News from the Arab Press

Palestinians Must Pursue Unity Now!

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

October 9, 2017

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Al-Ayyam, Ramallah, October 4

Israeli officials have grown increasingly anxious in recent weeks over ongoing reconciliation negations between Hamas and the PLO. Israel has always opposed Palestinian unity, as the divisions within Palestinian society serve the Israeli cause quite well—they allow the Occupation to, quite literally, divide and conquer. This was made very clear when the Israelis demanded from the PLO that Hamas disarm and recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a prerequisite for holding unity talks. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today, and Ehud Olmert before him, know all too well that such demands are untenable. Yet they chose to make them in order to portray the Palestinians as inflexible and evasive. This has been the Israeli strategy for years now, and it continues to be employed. In recent days, leading members of the Israeli cabinet condemned the reconciliation talks and claimed they are doomed to fail.  It is exactly this negative attitude that should make us, Palestinians, work even harder to achieve unity. During the past decade of division, we have been struck by the Israelis again and again, barely withstanding their hits. Our power comes from our cohesiveness, even when we fail to fully agree on all matters. Israel will continue its ways and tighten its grip over Palestinian lands while making empty promises about peace negotiations. If we want to prevail we must put our disagreements aside. We have wasted enough time. Achieving unity among us is the least we deserve after so many years of suffering.   – Bilal Daher

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