What it means for Israel.
Earlier this month, a new Palestinian unification agreement was signed in Cairo through Egyptian mediation. It is unlikely to differ much from the previous 2011 agreement between Fatah and Hamas that fizzled away. In control of Gaza since 2007, Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel without much pretense. Fatah, the party of President Mahmoud Abbas, would like the Jewish state to disappear in stages, albeit, with internationally sanctioned agreements, and good doses of terror inspired by the Ramallah regime. Just like a leopard cannot change its spots, the Palestinians cannot discard their deep enmity toward the Jewish state.
Al-Jazeera reported on October 12, 2017 that “Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Thursday, as part of an effort to end the decade-long rift. The announcement comes after representatives from Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) convened in Cairo on Tuesday to implement a unity agreement that was signed in 2011 but not put into action.”
In recent months, Hamas has been under increased pressure to give up its sole control over the Gaza Strip. The PA has cut the salaries of PA employees living in Gaza, and at the same time electricity to Gaza has been reduced. On top of that, Israel’s blockade has furthered the power shortages in Gaza. One of the elements in the agreement signed would allow Palestinian Authority Security forces to control the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, as of December 1, 2017. This is believed to be a way to end Egyptian closure of the border crossing, and thus allow goods and people to cross into and out of the Gaza Strip.
Western powers, hoping that the reconciliation agreement would signal momentum toward an eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would have to be skeptical given the existing precedence of Palestinian factions inability to come to terms. Moreover, in order for a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace process to materialize into a peace agreement, the agreement has to fulfill two vital conditions.
The first being that the unification of the two factions (Fatah and Hamas) must produce a unified leadership that can speak with one voice, and be empowered to proceed with peace negotiations with Israel. This objective must be publicly announced by all Palestinian factions. If, on the other hand, the objective of the unification is to solidify Palestinian opposition to a peaceful coexistence with Israel by allowing Hamas to keep its military arm, and continue its acts of terror by firing rockets at Israel, building tunnels, and commit murderous acts against Israeli civilians, then this unification will lead nowhere but to continued bloodshed. It will also make it impossible for the international community to seek continued Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The second condition is for the unified Palestinian administration to openly reaffirm all Palestinian commitments regarding Israel and the international community signed at the Oslo Accords and witnessed by the …read more