Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
I'll believe it when I see it....
Rival Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and Gaza Strip have decided to form a government of national unity within the "next five weeks," officials said early on Wednesday.

The agreement, between members of the PLO and Hamas, was reached following talks in Gaza City which began on Tuesday evening, a member of the PLO who wished to remain anonymous told AFP.

"There has also been progress on the holding of future elections and the composition of the PLO," said the Palestinian official without giving further details.

Secretary-general of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam al-Salihi told Ma'an that a "road map plan" had been agreed upon.

The plan starts with the formation of a unity government, which will carry out presidential and parliamentary elections within six months at most, al-Salihi said.

Hamas member Khalil al-Hayya said in a statement Wednesday that noticeable progress had been made in the talks with regards to the implementation of a reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo.

"A positive atmosphere prevailed" during the meetings, al-Hayya said.

Talks, which are taking place behind closed doors, are expected to continue throughout Wednesday.

It is not the first time that a national unity government has been announced by the rival factions, and on several previous occasions attempts to form an administration have collapsed.

Fatah, the PLO's main component, and Hamas signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo in 2011 aimed at ending the political divide between Gaza and the Palestinian Authority-ruled West Bank.
What we can tell from this article is that it is the "moderate" Fatah that is caving to Hamas, and not the other way around. They are not talking only about a "unity" government but about allowing Hamas (and maybe Islamic Jihad) to join the currently Fatah-dominated PLO.

Which is what was discussed in 2011 as well.

What is also clear is that the PLO is more willing to work with Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists than it is to negotiate with Israel. Not that this is a surprise; Fatah's goals are identical to Hamas' of destroying Israel, it just managed to fool the West by pretending otherwise when speaking in English.

(UPDATE: Hamas apparently is willing to give control of the Rafah crossing to Fatah, because Egypt does not want to deal with Hamas.)

Hamas cannot abandon its charter while remaining Hamas. There is no wiggle room there; Hamas' goal to destroy Israel is not changing. Fatah, however, has lots of ambiguity in its position on Israel that would allow it to move towards Hamas' position. This is precisely what we will see happening in the next few months, as we've seen in the past - Fatah trying to accommodate Hamas intransigence while papering over that fact when talking to Western media and politicians.

The reaction from the West to this announcement will be telling as well. It is likely that the EU (and possibly the White House) will happily paper over Hamas' terrorism (and ignore Islamic Jihad if they are part of this deal), and continue to pretend that Israel is at fault for not wanting to negotiate its destruction with those whose goals are explicit.

In the end, though, Hamas isn't going to give up its military hold on Gaza and Fatah isn't about to risk its power base in the West Bank. Even in the unlikely event that there are elections by October, the chances that the results would be honored by the losers are pretty low.

The announcement just proves yet again how little Mahmoud Abbas cares about real peace with Israel.

UPDATE 2: Hamas (unofficial) leader Mahmoud Zahar says in Al Monitor:

Al-Monitor: Has Hamas truly abandoned armed resistance while other parties insist upon continuing it?

Zahar: Anyone who claims so must be drunk. How has Hamas abandoned the resistance effort? What are the manifestations of it doing so? Where have we prevented the launching of rockets? The last time three men were martyred as they fired rockets, did we stop them? This so-called ban came as a result of agreements between the factions after the last war. After every war, the factions agree about when to strike and when to stop. Some factions aim to cause tensions on the border crossings, which is not part of the resistance’s plan, but an attempt to bolster the siege by closing down the Kerem Shalom crossing. That is why they are arrested. And, in fact, some of them turn out to be spies or affiliated with factions that have nothing to do with the resistance movement. This is a clear case of psychological projection; those who fought against the resistance, criminalized it, imprisoned it, stripped it of its weapons and cooperated with Israel against it, now want to project their deeds onto Hamas.



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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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