News from the Arab Press

A Fake Palestinian Reconciliation

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

December 5, 2017

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Al-Okaz, Saudi Arabia, November 29

The citizens of the Gaza Strip have been rejoicing over the prospect of Palestinian reconciliation, following the signing of the October 12, 2017 unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas. The coming together of the two Palestinian factions gave hope that the horrific siege over the Strip would finally be lifted, enabling economic opportunities to again be restored, and for international sanctions on Gaza to be lifted. However, the euphoria that initially swept through the Palestinian street has disappeared. Gazans quickly realized that reconciliation on paper does not necessarily translate into reconciliation on the ground. In fact, Fatah and Hamas do not see eye to eye with each other; therefore, we must not delude ourselves or others. The fact that the two factions have ostensibly agreed to end their rivalry does not mean they have embraced mutual coexistence or even basic cooperation. Before the PLO takes control of Gaza it is demanding that Hamas and all other groups disarm. This is something that Hamas is unwilling to accept, as it would entail the de facto end of the Palestinian resistance movement. The PLO, meanwhile, remains adamant, with the Fatah leadership claiming that the United States will otherwise not support the reconciliation process. Recent American threats, such as to permanently close the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, have lent credence to this assertion. But there is a miscalculation regarding Hamas, as it will sacrifice Palestinian unity in favor of maintaining its armed brigades, weapons caches, and military installations. Accordingly, at the end of the day, we will be left with nothing more than a reconciliation document that has very little impact on our lives. The ultimate victims, once again, will be the Palestinian people.  – Mustafa al-Dawi

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