Serious Implications for Faltering Palestinian Dialogue

  • 8 July 2009

The seventh round of the Palestinian national dialogue is scheduled for July 15th. However, the acrimonious relationship between Hamas and Fatah movements recently reached dangerous proportions, which augurs ill for the upcoming round of talks and has made chances of reaching a solution very slim.  When Fatah accused Hamas of planning the assassination of several officials of the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank, Hamas responded by accusing some Fatah elements of plotting to destabilize the security and stability of Gaza Strip and of trying to target officials of the government.

On the conclusion of the last round of the Palestinian national dialogue in Cairo, there were reports that some progress had been made during the talks, and it was expected that the following round could yield in a final agreement over a national reconciliation.  Yet, the recent deterioration in Fatah and Hamas relations has pushed matters back to square one.‮ ‬This signifies a number of dangerous implications. First, differences between the two sides are so deep that the situation could blow up at any time.

Second, there is a significant loss of trust between the two parties, as each suspects the other of conspiring against it. Even when both parties were negotiating in Cairo over the last six rounds there was a perceptible lack of trust between them, and it is feared that matters would remain liable to more tension, conflict and confrontation. Third, it is possible that the will for an agreement has relapsed, as whenever there is a strong will for a consensus—any serious dispute could be resolved and all obstacles removed. Fourth, tensions between Fatah and Hamas movements merely point to the failure of previous rounds of talks that did not bear any result. This probably reflects lack of commitment towards any agremment among the various participating factions. Fifth, other Palestinian factions do not have an influential role to play in uniting other than Fatah and Hamas, which confront each other in the occupied Palestinian lands, which leads to an increased chances of clashes between them. Sixth, Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions do not realize the significant danger that threatens the Palestinian cause.

Hence, they would continue to indulge in their internecine feuds, regardless of the dangerous consequences and the imminent threat facing the Palestinian cause. All Palestinian factions and movements should try to overlook their differences and agree upon a unified national program that tackles the challenges posed by the regional and international events, so that they would not be held accountable by history, the Palestinian people ‬ and the Arab and Islamic people, for defeating the cause and their legitimate right for an independent Palestinian state with the Holy Jerusalem as its capital.‬