Menahem Froman is one of the few Israelis to have dared sit down with arch-enemy Hamas. But he's not just any Israeli. He is a Jewish settler and a rabbi who lives in the West Bank. Last month, fear struck deep in the heart of Israel when the radical Islamist movement won a landslide victory in the Palestinian elections.
Ariel Sharon blinked his eyes on Monday as a tape of his grandson was being played, but medics treating Israel's coma-stricken premier said it is too early to assess the significance of the development. Meanwhile, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was officially named interim chairperson of Sharon's Kadima party on Monday.
The Rafah border, Gaza's only link to the outside world that bypasses Israel, was declared open by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Friday after being shut for nearly three months. ''It is a dream come true for us to be here to celebrate the reopening of the Rafah terminal,'' Abbas told Palestinian and foreign dignitaries.
Israeli forces were set for a showdown on Thursday with the final hard core of Gaza Strip settlers, surrounding synagogues where thousands of religious Jews had taken refuge as the country struggled to absorb the traumatic impact of ending its 38-year occupation of Gaza.
The last Jewish settlers were dragged kicking and screaming out of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday as Israel moved to end 38 years of occupation of the Palestinian territory. Backed by bulldozers, Israeli forces fanned out through the Mediterranean seafront territory.