Fatah and Hamas Broker Unifying Deal

May 02 2011

Fatah and Hamas Broker Unifying Deal

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In a shocking press release out of Cairo, Egypt, Fatah and Hamas, bitter rivals, brokered an interim deal with each other for a unified Palestinian government. Fatah, controlling the West Bank, and Hamas, controlling Gaza, have previously been seen as rival factions. Hamas even limited Fatah’s control by essentially invading and ousting the Fatah troops from the West Bank. Hamas has been characterized as a terrorist organization by Western powers, seeking the eventual downfall of Israel. This has been seen as a setback for the new Palestinian coalition, with the more moderate Fatah being supported by the US in its peace talks with Israel. The US also provides millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority. That commitment is now wavering due to Hamas’ international image. It is a new ball game now though, with Palestine looking to other Arab states, such as Egypt, for guidance and assistance, instead of the US. This is due to the US’s slowly negotiated peace process and inability to stop Israel from expanding its settlements. Israel now feels threatened and surrounded by the unity of these once fractious factions.

Israel, feeling increasingly surrounded by unfriendly forces, denounced the unity deal as dooming future peace talks since Hamas seeks its destruction. “The Palestinian Authority has to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in a televised statement. The Obama administration warned that Hamas was a terrorist organization unfit for peacemaking.

Palestinians have wanted a unified government for quite some time, hoping that it will bolster their chances of gaining international recognition as a state. This would come about with the guidance of the United Nations, with the Palestinians hoping for a ruling by September of this year, 2011.

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