Fatah – Hamas pact and the third Intifada

PressTV – Tue May 3, 2011 1:46AM
By Hassan Hanizadeh

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (left) speaks with Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas
The preliminary agreement reached by the Hamas and Fatah movements for solving their disputes and forming a unity government has angered Israel.

Up until now, the two movements, which became bitter rivals following the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, had been unable to strike a deal through direct and indirect negotiations.

The conflict on the ground between Hamas and Fatah resulted in a deep rift between the residents of the Gaza strip and the West Bank.

The leaders of Hamas accused Fatah of oppressing their supporters and trying to drive Hamas off the political stage.

Fatah claimed that the Hamas movement was hindering efforts to strike a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and said Hamas’s confrontational approach was not in the Palestinians’ interests.

Israel took advantage of the political turmoil between the two Palestinian factions and abducted 22 Hamas MPs in order to reduce their presence in parliament to below a majority.

Also, the assassination of some Hamas leaders and Israel’s siege of Gaza were the results of the increased tension between the two Palestinian factions.

Even though some Arab countries, such as Egypt, Syria, and Qatar, tried to negotiate peace between the two sides, the deep divide between leaders of the two movements rendered these efforts useless.

Israel, which opposes any form of alliance between the Palestinian movements, used the opportunity to expand dozens of settlements in the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, said nothing about the settlement construction in order to create a front against the Hamas movement.

The silence led to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and al-Quds.

The Israelis evicted hundreds of Palestinian families who had been residing in East al-Quds for many years and made them homeless.

The international community and organizations like the UN have also remained silent about Israel’s violations of international law, which has encouraged Israel to continue its settlement construction activities.

Hamas leaders have frequently criticized Israel over the continuation of settlement construction, but their protests did not produce any results due to the differences between the two Palestinian factions.

Over the past five years, the leaders of Hamas and Fatah held numerous meetings in Cairo, Riyadh, and Damascus to lay the foundations for reconciliation between the two movements.

However, the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen have prepared the ground for the Hamas and Fatah leaders to return to their policies of resistance.

The fall of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the change in the regional situation worked in favor of Hamas.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s most influential movement since the departure of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, has expanded its relations with Hamas.

Since Hamas has a longtime ideological connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak’s ouster has paved the way for the strengthening of Hamas’s political position and activities.

The Fatah movement suffered the most after Mubarak’s downfall since Fatah’s policy of compromise had always been endorsed by Mubarak and the subservient Arab regimes over the past two decades.

With the transformation of the political structure in Egypt, the Fatah movement lost its main political sponsor in the region and its leaders were forced to make an agreement with Hamas.

The preliminary agreement between Fatah and Hamas has been hailed by the Palestinians since the people always believed the political rifts and divisions between the leaders was not in the national interests.

Now the ground has been prepared for a final agreement between the Palestinian leaders on drawing up a road map for the resistance campaign, which has caused concern for the Israelis.

The Palestinian leaders have declared May 15 the day for the beginning of the Palestinians’ third Intifada, and this proposal has been approved by the entire political spectrum of Palestine.

On this day, all Palestinians, both inside and outside of the occupied territories, are expected to rise up against the Zionist regime.

On May 15, the expelled Palestinian refugees who live in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, will march toward the borders of occupied Palestine and attempt to cross into the occupied territories.

The move, which will be peaceful, will put the cabinet of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a difficult position.

Many civil society institutions across the Islamic and Arab world have pledged solidarity with the Palestinians and their decision to march toward the country’s borders.

Any irrational response by the Zionist regime toward the May 15 demonstrators will influence world public opinion, and the Zionist regime will be condemned by the comity of nations.

Based on the agreement, Hamas and Fatah will play a key role in determining the Palestinian nation’s destiny and bringing an end to the “neither war, nor peace” situation.

In response, Netanyahu announced that Acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas has to choose between Hamas and Israel.

But Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a Abu Mazen, has declared that the convergence with Hamas is final and there is no return.

And thus it appears that the signing of the Hamas-Fatah accord and the May 15 marches will mark a turning point in the history of Palestine as the third Intifada determines the nation’s destiny.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Press TV.


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