Hamas: Between unity with Fatah and a deal with Israel | Gaza | Al Jazeera
Analysts believe the talks will eventually break down, resulting in a war of attrition likely to push Israel and Hamas into another conflict. Hamas strongly attacked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, accusing him of imposing harsh measures against the Gaza Strip. Thursday's reconciliation deal is full of holes, and leaves key questions unanswered. Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, center right, and Hamas' All of these shifts would reduce the likelihood of Gaza-Israel conflict.
But the key problem — in the past and today — is the Hamas military wing. There was no reference to the fate of this terrorist mini-army in the agreement and the ceremonies on Thursday.
Terrorists from the military wing of the Hamas terror group take part in a parade against Israel in Gaza City on July 25, That would mean the digging of tunnels toward and under the border with Israel will continue.
Indeed, Hamas would henceforth be able to focus more exclusively on its military arsenal, boosting its capabilities, while Abbas and the PA take care of the ongoing, financially costly needs of the Gaza citizenry.
Another problem that was not addressed in Cairo on Thursday: What is to become of the more than 40, Hamas government workers, hired when the terror group forced Fatah out of the Strip a decade ago? Did the PA agree to now pay their salaries? Officials on both sides said this issue would be resolved.
But what, then, of the 19, Hamas security personnel, including military police, emergency services staff and others? Rub your eyes in disbelief part 3: They all quickly did as they were told by their host. If there is an answer to the question of why this agreement might just be different to all previous failed agreements, then therein may lie the key.
Egypt, under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, has placed its prestige on the line with this hole-filled agreement. Egypt — which until recently considered Hamas an enemy of the people, an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood — has now embraced Hamas and overseen the formulation of an agreement that will ensure Hamas survives in the Strip, and with its military wing intact. And they got it. First, it wants to signal to all Arab and Muslim nations that it is the Arab heavyweight, when it comes to the Palestinians, and more generally.
That it is the most important Arab state in the region. Second, it wants to ensure quiet for itself and for Israel where Gaza is concerned, and this agreement, it believes, will hobble Hamas, and prevent it from embarking on dangerous military escapades. Is this an incorrectly calculated gamble? Fatah and Hamas, for their part, recognized that were they to torpedo the negotiations, they would find themselves directly at odds with Cairo.
Hamas, seeking its survival in Gaza, certainly had no desire to do that. Between unity with Fatah and a deal with Israel Hamas seems to be making more progress on a de-escalation deal with Israel than on reconciliation with Fatah.
Fatah–Hamas conflict - Wikipedia
This visit comes after weeks of tensions between Ramallah and Cairo, marking the lowest point in relations between the two in recent years. Reports have been circulating that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has become increasingly angered by the Egyptian government, fearing its alleged role in the "deal of the century" and its disregard for Ramallah's interests in Gaza. Egypt has been given the green light by the United States and Israel to lead efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas and form a unity government meant to usher the PA back into power in the Gaza Strip.
It has also been mediating in de-escalation negotiations between Israel and Hamas, which Fatah views with suspicion. But given the increasing hostility and intransigence in relations between the two main Palestinian factionsit paradoxically appears that the Palestinians are more ready to conclude a truce with the Israelis than reconcile with each other. Why reconciliation talks are faltering Last month marked the 11th anniversary of the political division between Gaza and the West Bank.
InHamas won the elections in Gaza, which Fatah refused to recognise. After clashes erupted between the two, Fatah supporters were expelled and Israel imposed its siege in Gaza in Since then, there have been numerous attempts to broker a deal - by Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Despite the signing of a number of agreements by Fatah and Hamas, the latest of which was in Cairo ineffective reconciliation has not been reached and the political feud continues.
- Fatah–Hamas conflict
- Fatah–Hamas reconciliation process
- Are Hamas-Fatah unity talks doomed to failure?
In late July, Egypt set up a reconciliation programme which outlined the steps the two political powers would have to take in order to complete the process. Hamas approved it, but Fatah recently announced that it would not abide by it. Instead, Abbas came out with a set of tougher demands, including Hamas' complete surrender of Gaza.
Ramallah now wants to regain full political, security and military control over the strip in exchange for reconciliation - a demand that Hamas will not heed. His intransigence has contributed to the unusual low in his relations with Egypt. In fact, Ramallah has only intensified its pressure on Hamas. Fatah—Hamas battle in Gaza Throughout 10 and 15 June of fighting Hamas took control of the main north—south road and the coastal road. The ICRC estimated that at least people were killed and more than wounded during the fighting in the week up to June Including the targeting and killing of civilians, public executions of political opponents and captives, throwing prisoners off high-rise apartment buildings, fighting in hospitals, and shooting from a jeep marked with "TV" insignias.
On 14 June, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the dissolution of the current unity government and the declaration of a state of emergency. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri responded by declaring that President Abbas's decision was "in practical terms After that it would need to be approved by the Hamas-dominated Legislative Council.
Fatah-Hamas unity: Rub your eyes in disbelief
Neither Hamas nor Fatah had enough votes to form a new government under the constitution. Within days, the US recognized Abbas' emergency government and ended a month economic and political boycott of the Palestinian Authority in a bid to bolster President Abbas and the new Fatah-led government.
The European Union similarly announced plans to resume direct aid to the Palestinians, while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel said it would release to Abbas Palestinian tax revenues that Israel had withheld since Hamas took control of the Palestinian Parliament.
The West Bank had its first casualty when the bullet-riddled body of a Hamas militant was found in Nablussparking the fear that Fatah would use its advantage in the West Bank for retaliation against its members' deaths in the Gaza Strip  On the same day, Hamas also declared that it was in full control of Gaza, a claim denied by Abbas.
Hamas: Between unity with Fatah and a deal with Israel
This act, including the ransack of the ministry of education, was seen as a reaction to similar looting occurring following Hamas' military success in Gaza. He would not deny when asked that Hamas resistance against Fatah would take the form of attacks and suicide bombings similar to those that Hamas has used against Israel in the past.
Fatah and Hamas officials gave conflicting accounts of what caused the fighting but the dispute seems to have originated when Hamas officials demanded that the clan return a governmental car. Another gun battle on October 20 killed one member of the clan and a year-old boy.
Are Hamas-Fatah unity talks doomed to failure? - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post
Two days later, 7 more Palestinians were killed in the internal fighting, including some Hamas militants and a Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant. With overparticipants, this was the largest Fatah demonstration in the Gaza Strip since the Hamas takeover.
The demonstration was forcibly dispersed by Hamas gunmen, who fired into the crowd. At least six civilians were killed and over 80 people were injured, some from being trampled in the resulting stampede. On 1 Januaryat least eight people died in factional fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Fatah—Hamas reconciliation process On 23 MarchHamas and Fatah signed an agreement in Sana'aYemen that amounted to a reconciliation deal. It called for a return of the Gaza Strip to the pre-June situation, though this has not happened. A series of violent acts, ranging from physical assaults, tortureand executions of Palestinianssuspected of collaboration with the Israel Defense Forcesas well as members of the Fatah political party, occurred.
According to Human Rights Watchat least 32 people were killed by these attacks: Ethan Bronner described the fighting as an indication "that the Palestinian unity needed for creation of a state is far off.