On Thursday in Cairo, officials from both Hamas and Fatah have signed the long-anticipated unity deal to reform the Palestinian Authority, meaning the PA will retake control over the Gaza Strip, and the Gaza and West Bank security forces will merge.
The deal is intended to allow for new elections across Palestine for the first time since 2006. In that election, Hamas won a majority of seats. Fatah refused to join the government, and the two sides were at odds until 2007, when they split outright.
There have been talks of unity deals in the past, but none had progressed nearly this far. Putting the Palestinian Authority under both de jure and de facto control of the Gaza Strip is likely to compel major changes in Israel’s crippling blockade.
The unity of the Palestinians is also likely to add new impetus to the peace process, as Israeli officials have often complained there was no point in reaching a deal with Fatah while the Palestinians were divided. Many of the same officials argue they won’t deal with Hamas anyhow, but refusing to do so is going to be tougher with them in the PA.
2 thoughts on “Fatah, Hamas Sign Palestinian Unity Deal in Cairo”
This fails to mention in its history that Fatah led by Dahlan’s forces tried an armed coup after it lost the election, and it lost the coup too in Gaza. It won in the West Bank, with help from Israel. That is how the division happened.
The history of Israel’s and other Western powers meddling in Palestinian politics is long and sordid. But now it seems that the emphasis is on future. And that Paletinian position would be greatly strenghtened should they have common, internationally accepted leadership. In fact , for Israel now to start a campaign of demonization of Palestinian Authority — it would be rather obvious. Israel is caught flat footed, and the more assertive role of Egypt was not anticipated.
But should have been obvious — instead it was dismissed. The sudden change in Saudi Arabia has caught many by surprise, and instead of looking quickly at the implications, both Israel and US assumed time to be on their side. As it turns out now, all the initiative is out of Israel’s hands. With the exception of petty support for ISIS hanging out in Al-Tanf region in Syria, stirring trouble — all initiative is out.
Egypt no longer at its creditors thumb — as both Saudi and UAE need Egypt to do some heavy lifting in many areas they are well in over their heads. From Syria and Libya, to Iraq and Palestine, and relationships with Iran — Gulf will eventually transfer all the leadership to Egypt, and over time, focus back on energy and their own economic development. The only question is — what priorities will be given to various contentious issues. With Trump playing hardball for internal headbutting with suddenly confused neocons — global issues are more of a stage for internal politics. The issue at its core is money. US and its allies no longer serve as an engine of global growth. Energy, infrastructure and trade — all have shifted to Eurasian landmass, and Middle East is felling the consequences of the change. Israel has painted itself into the corner. Without any solid, mutually benefitial relationships in the region, it is facing the neighborhood eager to move into development, regardless of how much they may be afraid of pressures from US. But there is a safety in the numbers. The growth and coordination of Eurasian economies is providing the attractiveness of infrastructure driven growth, and the evidence is clear. The new Middle East has been born, snd Israel has not noticed it.
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