Palestine moves toward reconciliation

The extremist Hamas movement accepts the conditions of Fatah for negotiations and even invites the public to the general elections

Leer en Español: Palestine moves toward reconciliation

The Islamist Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party agreed to reconcile in the hopes to form a unified government and prepare to assemble both legislative and presidential elections, according to an official Hamas statement issued in Cairo. Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since it expelled forces loyal to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) back in 2007, but in the statement it was announced that it will dissolve the Administrative Committee set up in March 2016 to manage the territory, as demanded by Mahmud Abas and "invites the consensus government led by (Prime Minister) Rami Hamdala to come to the Strip to carry out his mission and duty immediately."

The formation of the Hamas committee, considered by Abbas to be a shadow government, led the Palestinian president to take harsh measures against the Gaza Strip, like reducing workers’ wages by 30%, not paying for electrical services, and letting go of thousands of employees.  

Mahmud Aloul, a senior Al Fatah official, welcomed Hamas’ decision. "If it is a Hamas statement, then this is a positive sign. We in the Al Fatah movement are ready to implement the reconciliation", stated Aloul. He also mentioned that caution must be exercised in this situation, since such a moment has been expected since 2007.

Theres haven't been elections since 2006

Hamas accepted Egypt's invitation to resume dialogue with the Fatah party on how to implement the reconciliation agreements reached by both sides in Cairo in May 2011. On that date, President Mahmoud Abbas and former Hamas leader Khaled Meshal signed a reconciliation agreement that included the formation of a unity government to prepare the general elections in the next six months, but neither party was able to implement it. The failure occurred as a result of the profound differences to delegate the security control to the ANP and the parties since then only exchanged accusations blaming each other.

The accusations and disagreements deepened between the two sides until Hamas formed the committee to administer Gaza and accused Abas of ignoring the problems of the Gaza Strip.

Egypt as the epicenter of dialogue

From Cairo, efforts to eliminate the differences between Hamas and Fatah have been consecutive since the emergence of differences between both sides. Egypt has sought the path of dialogue to create a space of peace leading to a Palestinian reconciliation and finally the possible creation of a Palestinian State. For Egypt, the strongest reason to persuade reconciliation is to bring stability to the region as well as the end of a conflict that has divided not only the territory but families.

It is expected that with the Hamas decision an agreement will be reached to develop the elections in the shortest time possible, as well as alleviate the cracks that brought the division in 2011.

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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