It is clear is that neither Hamas nor Fatah is interested in achieving unity -- each for its own reasons. Then there are radicals in the Arab and Islamic countries -- such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis -- who will never accept Israel's right to exist.But neither side is about to reveal that the continued meetings and calls for a unity government are a sham.
That is why, as Toameh notes, Hamas is now blaming Obama for the most recent failure of the Hamas-Fatah talks, claiming that Abbas was hesitant, in the face of Obama's impending visit and overall US pressure, to go ahead and create a unity government with Hamas. For good measure, Hamas blames Israel as well.
The truth of the matter, he explains, is very different: the fact of the matter is that when you get right down to it, neither Hamas nor Fatah can allow the consequences that would result from a Hamas-Fatah unity government.
The problems for Hamas:
- Hamas does not want to appear to be endorsing either the Oslo Accords nor a two-state solution with Israel.
- A unity government would mean ceding its exclusive control over Gaza, which Hamas has been turning into its own "semi-independent Islamic emirate."
- Forming a unity government would allow Hamas to increase its control in the West Bank, an Islamist influence the Abbas regime cannot control.
- Hamas would benefit from even more legitimacy among both Palestinian Arabs and the international community -- something that Fatah cannot afford to do.
So in the interests of maintaining appearances, we will periodically be informed by the two groups that they are meeting once again to meet in order to finally get together to form a combined government -- only to fail for any of a variety of reasons unrelated to the their own self-interests in staying separate.
And so it goes.
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