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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The ambiguous Mecca agreement

At Dr. Sanity, Pat ("Carnival of the Insanities") does something that I have not seen done anyplace else: she compares the two parts of the Mecca agreement and finds that the 'Palestinians' have opted for 'constructive ambiguity' to try to satisfy the West regarding their accepting agreements with Israel, while in reality, nothing has changed.
A translation of the document is here. In reading it, there seems to be a fundamental conflict between the two parts of the Mecca agreement ( the "principle part" and the l"etter of appointment"). The "principle" part, which deals with intra-Palestinian relations, includes an explicit commitment to the agreement by both sides.

In contrast, in the "letter of appointment" for the unity government, which deals with relations with Israel, there is no direct and explicit acceptance by Hamas for the provisions of the agreement. Instead, Abbas, as the president of the PA, calls on Haniya, as the prime minister of the PA, to "act in accordance with the decisions of the Palestinian National Council, the provisions of the Basic Law, the National Accord document the resolutions adopted at Arab League summits, U.N. resolutions, the consensus of the Arab states, and prior agreements signed by the PLO with Israel."

Abbas has since declared that the organizations participating in the future national unity government will not be obligated to the government's position; only the ministers will be obligated to these positions.

In return for acceptance of this diversionary tactic, Hamas has been granted political support and sponsorship from the PLO, as a government and as a future partner in the PLO.

With the Mecca agreement, the Quartet's (US, EU, Russia and the UN) demands have been only partially met, and it is likely that Abbas and Hamas believe that the Quartet's position will soften in the future and that it will settle for this partial acceptance.

Both Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mash'al have kept their followers from making statements to the media that could reveal the nature and the details of the agreement between them.
Read the whole thing.


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