Fatah and Hamas Lie to Their People (GateStone Institute) by Khaled Abu Toameh 05/23/12)
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It is much easier for Mahmud Abbas to reach a deal with Israel than
with Hamas, whose ultimate goal is to get rid of both Fatah and
Israel. Instead of wasting his time on meaningless efforts to achieve
unity with Hamas, it would be better for Abbas to devote his energies
and time to making peace with Israel.
Over the past five years, Hamas and Fatah have lied many times to
their people about ending their power struggle, which has resulted in
the creation of two separate Palestinian entities in the West Bank
and the Gaza Strip.
Fatah and Hamas have been killing, torturing and imprisoning each
other´s supporters since 2007, when the Islamist movement seized full
control over the Gaza Strip and forced the Fatah out.
Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Qatar and the Tunisia have tried over the
past few years to persuade Fatah and Hamas to end the war, but all
efforts have thus far been unsuccessful.
Leaders of Hamas and Fatah keep talking about the need to end the
power struggle and achieve "national unity," saying this would serve
the interests of the Palestinians.
Almost every few weeks, these leaders meet in one of the Arab
capitals and announce that they have struck a "unity deal" that would
bring peace and unity to the Palestinians.
But the Palestinians seem to have lost confidence in both Fatah and
Hamas and are no longer taking the talk about reconciliation and
Each time Fatah and Hamas announce a new unity agreement,
Palestinians react with skepticism and indifference.
Earlier this year, the two parties announced a unity agreement in
Doha, Qatar, but never managed to implement it on the ground.
This week, representatives of Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo and
announced another agreement -- this time to implement the previous
Many Palestinian scoffed at the latest agreement, which was reached
under pressure from the Egyptian authorities.
It now remains to be seen whether Fatah and Hamas would be able to
carry out the new agreement to implement the previous one. Most
Palestinians believe they already know the answer.
In many ways, the status quo seems to be convenient for Fatah and
Hamas. Fatah has a mini state in the West Bank and is benefiting from
hundreds of millions of dollars that are poured by international
donors on Salam Fayyad´s government.
Hamas, for its part, is happy that it has exclusive control over the
entire Gaza Strip, which has been turned into an independent Islamic
emirate. The last thing that Hamas wants is to bring Fatah back to
the Gaza Strip. Similarly, Fatah is not keen on seeing Hamas gain
power in the West Bank.
Any unity agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas will be fake and
is intended only to appease the Palestinian public and absorb
criticism. It is much easier for Mahmoud Abbas to reach a deal with
Israel than with Hamas, whose ultimate goal is to get rid of both
Fatah and Israel.
Instead of wasting his time on meaningless efforts to achieve unity
with Hamas, it would be better for Abbas to devote his energies and
time to making peace with Israel.
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