Sat Oct 27, 2012, 03:31 AM
oberliner (31,105 posts)
The Death of a Palestinian Unity Deal?
Mahmoud Abbas seemed skeptical. It was the spring of 2011, and I was visiting the Palestinian president in his office in Ramallah a few weeks after writing a story about him for Newsweek. With Egypt’s help, Abbas’s Fatah party had just struck a deal with the Islamic group Hamas, and the agreement was supposed to end the damaging rift and the de facto division between the West Bank and Gaza. Now, however, the two sides were arguing over who should lead a transitional government, and Abbas didn’t seem optimistic. “I hope it will work,” he told me, but you could sense the doubt in his voice.
Abbas was right to be doubtful; the agreement didn’t work. Like other attempts at reconciliation since then, it faltered on the reluctance by Hamas to give up the privileges of power it had accumulated in Gaza since taking over the enclave in 2007—and a fear by both sides that elections would only diminish their authority.
Now, 18 months later, the prospects of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas seem more remote than ever. A visit to Gaza this week by the Emir of Qatar has conferred new legitimacy on Hamas, while Abbas’s Palestinian Authority faces financial insolvency and what analysts believe is the growing prospect of political irrelevance.
For both parties, and for ordinary Palestinians, the rift comes at a price. While Palestinians blame Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu for the absence of a peace process, their own division is itself a formidable obstacle to independence.
2 replies, 430 views
The Death of a Palestinian Unity Deal? (Original post)
Response to oberliner (Original post)
Sat Oct 27, 2012, 03:43 AM
holdencaufield (2,927 posts)
1. In order for a Palestinian Unity Deal to die ...
... doesn't it have to have at some time been alive? The more accurate headline would be The Dead Palestinian Deal becomes a Zombie.
Response to holdencaufield (Reply #1)
Sat Oct 27, 2012, 12:10 PM
oberliner (31,105 posts)
2. Haniyeh says Hamas wants to end political division`
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that Hamas wants to implement a national reconciliation deal to unite Palestinians.
Haniyeh made the comments during an Eid speech in al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
The political division between Palestinians is an urgent issue, he said, adding that a recent visit by the Emir of Qatar helped to break the Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007.
He called on Arab and Muslim leaders to make similar visits to Gaza, and thanked Egypt for its cooperation in facilitating the emir's visit.