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Tensions Come to Head for New Palestinian PM

Haniyeh Nominated As Palestinian Prime Minister

Scoop Report: Hamas' newly appointed Palestine Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, is under renewed pressure after having taken over leadership of the Palestinian government. Israel is intensifying border and territorial operations, establishing Israeli-Only points, blocking Hamas Gaza members from attending swearing-in ceremonies in the West Bank city of Ramallah, invading West Bank sectors like Balata Refugee Camp, and also in the Gaza-Strip, and finally annexing the Jordan Valley on the eastern strip of the West Bank.

Ismail Haniya - Wikipedia Biography (born 1962) (Arabic: إسماعيل هنية) is a senior political leader of Hamas. He is considered to be among the movement's most moderate leaders. He was selected on February 16, 2006 as the new Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority following the Hamas "List of Change and Reform" victory in the Palestinian legislative election of January 25, 2006. Haniya was voted (before the election, by Hamas) to the top of the list of candidates for the movement and was therefore the leading contender for the position of prime minister, succeeding Ahmed Qurei.

Haniya was born in the Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza, in 1962. His parents became refugees after they fled their homes in what is now the city of Ashkelon in Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1987, he graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza with a degree in Arabic literature. In 1989, he was incarcerated for three years by Israeli authorities without charge, and following his release in 1992, he was deported to Lebanon. A year later, he returned to Gaza and was appointed as Dean of the Islamic University. For more see… Wikipedia Bio Of Ismail Haniyeh

Scoop Link: News Round-Up


Qatar - Hamas has presented Ismail Haniya as its choice for Palestinian prime minister in a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, a step towards installing the first government to be led by the Islamic group. Officials said Abbas would present Haniya with his formal letter of appointment on Tuesday evening, setting in motion the process of naming a cabinet to be approved by the Hamas-dominated parliament. See full story… Hamas takes step to form government

The Star

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) Ismail Haniyeh, a prominent Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, was nominated Sunday to be Palestinian prime minister.

The militant group announced the nomination in a text message, a day after its members were sworn into the new Hamas-dominated Palestinian parliament. The nomination was widely expected.

Haniyeh, 46, is seen as a leader of the more pragmatic wing of Hamas.

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Hamas names popular pragmatist as Palestinian prime minister

Telegraph - By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
(Filed: 17/02/2006)

Hamas has chosen Ismail Haniyeh, a popular leader from Gaza with a reputation as a pragmatist, as the next Palestinian prime minister, party officials said yesterday.

Although the appointment is yet to be officially confirmed, the 43-year-old will lead the first Islamist government in the modern history of the Holy Land after last month's unexpected general election victory.

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Hamas nominates Ismail Haniyeh as Palestinian prime minister

Haaretz Daily - By Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondent, and News Agencies

Hamas on Thursday nominated Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip who is widely viewed by Palestinians as a pragmatist, as the next prime minister, a senior official in the militant group said.

"We have decided to nominate brother Ismail Haniyeh as the prime minister," the senior official told Reuters after Hamas's elected legislators met in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Mussa Abu Marzuk, the deputy head of the political bureau, confirmed the nomination.

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IDF establishes 'Israeli-only' entry points that bar Palestinians

Amira Hass - Haaretz
February 17, 2006

A military order that took effect last week bars Palestinians with permits to enter Israel from entering via the roads that Israelis use to enter the country from the West Bank.

The order also forbids Israelis to transport Palestinians with valid entry permits via these roads. Instead, Palestinians must enter via one of the 11 crossing points earmarked for them. Until now, Israelis could ferry Palestinians with valid permits into Israel without going through one of these special crossings.

The Defense Ministry's Seam Line Administration has posted signs at all other access roads from the West Bank into Israel warning that non-Israelis may not use these crossings. However, the signs explicitly define "Israelis" not only as citizens or residents of the state, but also as tourists or anyone entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.

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Israel blocking Hamas members from PLC swearing-in

Aluf Benn and Amos Harel - Haaretz
February 17, 2006

Israel decided on Friday to block Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament from traveling from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank city of Ramallah for Saturday's swearing-in ceremony, Israel Radio reported. The ceremony will instead be conducted via video conference.

The decision was made during Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Friday meeting with senior figures from the defense establishment, the Foreign Ministry, the National Security Agency and the intelligence community.

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[Israeli Army] kills 4 Palestinians in West Bank raid

Jonathan Lis - Haaretz and Agencies
February 19, 2006

[Israeli] troops killed four Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and West Bank on Sunday.

In the West Bank, the army killed two militants during a large-scale operation in the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus. Large infantry forces entered the camp in search of wanted militants and illegal arms.

The troops encountered intermittent gunfire and several booby traps were hurled at army patrols, but no injuries were reported. Exchanges of fire were still taking place Sunday afternoon.

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Israel 'has annexed Jordan Valley and shut out Palestinians'

Donald Macintyre - Independent
February 14, 2006

Israel has in effect "annexed" the Jordan Valley, or eastern strip of the West Bank, by severely restricting the movements of Palestinians inside it, it was claimed yesterday.

The accusation was made by B'tselem, a leading Israeli human rights organisation, following investigations by B'tselem and the newspaper Ha'aretz which showed that some 200,000 Palestinian West Bank residents are systematically prevented from entering the Jordan Valley area, including farmers seeking to cultivate their own land and seasonal farm workers who used to work there regularly.

The Jordan Valley is politically highly sensitive because by remaining under Israeli control it would further substantially restrict the scale of any Palestinian state. Ehud Olmert, the acting Prime Minister, while being careful not to be specific about the fate of Israeli settlements in the area when he foreshadowed further West Bank withdrawals last week, has made it clear that Israel would maintain control of the border with Jordan.

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In Ze'evi's footsteps
Emptying the Jordan Valley

Amira Hass - Haaretz
February 15, 2006

Someone who apparently had an especially sarcastic sense of humor decided to officially name the Jordan Valley Road, Route 90, the "Gandhi Road." The reference is not to Mahatma Gandhi, but to Rehavam Ze'evi, who advocated "transfer" - the expulsion of the Palestinians from their land. Perhaps he understood that this was indeed the appropriate name for the eastern road. For not only on this road, but throughout the enormous and beautiful expanse of the Jordan Valley and the eastern slopes of the hills, there is an oppressive sense of absence, loss, and emptiness.

The Palestinians have disappeared from the valley, aside from a few thousand who live there plus some to whom Israel agrees to give daily entrance permits for various reasons. It is not even possible to include the approximately 35,000 residents of Jericho among those remaining, because the Israel Defense Forces forbids them to travel northward of Area A, where they live.

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