PALESTINIAN RECONCILIATION May 5, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Middle East.
Division may not be dissolution but it is weakness. Fatah and Hamas have decided to make good their differences to allow national Palestinian elections.The spirit of Tahrir Square is catching.
Predictably the Israeli Government sees no good in the outcome and dire consequences. The talks between Fatah and Hamas have been taking place in Cairo. The BBC reports:
The leaders of Fatah and Hamas, the main Palestinian factions, have signed a deal in Egypt’s capital Cairo aimed at ending their four-year rift.
Palestinian president and Fatah party leader Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians had decided to “turn the dark page of division for ever”. Mr Abbas and Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal had not met since the expulsion of Fatah from Gaza in 2007.
That expulsion followed a surprise Hamas election victory a year earlier. Correspondents say the recent Arab uprisings have given fresh momentum to reconciliation. The agreement paves the way for a joint interim government ahead of national elections next year. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority runs parts of the West Bank, while Hamas governs the Gaza Strip.
“We forever turn the black page of division,” Mr Abbas said. “Our people have always rejected this rift. All factions will now have to show that they have learned from this difficult experience, and that they will accept a democratic government through the coming elections.” He added that Israel must now “choose between settlements and peace”. “We reject blackmail and it is no longer possible for us to accept the occupation of Palestinian land,” he said. Mr Meshaal said that the Islamist group’s “only fight is with Israel” and that the dispute with Mr Abbas’s Fatah faction was “behind us”.
This is an extraordinary development. I am wondering what is behind it. I would have thought that the Palestine Papers would have made just a development impossible.