Hamas: No prisoner swap until Israel releases rearrested captives

Hamas

Hamas says it will not enter into talks to swap prisoners with Israel until people who were rearrested following a previous prisoner swap are first released. Hamas says more than 70 Palestinians who were freed in a deal in previous exchange have been rearrested. Hamas says they must be released first before they’ll consider trading two Israelis who are being held in Gaza for even more Palestinians held by Israel. This even though Hamas hasn’t actually publicly acknowledged holding the two Israelis who voluntarily crossed over into Gaza and then disappeared.

Israeli officials say they want to hold talks with Hamas regarding the exchange of prisoners. prisoners.

Hamas official: We did not fire rockets 1st

Hamad

Hamas’ deputy foreign minister says it’s untrue that they fired rockets from Gaza into Israel before the Israelis attacked Gaza in a much criticized effort a year ago.

“We did not start this aggression,” said Dr. Ghazi Hamad. “Israel started this aggression against Palestinians. They started targt(ing) civilians, target(ing) homes, hospitals, mosques,” he told Britain’s Channel 4 News.

When the reporter challenged him, saying, “Your rockets came first,” Hamad flatly denied it. “This is not true, this is not true,” he responded.

Hamad also defended the summary executions of Palestinians without trial for what he says was their treasonous collaboration with Israel.

Family of one of 2 Israelis held in Gaza call for his release

Israeli hostage

Two Israelis are being held in Gaza after crossing the border. An Ethiopian Israeli and a Bedouin Israeli. Little is known about the Bedouin captive. But the family of the Ethiopian is calling for his release. Calling his imprisonment “a serious humanitarian case.”

The family is imploring the Israeli government to bring him home, “safe and sound.”

2 Israelis held in Gaza

Gaza

The Israeli government, lifting a gag order over the cases of two Israelis who are being held in Gaza, one by Hamas.

One of the men went voluntarily into the Gaza 10 months ago. He is a Ethiopian Israeli who may have gone over because of psychological problems.

The other is a Bedouin Israeli. Little is known about his case.

Hamas leader: Indirect talks underway

Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of Hamas’s leaders in the West Bank, confirmed that Israel and the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terrorist group are in the midst of negotiations through mediators.

Upon his recent release from Israeli prison, Yousef told Channel 1 journalist Yoram Cohen that Hamas and Israel are trying to work out a deal for a long-term truce. Click here to read the story.

Palestinians present 1st documentation against Israel to the ICC

ICC

As promised, the Palestinians have presented to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, documentation in support of their contention that Israel is guilty of war crimes stemming from its incursion into Gaza last summer. The move puts Israel in a position of having to decide whether or not to cooperate with ICC investigators. Israel did not cooperate with a UN Human Rights Council probe – which found just days ago that both Israel and Hamas likely committed war crimes. Click here to read the story.

Photo by ekenitr

Another Palestinian unity government may be in the making

Unity flag graphic by HonestReporting.com/Flickr
Unity flag graphic by HonestReporting.com/Flickr

On Facebook, many people list their relationship status as “complicated.” So too is the off again, on again, off again relationship between the Palestinian Authority and Fatah. Two weeks ago, the unity government dissolved. But that was two weeks ago. Today, Fatah and Hamas are talking about getting together again to form another union. Click here to read the story.

Washington blasts UN Gaza report

There’s a common belief among Israelis that the Obama administration has abandoned them. But now, Washington is calling on the UN to deep six the report on last summer’s Gaza war which criticizes both sides for war crimes. Terming it biased.

Of course, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also calls the report biased.

There are those who fear the report will further isolate Israel in an “us against the world” mode which actually hampers efforts to bring a peace.

The Palestinians are reacting much differently. The report in hand, the Palestinian Authority heads, tomorrow, to the International Criminal Court, to file charges of war crimes against Israel.

This piece, in Haaretz, breaks down the report.

Opinion: With Gaza report, the UN hits a new low

UN in Geneva

By ANNE BAYEFSKY

Arrest Benjamin Netanyahu and any other “suspected” Israeli war criminals wherever and whenever you can get your hands on them. That is the shocking bottom line of a scandalous report released today from the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The report emanates from a board of inquiry the Council created in the midst of the 2014 Gaza war. In legalese, the call to arrest Israelis either for trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC), or before any court in any country that the U.N. labels “fair,” reads like this:  Click here to read the commentary.