Need to Enhance Palestinian National Reconciliation

  • 26 December 2010

Reconciliation among Palestinian factions has become extremely important not just because it is in the interest of the Palestinian people and can help improve their condition but also because, alongside political efforts, this will constitute a positive development for their cause in the international arena. Several important developments have taken place in recent weeks that should be considered as strategic achievements. More than one Latin American country (Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina) recognized the Palestinian State based on its borders prior to the 1967 war. This happened after the European Union criticized Israel and blamed it for creating obstacles in the peace process by building settlements. All this is happening at a time when international public opinion is paying attention to the fair Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of its people.

These developments undoubtedly benefit the Palestinian cause and support the Palestinian and Arab positions regarding the Security Council resolutions if Israel doesn’t respond to international efforts to resume the peace process and its terms of references. At the same time, it is an indication of the increased Israeli isolation internationally and recognition of its responsibilities as regards the peace process. It is expected that the Palestinian political factions, especially Fatah and Hamas, will look at these developments positively, make efforts to serve the Palestinian people and their cause and expedite the process of national reconciliation in order to collectively express the Palestinian position to the outside world.

On the contrary, the Palestinian political situation is moving in an opposite direction where the two movements’ differences are once again becoming public. The differences deepened further after they accused each other of being responsible for the cancellation of the dialog scheduled at the end of December. Fatah accused Hamas of following a regional agenda while Hamas said that the authority is attacking the resistance movement to help occupying forces by refusing to release political detainees in the West Bank.

The paradox is that Israel, despite witnessing increased international isolation, is carrying on with its policies regarding settlements, Judaizing of Jerusalem and changing its Arab features besides imposing its own conditions on the resumption of dialog. Israel is doing this as if it is above law in spite of the criticism it faces and the pressure being exerted on it. Since Fatah and Hamas are embroiled in disputes there is little chance of an end to this vicious circle.

There is no doubt that Israel is exploiting the Palestinian disputes to escape its obligations in the peace process and claiming the absence of a Palestinian partner to negotiate with. Hence immediate Palestinian reconciliation, an end to internal divisions and stopping the war of words between Fatah and Hamas are needed if they are to formulate a unified position. Only then will it be able to invest its energies into the peace process and push it forward in the best interest of the Palestinian people and their just cause.