Lebanon: Hizbullah Awaits the Next Round

Even as Hizbullah leaders cut a deal to remove their troops from Beirut's streets last week, the Islamist group's on-the-ground commanders were quietly making plans to consolidate their military gains. "Our units are still patrolling the area," said one Hizbullah military commander, who asked not to be identified because he didn't have authorization from his superior. "We still have guns, but we're hiding them now." The Islamists are particularly focused on expanding their network of...

Hizbullah's Watching

Even as Hizbullah leaders cut a deal to quiet Lebanon's guns, a commander of the Shiite force says it's "still patrolling" areas of West Beirut recently seized from Sunni rivals. The commander, who asked for anonymity, also describes how a new intelligence network shaped the combat. A year ago, he says, Hizbullah operatives began surveilling security guards with ties to the U.S.-backed Sunni leader, Saad Hariri. By the time fighting erupted in May, they'd compiled names and phone numbers of...

Cover: The Jihadist Riddle

What drove so many Libyans to volunteer as suicide bombers for the war in Iraq? A visit to their hometown—the dead-end city of Darnah.

Israel: Troubled Talks

Despite flaring Israeli-Palestinian violence, a chorus of security officials, academics and ordinary Israelis is urging direct negotiations with the radical Islamist group Hamas. In a recent Haaretz-Dialog poll, 64 percent of respondents favored such talks. Even among those from the hawkish Likud bloc, the idea was backed by 48 percent.Israelis are fed up with what they see as a failed Gaza policy. Hamas's attacks keep spoiling the peace efforts of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel's...

The Death of Terror's Pioneer

Hizbullah's Imad Mugniyah was responsible for some of the deadliest attacks on Americans on record. His death will likely spark more killings.

In Gaza, Borderline Insanity

A debate has opened among Israeli policymakers about how best to deal with the newly porous border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Last week, Hamas militants blew down part of the barrier, letting thousands of Palestinians pour into Egypt. The exodus was seen as a PR coup for Hamas and a setback for U.S. efforts to turn Gazans against the party. But now Israelis are quietly wondering whether the chaos might play into their hands. After the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, hawks argued that they...

The Man In The Middle

It's been a long year for Tony Blair. After stepping down as Britain's prime minister in June, under fire for his Iraq policy, he took on what many consider the hardest job in the Mideast: representative of the Quartet—the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations—to the Palestinians. He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Kevin Peraino. You've heard a lot of resentment among Palestinians for your support of the Iraq War. Can you get past that lack of trust? For the...

Tony Blair: State Of Limbo

It's been a long year for Tony Blair. After stepping down as British Prime Minister in June, under fire for his Iraq policy, he took on what many consider the hardest job in the Middle East: the representative of the Quartet—the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations—to the Palestinians. At least there was a bright spot in late December: at a donor conference in Paris, he secured pledges of $7.4 billion in aid. He spoke by phone with NEWSWEEK'S Kevin Peraino....

Spot the Difference: 'Concerned Citizens' vs. Militia

Yesterday I took a day trip with Gen. David Petraeus – one of his frequent "battlefield circulations" – to a small farming village near the Iraqi town of Yussefiya, about 30 miles southwest of Baghdad. These kinds of excursions are generally dog-and-pony shows: day-long spin sessions that involve a fair amount of theatrics from American officers going on about how much progress has been made. (Yesterday was no exception; the climax came when the four-star general passed out soccer balls to...

Iraq: With U.S. Help, Warlords Gain New Power

Kanan Al-Sadid was not yet 10 years old on the afternoon that his father opened the trunk of the family car and Saddam Hussein popped out. It was the early 1960s, and the future dictator was hiding out from the Iraqi authorities, who accused him of plotting to assassinate the country's then strongman, Gen. Abdul Karim Qassim. Kanan's uncle was a member of Saddam's revolutionary Baath Party clique; when the conspirators needed to lie low, they would disappear to the Sadid family estate near the...

Redemption Games

For Gazans who want to escape the territory's political tensions, there are few boltholes. And video games aren't always the answer.

Inside Gaza: An Arms Dealer's Tale

It is not a fact that he particularly likes to advertise, but, if pressed, Abdel Hamid Bahar will acknowledge that his business is at its best when people are dying. Last Sunday I went to see the black-market arms dealer at his home, a squat, dilapidated structure made of cinderblocks and tin sheeting, in the central Gaza village of Moghraga. We sat on pink plastic chairs in the shade, next to a slightly sickly garden with a couple of banana plants and a slender olive tree. The weapons...

Inside Gaza: Who Killed the Juha Sisters?

Yehia Abu Moghaseb knew something wasn't right almost as soon as he saw the headlights. The Gaza Strip gravedigger watched from his house as two cars turned down the sloping dirt driveway of the Martyrs' Cemetery in his village of Wadi Salgah, where he works. It was almost 10 p.m. last Saturday, too late for a funeral. He walked down the hill toward the lights and found several men gathered around the hatchback of a blue and white Mitsubishi Magnum. The men were polite but a little harried. As...

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