ISSN 2330-717X

Reconciliation Promises Palestinian State – OpEd


By Mahmoud Rasouli

Will the unity accord between Palestinian factions, which was the result of over a year and half of negotiations, promise the formation of an independent Palestinian state?

The Hamas and Fatah movement finally signed a deal whereby each side set aside their differences and formed an interim national unity government; within a year, presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held.

The agreement was signed on Wednesday with the final endorsement of the leader of the Fatah movement Mahmoud Abbas and the leader of the Hamas movement Khaled Meshaal, paving the way for the formation of a unity government.

Confrontation between Hamas and Fatah began in 2006 following the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections. Despite numerous direct and indirect negotiations the two sides had not been able to reach an agreement.

Perhaps one can consider the recent popular uprisings in the region to be a driving force in the finalization of a unity accord. The uprisings began with the Tunisian revolution and removal of Zein El Abidine Ben Ali and later spread to Egypt resulting in Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

The fact that the signing of the unity accord coincides with popular uprisings against Western and US influence in the Middle East and North Africa can be a sign that an independent Palestinian state will be formed.

The accord was signed despite the fact that years of conflict between Hamas and Fatah, which was fueled by the US and Zionist regime, had politically weakened the two factions and resulted in the loss of members through violent confrontations.

The current developments in the Middle East and North Africa seem to be pointing at the formation of an anti-Israeli atmosphere in the region; and Tel Aviv and its Western allies will sooner or later have to come to terms with this fact. The situation where Israel and Arab puppet dictators designated by the West are covering up for Israeli crimes is going to be replaced by governments that belong to the people.

At the beginning of the popular uprisings many were under the impression that puppet regimes that have been placed in power by the West will one after the other collapse. But with the widespread influence of the West in the region this trend has been relatively retarded for the time being.

One can now view the unity accord between Fatah and Hamas as a spark that will restart the popular uprisings of the region; a spark that was in reality Israel and the US failure to influence Palestinian developments.

The Americans may no longer be able to buy time in Israel’s favor. Twenty years have passed since the so called ‘peace talks’ started between Israel and Palestine with the mediation of the US; and one can safely say that during this time the US has been trying to buy Israel time and cover up its crimes in the region.

Despite numerous pleas in recent years by the Palestinians and human rights groups regarding Israel’s crimes on Palestinian lands, the United Nations (UN) has continued to keep silent. The most obvious case of this was during Israeli’s 22-day assault on the Gaza strip from December 2008 to January 2009. In this assault some 1,400 Palestinians, mainly women and children, were killed and thousands of others were wounded. The assault also severely damaged the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

The unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah was so unpredictable for Israel that Tel Aviv considered the unity deal to be a threat and has found it difficult to continue its intervention among Palestinian groups. Of course, it is possible that they have predicted an end to the era of their unchallenged crimes against the Palestinian nation in the occupied territories.

Separation and conflict between Hamas and Fatah and the separation of the partition of Gaza from the West Bank was considered to be heavy blows to Palestinian unity that on the one hand forced the Palestinian Authority to make concessions to Israelis and on the other it prepared the grounds for the siege on the Gaza Strip and the ensuing massacre.

Today, there is hope that with the unity accord being signed between the factions the prospect of forming an independent Palestinian state, which has been the dream of every Palestinian, will finally become reality.

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