Reporters on the Job

Into the Light: Staff writer Ilene Prusher has been covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, off and on, for more than a decade. "Back in the early and mid-90s, Hamas was totally underground. There were no offices," she says. If you wanted to do an interview with the militant leaders, "you'd ask your Arabic interpreter to use his contacts to arrange a meeting. You were often driven somewhere in Gaza but you didn't know the destination. You were introduced to a designated spokesman. If you asked for their phone numbers, they'd often refuse, because they knew the Israelis were tracing their calls."

She recalls interviewing Hamas's spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 1997 shortly after he was released from an Israeli prison. "In this case, we met in his home. But, frankly, I didn't want to make it a long interview," says Ilene, noting that Israel targeted Hamas leaders for assassination. Mr. Yassin was killed in a missile strike in 2004.

As a result, she says, the emergence of Hamas as a public political party over the past year, is startling. While reporting today's story about the Hamas charter and during the recent elections, "all I had to do was to call up their office or visit them in an office building in Ramallah, just across the hall from the Fatah party. It's radically different."

- David Clark Scott
World editor

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK