The implications are minimal to the US, but Israel is in the cross hairs.
Obama seems to love to do EVERYTHING to set it things up in the worst way for Israel.
FATAH and HAMAS are two very different type of organizations with both guns pointed at Israel. And for what?
Everytime Israel gave them anything they destroyed it. Israel gave up some very nicely developed areas, which had parks and schools and water aquifers
The hate is their enemy. Israel and the Jews (real Jews) will survive.
Palestinians Celebrate Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Ceremony In Cairo
Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and refugee camps celebrated on Wednesday. In Gaza’s Square of the Unknown Soldier, a demonstration turned into a raucous party of thousands cheering, chanting and waving flags, according to the Guardian.
The occasion was a ceremony in Cairo, attended by representatives from the U.N., the EU, and the Arab League, for the signing of a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. The two factions have been bitter rivals since a 2007 war, when Hamas defeated Fatah for control of Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the governing body associated with Fatah, and Khaled Meshaal, leader of the Hamas, identified by the U.S. as a terrorist group, met for the first time in five years to sign the agreement.
The reconciliation agreement is an important step on the way to getting the United Nations General Assembly to unilaterally create a Palestinian state in September by international mandate. A reconciliation is an important prerequisite.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
PA TV defines Palestine: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Negev, Galilee and all of Israel
Short film shown beginning with the words:
“Palestine – one day we will return to our home and bask in the warmth of our hopes”
[the line is from a song by Lebanese singer Fairouz, about longing for Palestine]
Afterwards there are scenes of various places, labeled with their names: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv – labeled ‘Tel Al-Rabi’a’, Haifa, the Dead Sea, the Negev, the Galilee, Caesarea, Masada – labeled ‘Jericho mountains’, and Acre.
At the end the following appears:
“For your sake, Palestine, the youth have been demonstrating for 25 days to end the [Fatah-Hamas] rift.”
Abbas said that they had forever turned “the black page of divisions.” Meshall spelled out Hamas’s goal:
“Our aim is to establish a free and completely sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, whose capital is Jerusalem, without any settlers and without giving up a single inch of land and without giving up on the right of return [of Palestinian refugees].”
In fact, several years ago, the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union) set three conditions for Hamas: recognize the state of Israel; renounce violence; and honor past Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Hamas has said that it will not agree to any of these conditions.
Furthermore, Hamas officials have been openly criticial of the U.S. military action that led to Osama bin Laden’s death, according to the Jerusalem Post. On Monday, Hamas Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, said:
“We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. … We regard this, as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.”
Thus, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was extremely critical of the agreement:
“What happened today in Cairo is a tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism. I think the fate of the Middle East and the fate of peace hangs in the balance.”
Netanyahu made this statement while visiting British prime minister David Cameron. Cameron’s office had issued a statement critical of Netanyahu that said:
“This is a time to pursue not ignore the Middle East peace process. That will be his main message to Mr Netanyahu today. We need to study the detail of the agreement but, as the prime minister was making clear in the House of Commons yesterday, we hope that Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas will be a step forward.”
However, after the meeting, Cameron was more conciliatory:
“The leaders discussed today’s announcement on Palestinian unity. Prime Minister Cameron said that any new Palestinian government must reject violence, recognise Israel’s right to exist and engage in the peace process, and that Britain would judge it by its actions.”
It’s always interesting to watch politicians dance like this, waiting until they have a chance to conduct a public opinion poll, so they’ll know what to believe.
On the one hand, it almost seems that a Palestinian state in September has become an unstoppable train. On the other hand, there are many serious issues standing in the way.
Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas unity a blow to peace process
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
“3 days ago, terrorism was dealt a resounding defeat with the elimination of bin Laden. Today, in Cairo, it had a victory,’ says PM.
LONDON – The signing of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal in Cairo is a setback for peace – and an advancement for terrorism – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters in London on Wednesday.
“What happened today in Cairo is a tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism,” he said. “Three days ago, terrorism was dealt a resounding defeat with the elimination of Osama bin Laden. Today, in Cairo, it had a victory.”
In signing this deal, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had “embraced” an organization that had condemned the American operation against the al-Qaida leader and called him a “great martyr,” the prime minister said.
“When he embraces this organization, which is committed to Israel’s destruction and fires rockets on our cities, this is a tremendous setback for peace and a great advancement for terror,” Netanyahu said.
“What we hope will happen is that we find peace, and the only way we can make peace is with our neighbors who want peace. Those who want to eliminate us, those who practice terror, are not partners for peace.”
Israeli officials said Netanyahu hoped to persuade Cameron to promise that the UK would not support the deal unless Hamas accepted the three principles set out by the Quartet for international recognition of the Islamist movement: that Hamas recognizeIsrael, renounce terrorism and abide by the PLO’s agreements with Israel.
Hamas refused to do so.
On Thursday, Netanyahu is expected to make the same request when he meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that Ban had always supported efforts for Palestinian unity, but wanted them to play out within the framework of the Quartet’s principles – and urged all Palestinian factions to adhere to them.
Still, he sent Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, to Cairo for Wednesday’s ceremony.
The European Union was even more cautious about supporting the Fatah-Hamasagreement and sent only a councilor from its embassy in Cairo.
The US did not have any formal representative at the ceremony.
Speaking on Channel 2 on Wednesday evening, Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair gave a plug for Palestinian unity, but only with certain conditions attached.
He said he was “in favor of Palestinian unity. It is essential for peace, but it must be unity on the right terms; it must be genuine unity.”
Blair added, however, that the contrasting Palestinian reactions to the killing by US forces of Osama bin Laden earlier this week “expresses what the issue is” regarding the worrying aspects of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement.
“[PA Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad said the death was good news and [Hamas Prime Minister Ismail] Haniyeh said he [bin Laden] was a ‘warrior.’” “If Hamas was changing… in peaceful means… this would be positive… but you just need to look at Haniyeh’s comments” to understand this has not been the case, Blair said.
As for Netanyahu’s comments that the agreement was “a victory for terror,” Blair said, “I think the reaction of the Israeli government is justified. For us in the international community, the door is open to come into this [peace] process – but only if conditions are made.”
He criticized Israel’s decision to stop transferring tax funds to the PA, now that Hamas is joining the PA government.
“In respect to the [tax] revenue made on behalf of the Palestinians, it should be given to them,” Blair said.
He also reiterated his objection to a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood.
“The only way you will get a Palestinian state is by negotiation,” Blair said.
But Netanyahu’s largest coalition partner, Israel Beiteinu, said on Wednesday that the time for negotiations had passed. It announced that in light of the agreement between Fatah and Hamas, it would demand that the government cease all contact between Israel and the PA. The party called to stop various inter-ministerial initiatives with the PA, as well as the transfer of money to its government.
“It is impossible to expect the State of Israel to transfer money to Hamas – and in doing so, to fund terrorism activities against Israel’s citizens,” Beiteinu said.
“Those who declared bin Laden to be a Muslim freedom fighter, as Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh did, and those who refuse to allow the Red Cross to visit Gilad Schalit cannot be partners in negotiations, either directly or indirectly.”
Separately, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Israel Beiteinu), who is in Eastern Europe, called on the European Union to threaten the Palestinians with financial consequences, should they fail to follow the Quartet’s principles.
“As the largest funders of the Palestinian Authority, you have a heavy responsibility to make it clear to the Palestinians that failure to comply with the Quartet’s conditions will be met with sanctions,” Ayalon said.
He spoke after meeting with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.
Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.