We’ll see how long this lasts, of course. This BBC report speculates: “it will end the bitter hostility between the two sides and remove a significant barrier to the Palestinian campaign for statehood.”
No, the re-incorporation of an entity with the stated purpose of destroying Israel into a Palestinian government does nothing — or ought to do nothing — to advance a Palestinian state.
Where else would this be tolerated? Suppose a chunk of Belgium demanded international recognition as a state while broadcasting the explicit intention of destroying the Netherlands as an entity, taking it over, and slaughtering and subjugating the Dutch, all the while lobbing rockets over the border. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But double standards abound.
“Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas ‘agree to end rift’,” from BBC News, April 27:
The Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, which governs Gaza, have agreed a reconciliation deal, officials say.
Under the Egyptian-brokered deal, an interim government will be formed and a date fixed for elections.
The groups have been divided for more than four years, with Hamas in power in Gaza and Fatah running the West Bank.
Israel immediately said that the Palestinian Authority could not have peace with both Hamas and Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I hope the Palestinian Authority will make the right choice – peace with Israel.”
Hamas has carried out bombings and rocket attacks against Israel for years and does not recognise its right to exist.
The US responded to the news by saying that any Palestinian unity government would have to renounce violence and recognise Israel.
Thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza this month, calling for reconciliation.
The protests were inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
The split between Fatah and Hamas occurred when violence erupted a year after Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006. Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007.
The BBC’s Jonathan Head in Cairo says that if the deal goes ahead, it will end the bitter hostility between the two sides and remove a significant barrier to the Palestinian campaign for statehood.
But he says there are many difficult issues to resolve – such as how the two factions will share security, how Gaza and the West Bank, separated by Israeli territory, will be governed, and whether the international donors will be willing to recognise Hamas.
At a news conference in Cairo, Fatah delegation head Azzam al-Ahmad said: “We are proud that we now possess the national will to end our divisions so we can end the occupation of Palestine… the last occupation in history.”
How about, say, Cyprus?
Hamas’s deputy leader, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said: “Our rift gave the occupation a chance. Today we turn a new page.”…