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Fatah and Hamas have opened talks on forming a unity government in the West Bank and Gaza. This follows an abortive attempt at the same goal earlier this year, when Hamas got desperate to end the global embargo on aid once they assumed power:
MAHMOUD ABBAS, the Palestinian President, and Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Hamas-led administration, agreed yesterday to discuss forming a government of national unity after meeting in Gaza.
Similar negotiations last February with the President’s Fatah faction foundered when Hamas refused to accept earlier peace deals with Israel which would have implied recognition of the state. Hamas went on to form its own Government, which sparked an economic embargo by the international community.
This follows the demands made by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails that the various groups unite in one government, which could then work towards the end of occupation -- as defined by the Palestinians. The National Conciliation Document received a lot of approbation when it first appeared, as people believed that it proposed recognition of Israel at the 1967 borders. Of course, it did no such thing, instead demanding a united front for the purpose of pushing Israel into the Mediterranean.
The formation of a unity government will probably get the same silly kind of attention that the NCD inspired, but it will mean little except for efforts to give the Palestinians more money. It legitimizes Hamas, which wants to control the executive in this new political structure. Fatah and Abbas lend them their limited prestige, but in the end it still remains a terrorist enterprise. Hamas' control guarantees that Damascus will use them just as they do Hezbollah in Lebanon -- as a proxy for attacks on Israel
Hamas and Fatah have never worried much about improving the lives of their constituencies, preferring to extend their misery as a motivating force for jihads both religious and secular, respectively. Combining their efforts promises to deliver more misery and therefore more radicalism. The Palestinians at some point have to push responsible leadership to the fore if they ever expect to live normal lives; this union only makes that a more difficult task.Sphere It View blog reactions
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