Powered by WebAds

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal

In an earlier post, I reported that Hamas and Fatah have decided to reconcile. Here are some more details on the deal that they have reached (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
"The two sides signed initial letters on an agreement. All points of differences have been overcome," said Taher Al-Nono, the Hamas government spokesman in Gaza. He added that Cairo would shortly invite both sides to a signing ceremony.

"We have agreed to form a government composed of independent figures that would start preparing for presidential and parliamentary elections," said Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of Fatah's negotiating team in Cairo.

"Elections would be held in about eight months from now," he added.


Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas leader who participated in the talks, said Wednesday's deal covered five points, including combining security forces and forming a government made up of "nationalist figures".

He said Hamas and Fatah would free respective prisoners.

Implementation of the accord is due to start following an official signing ceremony in Cairo, expected in early May.

Any interim government is unlikely to include Hamas officials in an effort to avoid the sort of international boycott that hit the Palestinians after the 2006 election.
Fatah believes that it's crucial for them to reconcile with Hamas to avoid the argument in September that they're not ready to be a state because half their 'people' are governed by Hamas.

It's true that argument would be used (and it would be correct), but this move does not resolve the issue. Fatah and Hamas governing jointly raises a host of problems.

Earlier, I showed you a video in which Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the 'Palestinian Authority' could have peace with Israel or Hamas but not with both. That's just the tip of the iceberg of the problems that this deal raises. Here's the US reaction:
The United States believes any Palestinian government must renounce violence, respect past peace deals and recognize Israel's right to exist if it is to play a constructive role, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.


The United States supports the reconciliation on "terms which promote the cause of peace", the State Department said following the announcement.

"We have seen the press reports and are seeking more information. As we have said before, the United States supports Palestinian reconciliation on terms which promote the cause of peace," the State Department said.

"To play a constructive role, any Palestinian government must accept the Quartet principles by renouncing violence, accepting past agreements, and recognizing Israel’s right to exist."

The White House said it was seeking more information about the reported deal, calling Hamas terrorists.

"The United States supports Palestinian reconciliation on terms which promote the cause of peace. Hamas, however, is a terrorist organization which targets civilians," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.
Under US law, Hamas is considered a terror organization, and the President may be forbidden from providing US aid to a government in which Hamas sits. The European Union also considers Hamas a terror organization, although there is a lot more pressure in Europe to recognize it as a legitimate partner for peace. Europe may continue to fund the 'Palestinian Authority' with Hamas on the inside, and it may also still vote in favor of the unilateral recognition of a 'Palestinian state' at the UN in September.

As to Israel, while some Israelis delude themselves that Fatah and the 'Palestinian Authority' want peace with us, no one here has any such illusions about Hamas. The 'peace process' is over if Hamas is part of the 'Palestinian Authority.'

All in all, I'd say this is a poor strategic move by the 'Palestinian Authority.' It makes Israel's case against unilateral recognition of 'Palestine' much easier. It makes it easier for Israel to insist on retaining more of Judea and Samaria. It looks like a declaration of war by the 'Palestinians.'

And indeed that's what just might happen.

Labels: , , ,


At 4:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel already has permitted relative freedom for the two partners of this possible entente. There is next to zero chance that Israel will consider reoccupation of the PA east or the Hamastan west even given outbreaks of hostilities--the preference has been for selective military intervention on a sliding scale from limited/pinpoint to significant but temporary multi-force incursions. This absent a unity reshuffling of the Palestinian national and political (PLO) and military (Dayton-trained PA police and Hamas' Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades)--it is difficult to forsee that the new structures (if successfully brought to fruition) would occasion any radical new departures from the Israeli side.

The challenge of a restructuring of the Palestinian players short-term is another potential incremental uptick of the strategic challenge posed by the Palestinian strategy of isolation of Israel and outreach to regional (the rejection front, the Sunni litoral Egypt, Turky) and international (UN, EU, Quartet, Obama administration, third world etc.) networks.

The peace-process has not a strategic goal for them in and of itself (an actual agreed upon two-state partition with the Jewish state) but the pretext for isolation and diminution of Israel's existential standing, a pretext not challenged by the EU and Obama as they aid and abet demands on Israel to make concessions bolstering Palestinian narratives of non-Zionist hegemony --as a condition for the Palestinians even to sit down at the table.

For Israel, that has de facto ceasefires with both Fatahland and Hamas, and no plans to reoccupy either, this should galvanize more of what we've seen: diplomatic efforts, tactics of embargo, reactive selective or in-force military engagement (followed by withdrawal), and ongoing security operations.

The Palestinians probe, militarily and diplomatically, but have stopped short of decisive provocations following the operations that broke the Al Asqa Intifada and suppressed the rocket campaign on the western front.

Israel's life would be easier if Bibi had stopped playing rope-a-dope with the various EU/Quartet/Obama roll-outs of the chimerical peace process and based its "peace policy" on simple ratification of its existing containment policy: no war for no war and local agreements directly or through intermediaries with the Palestinian entities Israel has already decided to tolerate as independent factors by its policy of non-occupation.

It has proven a difficult strategy so far--for the Palestinians are not completely contained nor cowed by Israeli defensive measures and retain freedom of initiative. Israel could, paradoxically, recover for itself some strategic clarity if it simply refused to go along with the pretext that there is a durable peace arrangement on hand with the Palestinians and given its hedgehog defense more space to work by formally abandoning the distraction and inherent downsides of a peace process stacked against the interests of the Jewish state.

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article: "Wednesday's deal covered five points, including combining security forces..." Are you kidding me? So the US weapons and training are now going to passed on to hamas? I have said from the beginning we [the USA] should not be training and arming the PA.

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fatah and Hamas have apparently agreed to scrap even the figleaf pretext of negotiations and go directly to unilateral push for a state of Fatahamistan.


This should facilitate Israel formerly stating that by the Palestinian's own choice Oslo is dead, the peace process is dead, and adopt annexataion of Area C as is being suggested. Even if Fatah launches additional maneuvers to reuse Oslo for their diplomatic bait and switch routines.

Israel can offer local truces or peace for peace. Could the era of rope-a-dope be over.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger popsiq said...

If nothing else Fatah and Hamas have given Netanyahoo 'a poil of great price'. Now he just has to show up, crying the blues about being betrayed by the PA and the dopey Americans will forget to ask to see his spurious 'peace plan'.

As to the protagonists of the tale - what they have done is raise a small bump on the road to Cast Lead 2. It will be difficult to bring half the PA to 'heel' and expect the other half to sit waiting a dog biscuit, as happened last time when the 'foreign' entity HAMAS was being kicked.

The united PA would be wise to, first, get the election done. Even if Israel arrests every newly-elected member, they can vote unanimously from their cells to go to the UN seeking statehood.

It worked 'a bomb' for the Irish!

No doubt all the stops are being pulled to annull this wedding.


Post a Comment

<< Home