Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Is Abbas So Eager To Join Up With Hamas?

The waves of protests throughout the Middle East have made their way to the West Bank as well. One of the major demands of the protesters is for an end to the fighting between Hamas and Fatah.

According to Khaled Abu Toameh, this is one of the reasons that Abbas has announced his willingness to visit Gaza and meet with Hamas:

But other Palestinians say that Abbas's plan is also designed to send a message to the Americans and Europeans that unless they step up pressure on Israel he will have to join forces with Hamas.

The Palestinian leader wants the US and EU to force Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, including a complete cessation of construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods. The message he is sending to the Americans and Europeans is: Get me all that you can from Israel or else I will go to Hamas.

Abbas's initiative could also be directed against Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, whom he asked a few weeks ago to form a new government.

Abbas's offer to discuss with Hamas the formation of a new government came while Fayyad continues to negotiate with representatives of various Palestinian political factions about the formation of a new cabinet. Some Palestinians are wondering whether Abbas is trying to bypass or marginalize his prime minister.
Whatever the reason, would a unity party of Hamas and Fatah do anything for peace?
It is one thing for the world to claim that Abbas is a moderate, but will that reputation be enough to give cover to Hamas as well?

I wouldn't put it past the West to embrace such an alliance, and happily proclaim that a new chapter the potential for peace has begun.

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