Foreign aid dried up.Life for Gazans became even harsher after Hamas drove its Fatah rivals out, widening the split with the West Bank and weakening Abbas's claim to speak for Palestinians on peace.Now, with 984 Gazans dead and some 4,300 wounded so far, Palestinians are wary of looking beyond the rubble and ruins."The Israeli war on Gaza is undermining the peace process, undermining the moderates," said veteran negotiator Saeb Erekat. "You cannot say you want peace and conduct killing fields."Neither he nor other pro-Abbas advisers would spell out their views on Gaza's post-war future although some U.S. officials are already talking of foreign-funded reconstruction as an opportunity to bolster Abbas at Hamas's expense.The Islamist group's war aims, apart from reaping prestige by resisting the Israeli onslaught, focus on ending the embargo in return for a truce of up to a year, perhaps renewable, with foreign observers on Egypt's side of the Rafah border crossing.In the long term, Hamas's charter sets a goal of dismantling the Jewish state and installing Islamic rule in all Palestine, although its leaders have often spoken of a decades-long truce with Israel if it withdraws to its pre-1967 war borders.EXISTENTIAL THREATThe Iranian-backed Islamists are unlikely to abandon an ideology that Israelis view as a threat to their existence, but once the scale of destruction in Gaza becomes clear, Hamas might decide to put its cross-border rocket attacks on hold.In turn, Israel says it will be ready to "live and let live" if Hamas submits to its conditions end rocket fire, refrain from rearming and release an Israeli soldier captured in 2006.That might be the best short-term outcome, according to Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. As long as Sergeant Gilad Shalit was a captive, it would be very difficult to approach anything close to normalization on any of the crossings, he said, referring to the Israeli blockade."Ultimately, we want a two-state solution, not a three-state solution, so the legitimate Palestinian Authority has to re-establish its control over Gaza," Regev said, denying that Israel intended to have any hand in that process.Palestinian political analyst Ali Jarbawi said Gaza's future hung on the outcome of the war: "If Israel can't win by military means, it has to deal with Hamas by political means."Hamas rocket fire on Israel had achieved no results, Jarbawi added. Nor had 15 years of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.For Palestinians, the notion that Israel sincerely seeks a solution that would end occupation and give them a unified state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip rings hollow.The idea that Hamas can be removed from the equation in favor of "moderates" also seems fanciful, although that has not stopped Israel, the West and some Arab states from pursuing it.Alastair Crooke, a former EU mediator with Hamas, argues that the group let a six-month truce with Israel lapse last month because it had brought a political solution no nearer, even as the humanitarian plight of Gazans worsened."The only option was to break the mold of a Gaza left stewing in its isolated misery, and a West Bank frozen in a pattern of Israeli total control, but providing the all-important illusion of a 'political process' that Western leaders could extol back home," Crooke wrote last week.Hamas's decision and Israel's devastating response have inflicted a huge cost on Gazans, whose future remains dark."Maybe Hamas is to blame partially," said Um Mohammed. "Not for what is happening, but for failing to tell us what they wanted to get out of this.
If it was all about (opening) the Rafah crossing, we do not want the Rafah crossing."(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Mohammed Assadi in Ramallah; editing by Samia Nakhoul). BAHRAIN and NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ, Jan 14 (MARKET WIRE) Zain, a leading mobile telecom group in the Middle East and Africa, andKirusa, the world's leading vendor of Voice SMS and a leading developerof mobile value added services, announced today that they have signed aframework agreement for supply of the popular Kirusa Voice SMS solutionto the Zain Group. This agreement would enable the Zain group, withmobile carriers across twenty-two countries, to source Voice SMS solutionfrom Kirusa. Therecipient gets an SMS notification from the sender and can dial a numberin the notification to directly access the spoken message.Voice SMS is attracting customers from different geographies across theglobe and has positioned itself firmly as a fast-growing, voice-basedmobile messaging solution in the industry. It is a new messaging paradigmproviding asynchronous communication with voice.
It is faster, easier,more personal and can be added to the wireless infrastructure with minimalimpact.This agreement once again shows Zain as an innovative carrier introducingnew, relevant, cost-effective and contemporary value added services to itsvast base of mobile customers across the two continents. The agreement wassigned after Kirusa successfully conducted a pilot Voice SMS project at aZain carrier. The key criteria for Zain in selecting Kirusa was theability to provide its customers with a convenient and cost-effective wayto connect with friends, family and business colleagues with a scalablesolution that can serve the needs of operators of all sizes within theZain group. Zain was also impressed with Kirusa's International Voice SMScapability, allowing mobile customers to send a Voice SMS to people acrossthe globe whenever convenient, without having to worry about time zonedifferences or the high cost of international voice calling. The recipientis able to retrieve the International Voice SMS with a local call, andreply to it easily.Under this agreement, Kirusa will provide Zain a full turnkey Voice SMSsolution with best-in-class user features that works for all generationsand types of networks. Rapidly deployed, Kirusa's cost-effective solutioneasily integrates with existing network, messaging and billinginfrastructures to quickly begin building new revenues. Its deploymentwill lower the cost of communication for Zain's customers, while providinga greater brand exposure for Zain across the region.