Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said Saturday that there had been a breakthrough in reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah negotiators in Yemen's capital Sana'a, Israel Radio reported. According to the report, al-Qirbi said Fatah had already agreed to the final draft of the accord hammered out in the Yemen talks. The Hamas delegation, however, has asked to consult with its leadership. ... "Hamas is not declining the Yemenite initiative which aims to resolve the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah," Ahmed Youssef, adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi. Youssef also said that Hamas is maintaining contacts with European representatives. "Most of the Europeans we maintain contact with are British, Swedish, Swiss and French. In most cases they were unofficial European representatives who are helping change the European attitude towards Hamas." ... The Yemeni proposal calls for the situation in the Gaza Strip to return to the way it was before the Hamas takeover and for Palestinian elections to be held [without Dahlan]. The plan also envisages the creation of another unity government and rebuilding of Palestinian security forces along national rather than factional lines. Eine durchaus unerhöhrte Nachricht, dabei mit extremer Vorsicht zu genießen. Der Islamic Jihad und die Hamas treffen sich unterdessen zu offiziellen Verhandlungen über einen Waffenstillstand mit Israel. Die top-Nachrichtenseiten schweigen noch, da diese Nachricht zur Nachricht des Jahres aufsteigen könnte. Eine Hamas-Fatah-Verbindung auf Regierungslevel würde so manches Strategiegebäude der Achse US-Israel-EU zum Einsturz bringen. Allerdings ist der US-Druck auf Abbas die Verhandlungen platzen zu lassen schon unterwegs: U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will visit Israel on Saturday to try to push forward Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, his spokeswoman said. He will also visit the Palestinian territories over the weekend, before leaving for Turkey, his last stop on a nine-day visit to the Middle East region. "The vice president's discussions will involve the ways forward in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism and to protect its citizenry," Lea Anne McBride, Cheney's spokeswoman, told reporters travelling with him. "The vice president also looks forward to visiting the Palestinian territories to reaffirm the president's commitment to the current efforts towards the two-state solution and efforts to strengthen Palestinian institutions." US-Zeitungen legen den Focus auf den vorhergehenden Besuch in Saudi-Arabien auf den Ölpreis, während israelische Medien natürlich:
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Friday urged U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney to pressure Israel to seal a peace deal with the Palestinians before President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009, official Saudi sources said. Cheney, on a 10-day regional tour, arrived Friday in Saudi Arabia where he met Abdullah at the king's al-Janadriya horse farm near Riyadh. Sources said Saudi Arabia is not happy with the "slow" pace of US efforts to push the Middle East peace process by putting pressure on Israel to reach a peace agreement and end the building of settlements and excavations around Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
A Palestinian security officer and four civilians were injured, one seriously, during a shoot-out between Palestinian Authority forces and dozens of armed men on Saturday morning in the village of Huwwara, south of the city of Nablus. Palestinian medics told Ma'an's correspondent in Nablus that officer Bashar Attiyani was injured in the foot, while local Palestinian sources said that 30-year-old civilian Nur Al-Akhras was seriously injured in the head. The governor of Nablus, Jamal Muheisin told Ma'an that security forces were attempting to arrest the armed men in response to requests from Huwwara residents. [...] Der gestern als verschüttet gemeldete Schmuggler ist mittlerweile tod geborgen worden. [...] Wie ein Mauerschießbefehl zum Rohrkrepierer wird? "Threatened by Israeli snipers, villagers in Al-Khadr protest construction of Israeli wall" [Maan].
Daniel Williams, "An ancient Gaza clan despairs for its future": The first Shawas came to Gaza from the Arabian peninsula 600 years ago with a herd of sheep and business sense, so the lore goes. Over time, they multiplied and became farmers and merchants, politicians and rebels, physicians and builders. For Khaled Shabaan Assad al-Shawa, his clan's saga is both a source of family pride and a reminder that the city was not always synonymous with despair, displacement and upheaval. Before thousands of refugees arrived and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians became endless, Gaza was a place of culture, trade and legend. "Gaza is not just what you see in the newspapers," says Shabaan, 65, a retired school principal. "There are centuries of history here, though in the current situation, it's hard to remember that." Nana, Williams, wie kann man denn bei einem Bericht über diese Familie die Malerin Laila al-Shawa vergessen?