- -02-22-05 Israel Releases 500 Prisoners (MSNBC News)
"Israel freed 500 Palestinian prisoners in a good-will gesture Monday, a day after the government gave final approval to a pullout from Gaza and a revised route of the West Bank separation barrier that would encompass at least 6 percent of land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state." 02-05
- -03-19-05 Muslims in Middle East Oppose Co-Ed Services (CBC News)
"Muslims in the Middle East on Saturday angrily denounced a mixed-gender Islamic prayer service led by a woman in New York as a violation of their religion."
Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, led the service on Friday before a congregation of 80 to 100 men and women at Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, an Episcopal church."
Three mosques had refused to hold the service, and an art gallery backed out after receiving a bomb threat. Organizers said the service was intended to draw attention to the inequality faced by Muslim women." 03-05
- -07-26-05 Report: Palestinians Forces in Disarray (BBC News)
"An independent study of the Palestinian security forces in Gaza and the West Bank has concluded that they are weak, ill-equipped and divided."
"It also says that the Palestinian Authority (PA) forces are overstaffed and outgunned by militant groups."
"The report comes weeks before the PA takes over responsibility for Gaza." 7-05
- -08-11-05 Hamas Offers to Help Smooth Gaza Exit (MSNBC News)
"The militant group Hamas has agreed to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority in ensuring a smooth transition during the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, officials said Thursday."
"Beginning Wednesday, Israel plans to uproot all 21 Jewish settlements in Gaza, ending 38 years of control over the area, along with four small enclaves in the West Bank." 8-05
- -08-14-05 Israel Begins Withdrawing from Gaza (CBS News)
"Israeli and Palestinian troops took up positions Sunday to launch Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip after months of political wrangling and mass protests a move that will redraw borders and reshape prospects for Mideast peace.""
"Many hope the pullout from the territory Israel captured in 1967 will be the start of a true partition of historic Palestine between Arab and Jew."
"Others fear it is a ploy by Sharon to get rid of areas he doesn't consider crucial to Israel while consolidating control of parts of the West Bank, where the vast majority of the 240,000 Jewish settlers live." 8-05
- -08-29-05 Palestinian Prime Minister: Militants Upholding Truce (ABC News)
"Palestinian militant groups told an Egyptian envoy Monday they remained committed to a cease-fire with Israel, a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside an Israeli bus station, Palestinian officials said.
"Leaders from the main militant groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades made the pledge during meetings with the visiting Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, who was in the region to shore up the truce and facilitate an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on Israel's Gaza withdrawal, participants said." 8-05
- -09-11-05 Historic Occasion - Israelis Complete Gaza Withdrawal (MSNBC News)
"Thousands of triumphant Palestinians poured into abandoned Jewish settlements early Monday, setting empty synagogues on fire and shooting in the air, as the last Israeli soldier left the Gaza Strip, completing Israels pullout after 38 years of occupation." 9-05
- -09-25-05 Israelis Launch "Crushing" Retaliation (MSNBC News)
"Israel launched a "crushing" retaliation Saturday against Hamas in Gaza with deadly airstrikes, troops massed at the border and a planned ground incursion after militants fired 35 rockets at Israeli towns their first major attack since the Gaza pullout."
"Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told security chiefs in a meeting that "the ground of Gaza should shake" and that he wanted to exact a high price from Palestinians everywhere, not just Hamas."
"Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicize details of the plan, said the operation would stop only if the Palestinian Authority asserted control over Gaza or Hamas declared an end to rocket attacks."
"Israel also sealed the West Bank and Gaza, barring thousands of Palestinians from reaching jobs in the Jewish state." 9-05
- -10-08-05 Gaza Poverty (BBC News)
"It is nearly a month now since the last Israeli tanks rolled out of the Gaza Strip. Determined that the homes of Israeli families would not fall into the hands of militant groups like the Hamas organisation, they have left little behind but rubble." 10-05
- -11-15-05 Rice Works to Open Palestinian Borders to Trade (Time Magazine)
"Rice's all-nighter demonstrated the extent of hands-on diplomatic effort required to get the two parties to achieve what she conceded was just one step towards the goal of establishing a Palestinian state that can live in harmony with its Israeli neighbor. Once the drama of its 13th hour surprise ending fades, the episode may be a sobering reminder of how long and arduous the journey remains and of how much more may be required of the Bush administration and its successors if progress is to be sustained." 11-05
- -11-20-05 Sharon to Pull Out of Likud Party (CBS News)
"Israel's dovish Labor Party voted Sunday to pull out of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government, and Sharon reportedly decided to quit his Likud Party to set up a new movement beginning a campaign for elections expected in March." 11-05
- -11-26-05 Landmark Day for Gaza-Egypt Border (BBC News)
"More than 1,500 Palestinians have crossed freely from Gaza into Egypt via a border point controlled for the first time by Palestinian officials."
"Saturday was the first day Palestinians could use the reopened Rafah crossing - a vital gateway to the outside world for the Gaza Strip's economy."
"Israel held the border station for nearly 40 years but ceded control to Palestinian forces after it withdrew."
"The crossing reopened under the European Union's supervision." 11-05
- Dancers of Ibdaa (World Press)
"Earlier this month, I watched Palestinian folkloric dance and theatre performed by the Ibdaa dance troupe. The group is the third generation of dancers, consisting of ten boys and ten girls from the Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank. The troupe performed at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus, the first stop in a countrywide tour to raise money for the Dheisheh refugee camp." 11-05
- -Editorial: Crisis Combination in the Middle East (BBC News)
"You hear a lot of talk about war in the Middle East at the moment."
"There was so much of it when I was in Beirut last month that it started me wondering. Was this what it felt like to be somewhere like Prague in about 1934?"
"I hope the future is not as dark for the Middle East as it was in Europe in the 1930s, but for most of the 20th Century, conflict in Europe poisoned the rest of the world."
"Seven years into this new century, the Middle East is showing every sign of doing the same." 03-07
- Bombs - A History of Bombing Attacks by Palestinians (BBC News)
Provides a brief description of each bombing attack by Palestinians against Israeli civilians, since 1994. Each year there were from none to a maximum of four--until 2001. In 2001 there were 14 bombing attacks against Israelis and in 2002 there have been many more. 4-02
- Bombs - Bombing Attacks by Palestinians Since 2000 (USA Today)
Provides a brief description of each bombing attack by Palestinians against Israelis since September of 2000. There were 29 Palestinian bombing attacks in 2001 and 41 attacks in 2002 (up to June 19th). Editor's Note - Palestinian attacks became intense in 2000 as a result of Ariel Sharon's defiant visit to a holy Muslim site, followed by Israeli soldiers shooting into protesting crowds and killing Palestinians. 6-02
- Editorial: Gaza a First Step (International Herald Tribune - New York Times)
"On Monday morning, Israel finally began to withdraw from the thirsty strip of land where it settled nearly 9,000 Jews in the middle of more than a million Arabs. Gaza has always been the ultimate example of the bankruptcy of Israel's settlement policy, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should be congratulated for finally doing what he and his predecessors should have done years ago."
"But Bush must make clear to Sharon that the Gaza withdrawal is a first step. He must not allow Sharon to maneuver him into blessing an indefinite Israeli occupation of the West Bank." 8-05
- Editorial: The Israeli-Palestinian Public Relations War in Washington DC (ABC News)
"Rated among the top lobbying groups in the United States by Fortune magazine next only to the National Rifle Association, AARP and the National Federation of Independent Business AIPAC [American Israeli Public Affairs Committee] is widely believed to have Uncle Sam's ears and a fair influence on his pocketbook."
"As one of the leading spokesmen for the Palestinian cause in the United States, Ibish says the Middle East publicity war in America is being waged on uneven turf."
" 'There's an incredible asymmetry between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups [lobbying in Washington] and people understand that one group has political power and the other doesn't,' says Ibish." 8-05
- Essay - Anarchy in Palestinian Territory - Sharon Destroys the Palestinian Government (BBC News - Plett)
Describes the Israeli effort for complete destruction of the central government of the Palestinians. Rather than just rooting out terrorists, as Sharon claims he is doing, Plett reports that the military have gone into government buildings to destroy records, machines, and everything else. "After the war, Israel 'will be faced with a situation in which there is no central government in the PA and with the total anarchy that will develop in the absence of such authority,' writes Uzi Benziman in Israel's Haaretz daily." 4-02
- Israeli Camp David II Proposals for Final Settlement (Mideast Web)
"These were modified in various ways by U.S. bridging poposals. The details of the proposals are still secret at this time. Israel claims that they were far reaching and generous. The Palestinians have been claiming that the proposals would have perpetuated the precise situation of the interim agreements, in which the West Bank is divided into numerous small areas of Palestinian sovereignty interspersed with a much larger area of Israeli sovereignty." 4-02