The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.] has come up with a new method to silence its Palestinian critics. From now on, any Palestinian writer or journalist who dares to criticize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his policies or demand an end to corruption will be accused of "belittling the dignity of the state." Since the beginning of this year, at least 10 Palestinian journalists, bloggers and political opponents have been detained by various Palestinian Authority security services for writing about corruption and criticizing the Palestinian leadership.
Fatah leaders were quick to declare victory in the October 20 local elections in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -Ed.]. But the results of the vote for 93 municipal and village councils show that the vote was anything but a victory. True, in some cities and villages, Fatah did win a majority of seats. But this is not the same Fatah that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the old guard leadership of the faction had backed.
The U.S. Administration has sought to downplay the significance of this week's visit to the Gaza Strip by the Emir of Qatar, Hamad al-Thani. "We have seen the reports that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa visits Gaza today on a humanitarian mission," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "We share Qatar's deep concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people, including those residing in Gaza." Many Palestinians, especially the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank, do not share the U.S. Administration's position regarding the emir's visit.
The Palestinian Authority says it is worried because of the rise in the number of Palestinians from Jerusalem who are seeking Israeli citizenship. Hatem Abdel Kader, who is in charge of the "Jerusalem Portfolio" in the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank, revealed that more than 10,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem have been granted Israeli citizenship.
Female Muslims are being abducted, raped, shot, tortured and forced into unwanted marriages in a number of Arab and Islamic countries. In Israel, however, Muslim women are not only allowed to drive and run for elections, but can also reach high positions. Not all Arab Israelis are an "enemy from within"; Muslim women in the Jewish state enjoy more rights and opportunities than their colleagues in Arab and Islamic countries.
Walid Obeidat, Jordan's new ambassador to Israel, a member of one of Jordan's largest and most influential tribes, deserves an award for being one of the most courageous diplomats not only in his country, but in the entire Arab world. His tribe has now "disowned" him because he agreed to serve as ambassador to Israel, which has a peace treaty with Jordan.
After repeated delays, Palestinians in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] are scheduled to hold local elections on October 20 for 245 village councils and 98 municipalities. Since the first free and democratic Palestinian local elections were held in 1976 under the Israeli military government, the Palestinians have had only one local election -- in 2005.
In an unprecedented move, Palestinian judges this week went on strike in protest against the Palestinian Authority's repeated attempts to meddle in the internal affairs of the judiciary system. A judges' protest shows that the Palestinian Authority is making a mockery of the Palestinian court system. The judges' protest shows that the Palestinian Authority is making a mockery of the courts in the West Bank. Moreover, it shows that the Palestinian Authority leadership wants the judges to issue verdicts that do not embarrass or harm senior Palestinian officials.
In events being ignored not only by the Egyptian authorities, but also by the mainstream media and human rights organizations in the West, Muslim terrorists have in recent weeks attacked Christian families and forced them out of their homes and businesses in the Sinai town of Rafah. The terrorists have threatened to pursue their jihad against Christians until all of them leave the Sinai.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas apparently believes that the Palestinians would not be able to survive for one day without him. This must be why whenever he faces criticism from Palestinians, Abbas resorts to his old-new threat to resign. Abbas is convinced that if he steps down -- as his critics and a growing number of Palestinians are demanding -- the Palestinian Authority will collapse and his people will face a new "nakba" [catastrophe]. But the truth is that the Palestinians would be better off in the post-Abbas era.
The Palestinian Authority's duplicity -- which has become an integral part of the Palestinian Authority's strategy in dealing with both its people and Israel -- reached new heights last week when its leaders called for a "day of solidarity" with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
It is no secret that Fatah has long been trying to get rid of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who, its representatives argue, had been imposed on the Palestinians by the Americans and Europeans.
Syrian female refugees aged 14 and 15 who fled their country to Jordan and Iraq are being forced into "pleasure marriages" [Nikah al-Mut'ah] -- a pre-Islamic custom allowing men to marry for a limited period, which can last as little as 30 minutes. More disturbing is that Muslim scholars and preachers have given the green light to their followers to exploit the plight of the poor and helpless Syrian girls.
The world often thinks of the Gaza Strip, home to 1.4 million Palestinians, as one of the poorest places on earth, where people live in misery and squalor. But an investigative report shows that it is home to at least 600 millionaires, who have made their wealth thanks to the hundreds of underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.
Those who think that Hamas and other Islamic groups do not have a strong presence in the West Bank are completely detached from reality. True, these groups are lacking in arms and ammunition in the West Bank, but they still enjoy broad public support among Palestinians.
The Egyptians are finally learning that terrorism is a double-edged sword, and that those who approve of terror activities will one day find themselves targeted by the same terrorists.
If Muslim fanatics cannot tolerate moderate and secular Muslims, why should they be expected to accept those who belong to other faiths?
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now saying that he will resume his efforts in September to achieve, unilaterally, UN recognition of a Palestinian state. This time, however, Abbas says he will go to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians enjoy the support of more than 130 countries, with a request to recognize a Palestinian state as a non-member of the UN.
Palestinians who fled the fighting in Syria this week said that the some suburbs of Damascus were full of Al-Qaeda militiamen from a number of Arab countries. Others said that many fighters belonged to radical Salafi groups.
By meeting separately with Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas, Mursi has created the impression that the Palestinians have two legitimate leaders. Even more, Mursi has put Mashaal on an equal footing with heads of state, thus granting legitimacy not only to the Hamas leader, but to his entire movement.
According to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Gaza Strip, at least five Christians have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in recent weeks. In a rare public protest, leaders and members of the 2,000-strong Christian community in the Gaza Strip staged a sit-in strike in the Gaza Strip this week to condemn the abductions and forced conversions in particular, and persecution at the hands of radical Muslims in general.
The world has become used to hearing and watching stories about massacres against civilians in Syria. But until recently, almost all the victims were Syrian citizens.
Abbas is not interested in reaching any deal with Israel: he knows that such a move would require him to make concessions. Abbas knows that Israel will never give him 100% of his demands; that is enough for him to refuse to sign any historic agreement. Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down into history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.
In March last year, thousands of Palestinians, inspired by the "Arab Spring," launched their own protests in the West Bank to demand reforms, democracy, and regime change. But the Palestinian revolt was short-lived. Abbas's security forces, backed by Fatah thugs, attacked the young men and women who were protesting in the center of Ramallah, torching their tents and beating them with clubs and rifle butts.
Like many Arab countries, Lebanon has always been treating Palestinians as third-class citizens. Nearly half a million Palestinians live in Lebanon's 12 camps. Though born and raised in the country, they are denied political, economic and social rights.