Large protests rocked the border between Gaza and Israel for the second consecutive Friday this past week.
A March 31 rally resulted in the deaths of at least 20 Palestinians, with hundreds injured, as Israeli forces used live ammunition and tear gas to push back protesters. On Friday, nine more people were fatally shot, including a journalist.
While much of the international attention has focused on the actions of the Israel Defense Forces, from inside Gaza, a different set of issues has taken priority. Hamas organized the protests, centered on the right of return for Gazan refugees and their descendants. This represents a new strategic initiative for Hamas, which has been attempting to fuel popular protest since 2015, but until recently had largely failed to generate much interest outside its own constituency.… Seguir leyendo »
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians soared last month after several weeks of violence claimed the lives of 11 Palestinians and five Israelis.
Could escalation give rise to a new Palestinian intifada? If so, would that uprising will be more akin to the largely nonviolent first intifada of 1987-1993 or the violent second intifada that began in 2000? Surprisingly, conditions may favor the mass mobilization of unarmed protest — and in a place where many least expect it: Hamas.
Hamas emerged in 1987 during the first intifada as an Islamist political and militant movement in the struggle against the Israeli occupation. The main force behind suicide bombings inside Israel in the 1990s and early 2000s, Hamas earned a reputation as a terrorist organization — officially designated as such by the United States and European Union.… Seguir leyendo »