Thursday, February 05, 2009

Arab FMs' meeting aimed at building consensus

I have spent the past week in Gaza and just arrived in Tel Aviv. The mood here in Tel Aviv is hawkish. Yesterday my best guess was that Israel would attack Gaza Friday (tomorrow). Didn't know of course but do know that Egypt has told all journalists who came in from Rafa to leave today because Rafa will be closed from Friday - which is ominous. Ordinary people in Gaza are very frightened.

Today I am more upbeat. The Israeli negotiating team flies to Cairo this morning and it looks like disaster may have been averted and a cease-fire is about to be signed after all. Which means that the closure of Eretz is just the Egyptians getting tough alongside the Israelis and they will then offer the re-opening of Eretz as a carrot in return for Palestinian - Palestinian peace.

Inside Gaza Hamas popularity has dropped to an all time low - they are now just as unpopular as Fatah. The only group to have increased in popularity (other than the independents) is Islamic Jihad.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

U.S.-allied Arab states back Abbas in Hamas row

Writing from Gaza: This business of making an issue of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people is ridiculous. First, the PLO is unreformed and does not include Hamas and can therefore never really truly represent all Palestinians. Regrdless of which Hamas has contradicted the idiot in Damascus and said it does recognise the PLO. Despite which Abu Mazin is filled with so much gross hubris that he makes an issue of this. Pathetic. And trhe Arab states back him - very pathetic.