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Sep 18, 2014

Insight – After Mahmoud Abbas, who will lead the Palestinians?

JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH West Bank (Reuters) – Most Palestinians have known only two leaders: Yasser Arafat, the stubble-chinned firebrand fond of chequered scarves and olive fatigues, and Mahmoud Abbas, a smooth-shaven father figure who favours Western suits and ties.

Arafat died in Paris in 2004, having led the Palestine Liberation Organization since 1969, and Abbas has been in the driving seat since, trying to forge a still-elusive peace deal with Israel.

Sep 18, 2014

After Mahmoud Abbas, who will lead the Palestinians?

JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH West Bank (Reuters) – Most Palestinians have known only two leaders: Yasser Arafat, the stubble-chinned firebrand fond of chequered scarves and olive fatigues, and Mahmoud Abbas, a smooth-shaven father figure who favors Western suits and ties.

Arafat died in Paris in 2004, having led the Palestine Liberation Organization since 1969, and Abbas has been in the driving seat since, trying to forge a still-elusive peace deal with Israel.

Sep 11, 2014

Dry West Bank ridge becomes focus of Israel-Palestinian tension

A West Bank (Reuters) – The rocky valley north of Jab’a, scattered with olive and pine trees and dry streams long evaporated by the searing heat, would be unremarkable had it not become the latest point of friction between Israel and the Palestinians.

Days after a ceasefire was reached in the war in Gaza last month, Israel announced that 400 hectares (988 acres) west of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, was now “state land” – that is territory for Israel, not land that will be part of any future Palestinian state.

Sep 10, 2014

Palestinian salaries dispute puts Gaza peace at risk

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Tensions between Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian parties, are close to breaking point over the non-payment of salaries to Gaza’s public sector workers, raising the risk of a return to conflict in the territory, officials say.

The ceasefire struck last month to end Israel’s war with Hamas included stipulations that the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, should take over civil administration in Gaza from Hamas, an Islamist movement.

Sep 3, 2014

Israel shows evidence of rocket fire from Gaza schools

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – The Israeli military has provided its most detailed assessment yet of the conduct and impact of the Gaza war, including photographs indicating that militants stored and fired rockets from schools and a breakdown of the toll inflicted on Hamas.

In a briefing at its headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces presented a minute picture of the structure and capability of Hamas and other militant groups operating in Gaza, an effort to explain the severity of the threat Israel faced and justify Israel’s heavy tank shelling and air strikes during the 50-day conflict — tactics that drew international criticism.

Sep 2, 2014

Israel raises alarm over Islamist militants on its frontiers

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s frontier with Syria, where militants have kidnapped 45 U.N. peacekeepers, has become a magnet for Islamist activity and Israel itself is now a target, the defense minister and security analysts said on Tuesday.

The Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has established a major presence in the region, analysts said, and is poised to carry out attacks across the barren borderlands where Syria, Israel and Jordan converge.

Aug 29, 2014

U.N. tries to locate Fijian peacekeepers seized on Golan Heights

QUNEITRA Golan Heights (Reuters) – U.N. officials shuttled along the rocky frontier between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Friday, trying to establish the whereabouts of 43 United Nations peacekeepers seized by al-Qaeda-linked militants inside Syria.

Israeli forces took up positions at Quneitra, a fortified crossing between Syria and the Golan, barely 400 meters from Nusra Front militants, who attacked a U.N. base on the Syrian side of the border on Wednesday and seized the 43 Fijians.

Aug 26, 2014

What’s in the Gaza peace deal?

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Tuesday to an Egyptian-brokered plan to end the fighting in Gaza after 50 days of combat in which more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, 64 Israeli soldiers and five civilians in Israel were killed.

Following are the broad parameters of the agreement, which Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been working on through indirect talks in Cairo over recent weeks.

Aug 25, 2014

Diffuse Hamas structure complicates Gaza peace efforts

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Founded by just seven people in Gaza, Hamas now has political and military leaders spread across the Arab world, complicating its ability to send a unified message for negotiating an end to a seven-week war with Israel.

In less than 30 years, what was a grassroots Islamic group has expanded well beyond the confines of Gaza, a narrow coastal enclave hemmed in by Israel and Egypt.

Aug 25, 2014

Insight – Diffuse Hamas structure complicates Gaza peace efforts

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Founded by just seven people in Gaza, Hamas now has political and military leaders spread across the Arab world, complicating its ability to send a unified message for negotiating an end to a seven-week war with Israel.

In less than 30 years, what was a grassroots Islamic group has expanded well beyond the confines of Gaza, a narrow coastal enclave hemmed in by Israel and Egypt.

    • About Luke

      "Luke is bureau chief for Reuters in Brussels. The 25-strong, multimedia bureau covers all European Union issues, from trade, energy and agriculture to foreign policy, competition, regulation and economic affairs. The bureau is also responsible for coverage of NATO and Belgian politics, economics and company news. In his beat, Luke covers foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Iran, and writes about EU economic policy. He was previously based in London, where he was defence correspondent, and before that had postings in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Rome and Johannesburg."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
      Languages:
      English, Italian, French, Spanish
    • More from Luke

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      Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War
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