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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hamas accepts Egyptian plan to reconcile with Fatah

Hamas has accepted an Egyptian initiative to reconcile it with Fatah. The Egyptian plan talks about a national unity government and elections, but the report about it makes no mention of whether this means that Hamas will accept the agreements previously concluded by Fatah with Israel, give up terrorism and recognize Israel's 'right to exist' (which Fatah hasn't recognized anyway).

Nine months ago, I would have been confident that without Hamas accepting those conditions, the United States - at least - would not talk to the unified Fatah - Hamas government. It goes without saying that we can no longer be sure of that. I don't believe that the other members of the 'Quartet' would be willing to enforce those conditions for talking to Hamas today.
Zahar stressed, however, that Hamas's positive response does not mean that the movement has made any concessions.

"Our position is based on reality," Zahar told reporters in the Egyptian capital. "This is a true attempt to solve all the problems and reach a unity agreement."

Ahmed Yusef, a political adviser to Hamas, described the Egyptian initiative as balanced and acceptable.

But another top Hamas official, Khalil al-Hayeh, sounded more cautious.

He said that the Hamas delegation would hold a series of meetings with Egyptian security officials before announcing its final stance toward the initiative.

He added that Hamas had reservations about the plan that it wanted to discuss with the Egyptians.

Hamas's reservations are limited to a number of issues concerning elections and security.
What could go wrong?


At 8:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - it remains to be seen whether Fatah will give up being in the driver's seat to allow a co-equal role for Hamas.

That has about as much chance of happening as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resuming. The Palestinians make noises about unity but to date all efforts to achieve it have eluded them.


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