Palestinian Dialogue: Success Imperative in Spite of Difficulties

  • 10 March 2009

It has been decided the Palestinian dialogue committees that were formed for settling differences between Fatah and Hamas would start their deliberations today, in a follow up to the meeting between different Palestinian factions on February 26. The committees will commence their discussions in Cairo amid high hopes and expectations at the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic levels. There is hope that the talks would succeed in achieving their goal of bringing about Palestinian national reconciliation and in ushering in a new phase in the Palestinian national mission.

Undoubtedly, many difficulties confront the work of these committees in terms of the internal issues that have given rise to their differences as well as their regional and international linkages that further complicate it. However, these problems should not affect the will for an agreement among Palestinian factions, primarily between Fatah and Hamas, as any difference can be resolved if the two sides have a serious inclination and will to reach a settlement, irrespective of the extent of the differences. These are brotherly organizations that are enduring the same hardship and are facing the same challenge of establishing an independent Palestinian state with the Holy City of Jerusalem as its capital. In addition to Palestinians—both within and outside the Palestinian Territories, Arabs and Muslims are also calling for an agreement and an understanding between factions and a lot of effort is being made to close the page on these differences and infighting.

The Palestinian dialogue committees that start their work today in Cairo face a huge and difficult challenge which they would have to confront with an awareness of the nature of the present exigencies facing the Palestinian cause and they would have to desist from toughening their positions against each other or repeating the painful clashes of the past that led to the separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. The resolution of the present difficult inter-Palestinian situation is the responsibility of all Palestinian factions, and for this reason everyone should work for achieving a successful agreement on a Palestinian national unity government as quickly as possible, because those who are suffering in the Gaza Strip after the recent Israeli aggression and have been left homeless, famished, in need of medical care and the basic amenities of life, urgently need international aid that would only come about through an agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

The different Palestinian factions have a great opportunity in the “Cairo dialogue” process that they should not miss, especially as the internal, regional and international situation is presently conducive for reaching an agreement. There are millions of dollars in international aid that await this agreement for providing succor to Gaza, and there are growing signs of radicalism on the Israeli arena that has the potential of posing a huge threat to the Palestinian cause. There is an international movement for the activation of peaceful process that requires Palestinian interaction for a unified vision and coordinated position, in addition to support of all Palestinian forces for dialogue. There are also reports that recently indicate that some independent Palestinian factions are seeking to formulate “innovative formulas” to assist parties engaged in the Cairo dialogue to resolve their differences.