The Will for Palestinian Reconciliation

  • 20 October 2009

Recent statements by spokesman of Egyptian Foreign Ministry to the television channel Al-Arabia point to some important reasons on problems facing Palestinian national reconciliation, despite efforts made at more than one level for achieving it. The first point is that the will or desire for reconciliation does not exist, which makes it necessary to look for the reasons causing the delay in signing of what has been agreed upon. The spokesman of Egyptian Foreign Ministry clearly pointed out that negotiation on the reconciliation document lasted several months in Cairo, during which all Palestinian sides put forward their positions, including the Hamas movement. Later, Egypt expressed surprised over Hamas’ reservations on the reconciliation document and its request to postpone its signing, which was scheduled to take place this month.

The second point is that negotiations on reconciliation cannot continue indefinitely, especially when the will for an agreement does not exist. In this case, the differences will become a drain on time and efforts and would not produce a concrete result, and questions will be raised on whether negotiations—not just an agreement—have themselves become the target  There is no doubt that the Palestinian arena cannot wait for Fatah and Hamas to reach an agreement indefinitely, and the Arab world and the international community will not wait as well. On the other hand, Israeli plans to resolve the Palestinian case, especially estrangement between the two sides, has been long-standing, and as time passes the gap has widened and its adverse effects have become more complex.
The continuation of the dispute among Palestinian forces—although all domestic, regional and international events, as well as the pernicious policies of the Government of Israel on Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque should have forced its resolution—raises many questions among Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims and those interested in the Palestinian cause in the international arena on the real reasons behind these differences, and if there are some who want to prolong the dispute among Palestinians, both geographical and political. Therefore, they are avoiding reconciliation and putting up obstacles in their way. Efforts to resolve differences among Palestinian forces will not be successful unless the concerned parties themselves have the will to compromise and reconcile. This is clear from the schism between Hamas and Fattah, where a lot of efforts has been made by various Arab forces, and important understanding has been reached. Thus, these differences have been long-lasting, intractable and immune to treatment.