The revision of the narrative on how the Israel-Palestinian peace talks died has taken another dramatic shift today, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring the talks dead because of today’s unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, and that Abbas “chose Hamas over peace.”
Of course the talks were effectively dead nearly a month ago, when Israel reneged on a prisoner release. No real talks have happened since. At the time, Israeli officials claimed Secretary of State John Kerry wholly to blame for the talks’ collapse.
Now, with the deadline for the talks to end just a week away, and no one seriously expecting anything to come between now and then, the unity deal is retroactively being portrayed as the deal-breaker.
Netanyahu and others insisted throughout the day that Fatah could not have unity with other Palestinian factions and a peace deal with Israel, and would have to choose. The reality is that a peace deal with Israel was already essentially off the table, and with so many Israeli officials long claiming the lack of Palestinian unity as an obstacle to making a deal with them, it isn’t clear how this would seriously harm a new round of peace talks, if one is ever proposed.
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