While Wednesday’s announcement by President Trump that he is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has provoked a lot of anger across the world, and is expected to fuel massive protests going forward, it also appears to have given a shot in the arm to the struggling Palestinian unity deal.
On Thursday, Fatah and Hamas were already hard at work, with Egyptian support, on a deal to speed up the handover of the Gaza Strip from direct Hamas control to the Palestinian Authority, a move intended to unify Palestinian territory and allow for unified elections.
The Gaza handover had already seen border crossings put under PA control, which was particularly important as it’s allowed the Rafah crossing into Egypt to open, potentially for regular use, for the first time in many years.
Israeli officials have criticized the Palestinian unity deal because it involves Hamas, and that’s likely to further bolster the deal if anything, as anger at both the US and Israel over the Jerusalem statement has made the unity deal a good way to do something Israel will be angry about.
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