Friday, 19 April 2013

Hamas in talks as Palestinian unity momentum builds

DOHA (AFP) -- Leaders of Hamas met in Qatar on Friday amid renewed impetus for a unity government after the resignation of prime minister Salam Fayyad, a Palestinian official said.

Newly re-elected Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal chaired the meeting in his base in exile in Qatar, which was also attended by Hamas leaders from Gaza including its prime minister Ismail Haniyeh.

Momentum has built for reconcilation between Hamas and the Fatah movement of president Mahmoud Abbas since the resignation of Fayyad, a US-trained economist whose appointment as premier was never recognized by the Islamists.

"The meeting began on Thursday and will continue until Saturday," the official said, requesting anonymity.

Hamas leaders will discuss "Palestinian reconciliation, developments in the Palestinian arena following Fayyad's resignation, as well as ways of pressing Israel to release Palestinian prisoners," the official said. more

Urgent concerns over death threats issued to UN Human Rights defender, Issa Amro

There are growing concerns for the safety of non-violent Palestinian activist and organiser Issa Amro, following a recent letter to Israeli security forces from Israeli settlers of Hebron, accusing Amro of terrorism and incitement, and warning that a failure of the Israeli authorities to remove him “could be costly”, and threatening “bloodshed”. This is the latest in a long line of threats and attacks against UN human rights award winner Amro.

In the letter, the mayor of the Jewish “Hebron Municipal Council” and the director general of the “Hebron Jewish Community” insist that army commanders “use administrative detention until you are able to find a long-term solution to completely end this hostile and dangerous activity” referring to Amro’s extensive work with various human rights groups. The full letter can be read here.more