What consequences will the Fatah-Hamas pact have for the region and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Fatah and Hamas have just overcome a seven year rift and agreed to implement a unity pact. Both sides now want to form a unity government within five weeks to prepare for elections within six months. Israel´s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already said that under these new conditions, he will terminate the peace talks.

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  1. Dibyesh Anand 4 years ago

    Peace is a most abused word when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel has made almost no concession in the recent years and the Americans have failed to pressurise them to do so. The primary focus for Israel has been to change the situation on the ground de facto, especially through its wall and massive settlement buildings in West Bank and the marginalisation of Palestinians from East Jerusalem. The victory of the Israeli right and far right in elections, the inability of the USA to act as a honest peace maker, the divisions amongst Palestinians, the lack of concern amongst Arab leaders and the international community has contributed to this awkward situation where Israelis shout peace is under threat every time Palestinians try to assert themselves as people who have not given up hope to live with dignity.
    A legitimate question to ask Netanyahu is what alternatives do Palestinians have? What has Israel done since the Oslo peace accord that gives hope that Israel is serious about peace and justice? Say, if Hamas and PLO do not unite, will Israelis stop building settlements in the West Bank? Will they stop the Judaization of the remainder 22% of historic Palestine that is now claimed as Palestinian territories? Will Netanyahu and his backers assure that racist and apartheid like policies against Palestinians – both in the occupied territories as well as within Israel itself – will be changed? If not, then how can anyone take seriously the Israel-US rhetoric of being interested in peace? It is deeply unethical and political problematic when ‘peace’ is brought in by Israel only to prevent Palestinians from getting a shred of dignity. Peace is never deployed by the powerful to hold themselves accountable.
    Peace sans justice is at best an imperial and colonial pacification achieved through suppression and at worst a recipe for disaster and further violence.

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  2. Alexei Voskressenski 4 years ago

    The Fatah and Hamas unity is the result of Hamas coming to power by elections. If Fatah and Hamas win the next elections together, that will mean a fundamental reshaping of Palestine and the weakening of Israeli positions in the region. If that happens than Mr. Obama will face the worst international developments the US has ever seen – a trilateral destabilization in their key regions. The US may have the further conflict with Russia over Ukraine, with China over Senkaku (Diaoyu Dao) islands together with the aggravation of the Palestine-Israeli conflict and further destabilization in the Middle East. This trilateral destabilization will most likely occur when the economic and political turbulence of the key US ally – the EU – has not ended and thus the USA must probably face these conflicts alone without any key ally, not only without Russia and China, but maybe also without the weakened EU. How these developments influence the overall geopolitical settings, and the USA’s role in the world in particular, no one dares to predict.

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  3. Hildegard Müller 4 years ago

    Once again, the region is in a difficult situation. Already in 2011, Fatah and Hamas had agreed on a unity government, but scored no implementation. In my view, Abbas must make a decision for a peace agreement with Israel and against the reunification with Hamas, which continues to deny Israel’s right to decide. The constant attacks from the Gaza Strip by Hamas must be prevented. It is the wrong way to go into an agreement with Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union. Against this background, further peace negotiations are almost impossible. Israel continues to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict, which is based on a two-state solution, and the possibility for both sides to live peacefully side by side.

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  1. Khaled Hijab 4 years ago

    Thanks for this comment, Mr. Anand! It´s a shame to even assume that Israel and the US are in favor of a peace process. What they are striving for is Palestinian total surrender. Or how else can we explain that virtually the whole world supports a political settlement on the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders – except for Israel and the US. When Palestinians voted the wrong way in a free election in 2006, the United States and Israel made sure that Hamas would not have a chance to govern. They rejected Hamas call for a cease-fire to allow for negotiations on a two-state settlement. Instead, Israel stepped up its programmes of annexation, dismemberment and imprisonment of the shrinking Palestinian cantons in the West Bank. Of course, always with US backing despite some occasional minor complaints.
    Currently, the US complains about Russia´s annexation of Crimea, where the majority of the population actually supported the annexation. The continued annexation of Palestinian territory by Israel against the will of the Population goes unpunished.

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  2. Droit au but 4 years ago

    If there was another government in Israel they wold realize that the unity pact is a great opportunity. A final agreement with the Palestinians is impossible as long as there is a split among them. And a different Israeli government would also understand that Hamas is in a difficult situation and that in this situation it is quite plausible to assume that it will give fundamental concessions to ensure its rule in the Gaza Strip and its future in Palestinian society in general. But the right-wingers in office prefer to use the unity pact as a pretext to stop the peace process – and to continue their own agenda. Mr Anand and Mr Hijab have already said what this agenda looks like…

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  3. AW 4 years ago

    Mr. Anand, may I ask, what exactly you mean, when saying “…Israelis shout peace is under threat every time Palestinians try to assert themselves as people who have not given up hope to live with dignity”? Do you mean all those rockets, which are en masse being fired on Israel from Palestinian territories? Because this is the way Palestinians normally assert themselves.
    In fact, it is surprising, that Israel is still participating in negotiations with people, who use their children and women as hostages (remember, that rockets are usually fired from living blocks’ roofs) and have popular support for that aggression (I don’t happen to remember ANY peace demonstration in ANY part of Palestine condemning the Islamist aggression). Would you really want to talk to smb, who neglects you right to exist the way you talk to reasonable people?
    The pact between Fatah and Hamas might be a disaster (if the more radical party takes the upper hand) or simply hilarious (don’tforget, that it is an agreement between two parties, which have violated any agreement they have ever signed till now).

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  4. tabletto 4 years ago

    Who are the real heirs of Palestine? Amazing story behind the link.


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  5. Wisam Salih 4 years ago

    Although I’m not a supporter of Hamas (actually, most folks I know aren’t), they did win democratic elections that were deemed to free and transparent by election monitors, and consequently the international community. That said, this pact could be a great opportunity to bring Hamas, and by extension, those Palestinians who voted for them, to the negotiation table.
    Although any comparisons to the Palestine/Israel conflict are tricky, it’s worth noting that if the United States and Afghan national government can negotiate with the Taliban, certainly Israel can find a way to enter into negotiations with the Palestinians with Hamas at the table (not to mention Syrian opposition groups negotiating with President Bashar al Assad for temporary cease fires).

    History has taught us repeatedly what happens when you ignore certain factions from the political process. Hamas shouldn’t be so easily dismissed; they must be engaged for any negotiated settlement to be considered meaningful. Unity between Fatah and Hamas is not only beneficial for the Palestinians, but also critical for any meaningful and lasting peace with Israel.

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