Palestinians Optimistic on Hamas-Fatah Unity Deal

By Mitnick, Joshua | The Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Palestinians Optimistic on Hamas-Fatah Unity Deal


Mitnick, Joshua, The Christian Science Monitor


Palestinians see the Hamas-Fatah unity deal to be signed in Cairo today as strengthening their push for statehood. But they say that reconciliation will be a year-long project at least.

As the two leading Palestinian factions came together in Cairo today to sign a reconciliation pact, Palestinians are optimistic that the Arab Spring may help mend a four-year split and strengthen their push for statehood.

"The opinion of all Palestinians is to get united. It brings them a sense of power, and a sense of strength, and a sense of unity to be able to deal with Israel," says Bassem Ezbedi, a political science professor at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank. He acknowledged that there are "all sorts of obstacles," some of which could be "explosive."

Indeed, just as Arab countries around the region are grappling with new forms of government, Palestinians understand that achieving harmony between the Islamist militant rulers of the Gaza and the Western-backed secular party that controls the West Bank will be a year-long project at least.

Hamas-Fatah divide evident over bin Laden's death

Fundamental differences persist between Hamas and Fatah, as underscored by their contradictory responses to Osama bin Laden's death this week.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Monday praised Osama Bin Laden as an Arab "holy warrior," and condemned the US raid that killed him. The Fatah-dominated PA welcomed his death, however, with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad saying he hoped it marked "the beginning of the end for this dark era."

Two opposing security doctrines

Despite sounding upbeat about the reconciliation deal, politicians from Fatah and Hamas give differing interpretations of what it means for Hamas's doctrine of armed uprising against Israel or the Palestinian Authority's security coordination with Israel.

Sheikh Fadel Hamdan, a Hamas legislator in the West Bank, said that Hamas would only give up the right to armed "resistance" against Israel at "the final stage" of an agreement. (Hamas has said it is willing to consider an open-ended cease fire with Israel but not a conclusive peace treaty.) He called the PA and Israel's security cooperation "problematic," arguing that it doesn't help the Palestinian people.

Azzam Abu Baker, a Fatah official, says the security coordination with Israel is a necessary fact of life aimed at preventing Israel's military from overrunning Palestinian cities in the West Bank. As for Hamas' armed militia, he asserted that the unity agreement doesn't allow either side to act unilaterally against Israel.

Prof. Ezbeidi says that merging two opposing security doctrines is only one of a myriad of issues that could doom the agreement.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Palestinians Optimistic on Hamas-Fatah Unity Deal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?