Stephen Lendman: Abbas Scuttles Fatah/Hamas Unity

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Last April, Fatah and Hamas agreed on establishing unity Palestinian governance. Hamas official Izzat Ar-Rishiq said issues separating both sides were resolved. Fatah confirmed the report. Both sides agreed to form a “government of independents.” It would be “tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year.”

PLC deputy head Dr. Ahmad Bahar called the agreement historic. Gaza’s coalition of independent figures head Abdul-Aziz Shiqaqi said it breaks new ground. It offers reconciliation hope. Earlier unity talks failed. Israel sabotaged them. In April 2011, both sides met in Cairo. They announced a draft reconciliation agreement.

Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported “a complete understanding after talks on all the points, including the formation of a transitional government with a specific mandate and setting a date for elections.” Hamas official Izzat Ar-Rishiq said differing issues between both sides were resolved.

Fatah’s delegation head, Azzam Al-Ahmad, confirmed it. Both sides agreed on unity governance, he said. They’ll be “tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year.”

Reconciliation didn’t follow. Agreed on terms were ignored. A similar Doha 2012 agreement followed. Announced national unity governance wasn’t consummated.

Netanyahu reacted as expected. He demanded Abbas “choose between peace with Israel or peace with Hamas.”  “There cannot be peace with both because Hamas strives to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly,” he said. “I think that the very idea of reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and creates the prospect that Hamas could retake control of Judea and Samaria just like it took control of the Gaza Strip.”

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