Week in Review, Feb 10th
Fatah and Hamas finally sign unity government agreement, hunger striker brings greater attention to IDF administrative detention, Hamas' "waning" relationship with Iran and more this week's top #Palestine stories.
- After nearly nine months since signing a reconciliation pact, Hamas and Fatah leaders finally signed a unity agreement in Qatar on Monday. The agreement puts current PA President Mahmoud Abbas as head of an interim national consensus government to prepare for upcoming elections. Although the elections are scheduled to take place in May, the Palestinian election commission has expressed doubts that there will be enough time to prepare. Israeli PM Netanyahu gave his usual response on Palestinian unity efforts, saying that Abbas must choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas. The agreement may also further endanger American aid to the Palestinians as Congressional amendments forbid any aid going to Hamas.
- A Palestinian prisoner, widely believed to be a leader of Islamic Jihad, held in administrative detention by the Israeli military entered his seventh week of a hunger strike protesting his treatment. Activists have been successful in building momentum through social media campaigns with hashtags #Dying2Live, #9febhungerstrike, and #khaderadnan. Major human rights organizations like Amnesty International have also called for Israel to try or release Mr. Adnan. Other organizations like Btselem are also bringing the issue of administrative detention, which allows the IDF to detain Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial, to greater attention.
- Gaza Prime Minister and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has arrived in Iran for a three day visit where he is also expected to speak at a rally honoring the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Iran is considered to be a major financial backer of the Palestinian Islamist party, but it is suspected that ties between the two have begun to cool since the onset of the Arab Spring and the ongoing conflict in Syria.
- American "indie music" star and singer-songwriter Cat Power, real name Chan Marshall, announced that she would be cancelling an upcoming performance in Tel Aviv after activists implored her to do so in keeping with the BDS movement.
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