Hamas and PA make peace, push peace further away

Abbas and Mashaal

Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashaal at an earlier meeting in Cairo

Palestinian enemies rivals Mahmoud Abbas of the PA (aka Fatah aka the PLO) and Khaled Mashaal of Hamas have signed yet another unity pact in an effort to lead the Palestinians to elections.

The announcement was made jointly on Monday by the Western-backed Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, chief of the Islamic militant Hamas. It marked a major step forward in the rivals’ attempt to reconcile, after more than four years of separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza. The deal was brokered by the emir of Qatar.

Hamas, which runs Gaza, had strongly opposed Abbas’ initial choice of Salam Fayyad, the head of his Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Fayyad, who was appointed prime minister by Abbas in 2007 after Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza, would have to step down if a transitional government is formed.

Fayyad “warmly welcomed” the Qatar agreement, said Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib.

These being the Palestinians however, all is not roses and Fatah officials are slamming the appointment of their own man Mahmoud Abbas as unconstitutional.

Palestinians across the political spectrum on Tuesday criticized the Qatar-sponsored Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement according to which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would also serve as prime minister of an interim unity government.

They pointed out that it was Abbas who in March 2003 called for amending the Palestinian Basic Law so that the PA president would not be in charge of the government.

Backed by the Americans and Europeans, Abbas then sought to limit the powers of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who also served as the de facto prime minister.

On March 10, 2003, the Palestinian Legislative Council approved the proposed amendment to the Basic Law, creating the position of a PA prime minister.

The hope back then was that the changes in the Basic Law would lead to the separation of the powers of the president and the prime minister.

By agreeing to be prime minister of a unity government, Abbas is acting in violation of the same amendment to the Basic law that he fought to pass 12 years ago.

Abbas supporters, however, defended the move, arguing that ending the power struggle with Hamas was “more important than respecting any law.”

It is encouraging to see that through their proximity to Israel, the Palestinians have absorbed enough democracy and constitutional law  to recognize when such institutions are being violated. It is unfortunate though that all this training in democracy has only led two terror entities to unite into one.

Israellycool has comprehensive coverage of the unity deal from the Arabic press and sums up the situation with an amusing quote from an Arabic posting on a social media site:

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas congratulates the new prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, and invites him to meet with the chairman of the Fatah Central Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, under the auspices of the head of the PLO Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, at the home of the Overall Commander of the Palestinian Armed Forces, Mahmoud Abbas.”

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned the PA that they risk losing peace by choosing unity with Hamas.

Monday’s deal, signed in the Qatari capital of Doha by Abbas and Mashaal, put an end to recent efforts by the international community to revive long-stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on the terms of Palestinian statehood. Abbas appears to have concluded that he has a better chance of repairing relations with Hamas, shunned by the West as a terror group, then reaching an agreement with Netanyahu.

Netanyahu quickly condemned the Doha deal. “It’s either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel. You can’t have it both ways,” he said at a meeting of his Likud party.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization that strives to destroy Israel, and that is supported by Iran,” Netanyahu said. “I have said many times in the past that the Palestinian Authority must choose between an alliance with Hamas and peace with Israel. Hamas and peace do not go together.”

Indeed the infighting has already started (in addition to what I quoted earlier):

Palestinian sources said Monday that following the agreement’s signing, an internal dispute erupted between members of Hamas’ exiled political bureau, which has recently left its base in Damascus, and Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip, who have insisted they refuse to relinquish control of the territory to a government headed by Abbas.

Other officials in Ramallah on Monday expressed doubts about the long-term success of the reconciliation deal. One source in Abbas’ bureau told Israel Hayom: “We have a hard time believing this agreement will be implemented. Abbas exploited the fact that Mashaal and Hamas’ political bureau are in an uncomfortable situation since they left Damascus.”

I don’t know why they continue with this charade.

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3 Responses to Hamas and PA make peace, push peace further away

  1. Roxymuzak says:

    I don’t think peace is possible with these people, these invented people.

    A largely backward, anti-Semitic (yes we know some Arabs are Semites), misogynist, homophobic cabal, they are not interested in a two-state solution, but a one-state solution.
    This state, which will encompass Israel, will be called Palestine and all Jews will be either dead or gone.

    Fortunately, they have about as much chance of achieving this as I have a inking a three-year contract with Real Madrid.

    Interestingly, in the event of a two-state solution, quite a percentage of Palestinians would prefer to live in Israel.

    In the event that they would find themselves in a Palestinian state after the horse trading was done, a high percentage say they would apply to live in Israel.

    I, er, just don’t get it. Why would you want to live in a liberal democracy when you could live under a medieval theocracy?

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/01/_one_of_the_givens.html

    • anneinpt says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. I don’t suppose you’re available to be Israeli Foreign Minister seeing as how your contract with Real Madrid is up the spout? :-). Failing that, Ambassador to the UN, UK, US, EU…

      What is so frustrating for us here in Israel is how something that is so clear – and should be clear to all people who can read a newspaper – is so misunderstood, most of the time by opinion writers in those very newspapers which report the facts as you have stated. There is a wilful blindness out there when it comes to Israel, and sometimes I think that is the greatest danger for us.

  2. reality says:

    and at the end of the day Israel has to give confidence building measures! Why? where are the confidence building measures for us?I for one certainly have no confidence that things will be better for those of us living here in Israel!

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