.

US urged to recognise Palestinian state as Fatah and Hamas end rift

Egypt has urged the United States to recognise a united Palestinian state as warring factions Fatah and Hamas prepare to sign a landmark reconciliation pact in Cairo.

Hamas condemns killing of al-Qa’ida leader

Hamas condemned on Monday the US killing of Osama bin Laden as the assassination of an Arab holy warrior, differing sharply with the Palestinian Authority, the Islamist group's partner in a new unity deal.

Israel suspends tax payment over détente

Israel has suspended an $88m (£53m) tax payment owed to the Palestinians in retaliation for a landmark reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian factions.

Egypt softens stance on Hamas with move to open Gaza border crossing

A declaration by Egypt that it will permanently open its crossing into Gaza to ease the blockade on the territory has fuelled concerns in Israel about the future direction of Cairo's foreign policy.

Donald Macintyre: New realism pervades Hamas-Fatah negotiations

Israelis are willing to negotiate with a coalition including Hamas if it brings peace

Leading article: An opportunity for peace that must not be squandered

The EU made a serious mistake five years ago when it refused to recognise Hamas

Israel calls Palestinian deal a 'fatal mistake'

Israeli President Shimon Peres yesterday described a long-awaited reconciliation deal between two Palestinian factions as a "fatal mistake" that will destroy any hopes of establishing an independent Palestinian state.

Israel dismayed as Fatah strikes surprise deal with Hamas

The Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to end a four-year rift in a surprise move that could have profound implications for the stalled Arab-Israeli peace process.

Palestinian rivals 'agree to end fued'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement has struck an agreement with bitter rival Hamas on forming an interim government and fixing a date for a general election, officials said on Wednesday.

Suspects in Gaza activist's murder killed in Hamas raid

Two main suspects for the killing of a pro-Palestinian Italian activist died yesterday and a third was captured during a raid by Hamas security forces, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry said.

Leading article: A killing in Gaza that also carries a warning to Israel

The kidnapping and killing of Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza is exactly what the Italian foreign ministry statement said it was: "An act of vile and senseless violence."

Activist's murder shakes Hamas's grip on Gaza

Outrage as first death of foreigner since militants seized power in 2007 underscores rise of destabilising 'outlaw' element

Abducted Italian activist killed in Gaza

Hamas found the body today of a pro-Palestinian Italian activist who was killed by al-Qa'ida sympathisers in the Gaza Strip, raising questions about the Islamist group's control over the beleaguered enclave.

Hamas pleads with Israel for end to cross-border rocket attacks

A senior member of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement made a rare public appeal yesterday for an end to escalating cross-border fighting, telling the state-run Israel Radio in fluent Hebrew that Hamas is ready to stop its rocket fire if Israel ends attacks on Gaza. Hamas' deputy foreign minister, Ghazi Hamad, said: "We are interested in calm but want the Israeli military to stop its operations."

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