Unlike previous efforts, the current Palestinian reconciliation agreement appears to have been cemented from within; and it might just offer a lifeline to Gaza.
By Samer Badawi
Just as word emerged early Wednesday
of an imminent unity accord between rival Palestinian factions Fatah
and Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seized upon the
news to issue his Palestinian counterpart an ultimatum: Make peace with
Hamas, and you can forget about peace with Israel. In lockstep,
Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman immediately dubbed any intra-Palestinian reconciliation a veritable “termination of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”
If that was a bluff, the Palestinians did not flinch. By the end of the day, the rival factions had announced a way forward
on deals they had previously inked in Doha and Cairo. There would be
elections within six months, and in the interim, a unity government—with
Mahmoud Abbas the “prime minister” at its helm.
Welcome to the post-Oslo world.