Palestinian Reconciliation: Essential Requirement

  • 16 February 2009

Notwithstanding the atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, and the danger of increasing radicalism on the Israeli political scene, the greatest threat to Palestinians and their cause remains their continuing internal division and fragmentation. This division has harmed their cause and its image at the regional and international levels more than anything else. In this respect, the meeting that brought together Fatah and Hamas members in Cairo recently was crucial, as it led to certain encouraging agreements, such as putting an end to the media campaign between the two sides, and setting mechanisms and formulas to study the issue of arrests. These developments must be used as a basis for starting a new phase of dialogue between the two major movements because irrespective of their intense differences, Israeli threat remains a unifying factor for them, especially as all indicators point to a difficult new phase in relations with Israel, in the wake of the recent Israeli elections that has increased the share of radical movements and it underscores the need for adoption of firm positions on peace and the Palestinians,  as Israeli people have started giving the matter of security the top priority. It is agreed that Cairo will host on February 22, an inter-Palestinian dialogue that seeks to achieve national reconciliation and puts an end to the phase of differences and conflict. It is hoped that this dialogue would succeed in ushering in a new phase in relations between Fatah and Hamas that would mend the internal Palestinian front against any infiltration and that could strengthen it in the face of upcoming challenges.

Israel is working to be evasive on every issue pertaining to the Palestinians and their legitimate rights, and it is seeking to widen differences between their various parties and movements, and for this reason Palestinians should always insist on maintaining internal unity, because this unity alone would restore the vitality of the Palestinian cause on the international arena, and would prevent Israel from making the allegation about the absence of a viable Palestinian peace partner. There are many agencies that seek to prosecute Israel for its recent crimes in Gaza, and these organizations have prepared relevant evidence and documents to file a case in international courts to put those Israeli leaders on trial who carried out these crimes. It is important that Palestinians remain at the forefront of such initiatives, and this necessitates that they remain capable of representing their cause in a convincing manner to the concerned parties, especially as Israel has launched a counter campaign that mobilizes all of its important cards.

Every positive step on the road to containing differences between Hamas and Fatah must receive the support of Palestinian people as well as of the Arab and Islamic nations. If recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has drawn huge condemnation from these nations, then the upcoming period would necessitate the Palestinians to unite and to rise above their internal conflict and dissension, out of sheer respect for the hundreds of martyrs who fell during the Gaza aggression and throughout the long history of the Palestinian struggle.