In One Paragraph, the Horror of the Middle East

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From The Times:

Wafa al-Bass, in prison since 2005 when she used the chance for treatment at an Israeli hospital as a pretext to bring a suicide belt through the Erez crossing -- trying to explode it when caught -- said upon arrival in Gaza that Palestinians should "take another Shalit" every year until all the remaining 5,000 Palestinians prisoners in Israeli jails went free.

Of course, Gazans are still treated at Israeli hospitals.

The good news: Hamas seems to be losing its grip on Gaza:

Especially alarming for the Islamists is a precipitous drop in support for the party among Gaza's youth: two-thirds of the population is under 25. In a March survey taken in the afterglow of the protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that led to the ouster of Egypt's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, more than 60% of Gazans age 18 to 27 said they too would support public demonstrations demanding regime change.

Soon after that poll, 10,000 turned out at a rally to voice a more modest demand -- that Hamas end the bloody rift with Fatah, the secular party it bested six years ago. Hamas sent thugs to break up the demonstration. "We came out to say the people should be united, and they attack us!" says Shadi Hassan, 22, who lives in a refugee camp and sells cigarettes. "We are suffocated, and we need regime change."

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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