|Hamas's new deputy leader Salah al-Aruri (L) and Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad (R) sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo on October 12, 2017. |
Fatah and Hamas Sign New Reconciliation Agreement - Elior Levy
The reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas signed in Cairo is their third in the past six years. The parties decided that a unity government headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas will be responsible for Gaza's electricity, road construction, sewage, education, welfare, and tourism by Dec. 1. The rival parties chose to set aside all of the difficult issues, which are what ultimately led to the failure of the other agreements of reconciliation in the past.
Hamas: With Unity Deal "We Can All Work Together Against the Zionist Enterprise"
Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement with Fatah "so that we can all work together against the Zionist enterprise," Hamas deputy political leader Saleh al-Arouri said in Cairo on Thursday.
(Times of Israel)
Netanyahu: PA-Hamas Reconciliation Must Honor International Agreements, Recognize Israel, and Disarm Hamas
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the announced agreement on Palestinian Authority-Hamas reconciliation: "Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas must include honoring international agreements and the Quartet conditions, first and foremost among them, recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas. Continuing to dig tunnels, manufacture missiles and initiate terrorist attacks against Israel are incompatible with the Quartet conditions and the efforts of the United States to renew the diplomatic process."
"Israel demands that these conditions be met and the immediate release of Israeli civilians Avra Mengistu and Hisham a-Said, who are being cruelly held by Hamas, and the remains of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin."
"As long as Hamas does not disarm and continues to call for the destruction of Israel, Israel holds it responsible for all terrorist actions originating in the Gaza Strip. Israel opposes any reconciliation that does not include these components. Israel insists that the PA not allow any base whatsoever for Hamas terrorist actions from PA areas in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] or from Gaza, if the PA indeed takes responsibility for its territory."
(Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Reconciliation Deal: Abbas to Rule the Land and Hamas the Underground
- Jack Khoury
Palestinians, both in the West Bank and Gaza, realize that it's premature to celebrate reconciliation in the broader sense of national and strategic unity. Many see the agreement as a compromise between two organizations that divided the nation for a decade and were forced to reconcile due to massive pressure from Egypt.
Gaza's Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has shown a willingness to concede civilian control over Gaza, but not to disarm. If there is any chance that President Trump can come up with an effective peace plan, Abbas cannot afford to speak only for the West Bank. In view of this, the reconciliation seems like the only option open to Abbas and Fatah. The PA and Fatah will rule aboveground and Hamas will rule underground.
Egyptian intelligence led the reconciliation move as a matter of national security. Egypt, grappling with Islamic State terror in Sinai, saw Gaza under Hamas rule as an Islamic State base and a refuge for terrorists from Sinai. Its only option was to return the PA to Gaza as part o the deal signed in Cairo six years ago.
Egypt Wanted Fatah-Hamas Unity Deal - Avi Issacharoff
If indeed, [this] agreement actually goes into effect, and responsibility for the Gaza border crossings is transferred to the PA, the Gaza economic situation would likely improve dramatically. For a start, there'll no longer be a blockade on the Egyptian border. Gazans will be free to come and go. There'll also be a huge jump in the supply of electricity to the Strip. Water supplies will improve too. Jobs are likely to be created.
But there was no reference to the fate of Hamas' terrorist mini-army in the agreement. That would mean the digging of tunnels toward and under the border with Israel will continue. And so, too, Hamas' relentless rearming and its rocket development. Indeed, Hamas would be able to focus more exclusively on its military arsenal, boosting its capabilities, while Abbas and the PA take care of the ongoing, financially costly needs of the Gaza citizenry.
The Egyptians wanted a reconciliation deal, even if it leaves key problems unsolved. And they got it. Egypt wants to signal to all Arab and Muslim nations that it is the Arab heavyweight, when it comes to the Palestinians and more generally. It also wants to ensure quiet for itself and for Israel where Gaza is concerned, and this agreement, it believes, will hobble Hamas, and prevent it from embarking on dangerous military escapades.
(Times of Israel)
Will Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation Deal Succeed? - Jonathan Cook
The Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas only addressed civil and administrative matters. Far more contentious issues - such as national elections, reform of the PLO, and the status of Hamas' armed wing - were set aside for consideration at the next meeting in late November.
"Reconciliation is something everyone wants now," Khatib said. "Abbas wants to extend his jurisdiction to Gaza. Hamas wants to be rid of the burden of the day-to-day governance of Gaza....Even Israel has an interest in a solution to Gaza's humanitarian problems. After all, Gaza's untreated sewage ends up on Israeli beaches, too."
But it is hard to see how national elections can be conducted. It was Hamas' upset election victory 11 years ago that led to a civil war with Fatah. Polls indicate that Abbas or any of his likely successors would lose the presidential election to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Little Difference between the PA and Hamas regarding Israel
- Nave Dromi
The latest PA-Hamas reconciliation, like its predecessors, won't hold water, but will remind us that there isn't much of a difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. There are almost no gaps between the PA and Hamas with regard to relations with Israel.
Over the years there has developed an erroneous perception that the PA is more moderate than Hamas and therefore there's someone to talk to in Ramallah. But the truth is there is no difference other than in their public relations image.
Reconciliation between the PA and Hamas doesn't just bring the PA into Gaza, but brings Hamas closer to Ramallah.
The writer is head of the Blue & White human rights organization, an arm of the Institute for Zionist Strategies.
Deal Could Allow Hamas Leader to Become PA President
- Daniel Siryoti
A cunning plan to pave the way for senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to win the Palestinian Authority presidency to replace the aging Mahmoud Abbas may have been the true aim behind Hamas' willingness to sign a reconciliation deal with Fatah, according to senior Palestinian and Egyptian intelligence officials.
Mashaal, who headed the Hamas political bureau for almost two decades, has made no effort to disguise his ambition to clinch the PA presidency. He is said to back reforms to the Hamas charter to allow the organization to join the Palestine Liberation Organization - a move that would allow a Hamas candidate to compete in elections for the presidency.
"Mashaal saw an opportunity to realize his ambition of inheriting the Palestinian presidential seat because of the rift in the Fatah leadership after Marwan Barghouti's imprisonment in Israel, and the fact that polls conducted by Palestinian bodies show a dramatic drop in the support for Barghouti as Abbas' successor," a senior Egyptian official told Israel Hayom.