- On April 27, the International Middle East Media Center
headlined, "Rival Palestinian Factions Reach Reconciliation Agreement,"
- Meeting in Cairo, Palestinian media sources announced
a Hamas - Fatah reconciliation draft agreement, signaling hope for rapprochement
between the two sides.
- Both parties agreed to form a transitional government
soon. The two delegations, headed by Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas and
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal discussed security issues and ways to coordinate
forces on both sides. They also chose an election date, but didn't disclose
- "A Hamas official (Izzat Ar-Rishiq) reported that
all points of differences with Fatah have been overcome....Egyptian sources
said that the two parties will be invited into Egypt soon (for an) official
- Egypt's official MENA news agency confirmed "a complete
understanding after talks on all the points, including the formation of
a transitional government with a specific mandate and setting a date for
- Fatah delegation chief Azzam Al-Ahmad confirmed the report,
saying both sides agreed to a "government of independents....tasked
with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year."
- Palestinian factions welcomed the announcement, hoping
years of conflict would end. Islamic Jihad's Khaled Al Batsh said his organization
welcomed the development, hoping implementation will begin quickly. He
also called for ending West Bank political arrests, saying Palestinian
priorities include resistance, unity, independence, the right of return,
and Jerusalem as Palestine's capital.
- PLC deputy head Dr. Ahmad Bahar called the agreement
historic, thanking Egypt for hosting and moderating important talks.
- Dr. Abdul-Aziz Shiqaqi, head of Gaza's coalition of independent
figures, said the deal breaks new ground, offering a new reconciliation
phase. Khalil Assaf, representing West Bank independent figures, called
the agreement the best and most important development this year.
- The Palestinian People Party (PPP) also welcomed the
deal, hoping implementation will begin soon, as well as calling for efforts
to marshal international support for Palestinian independence with Jerusalem
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted sharply, demanding
- "choose between peace with Israel or peace with
Hamas. There cannot be peace with both because Hamas strives to destroy
the state of Israel and says so openly. I think that the very idea of reconciliation
shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and creates the prospect
that Hamas could retake control of Judea and Samaria just like it took
control of the Gaza Strip."
- Netanyahu also said all necessary measures will be taken
to continue Gaza's siege, including blocking planned humanitarian flotillas.
- He and other Israeli officials repeat the same canards,
notably with regard to peace, reconciliation, and denying Hamas' longstanding
willingness to recognize Israel in return for Palestinian sovereignty inside
pre-1967 borders, just 22% of its original homeland.
- In September, it now hopes the UN General Assembly will
affirm what Israel for decades spurned, including peace to perpetuate its
war agenda based on lies and deception about Hamas threatening its security.
- Getting Washington to bogusly declare it a terrorist
organization, Western media ignore its legitimacy as Palestine's democratically
elected government, facts conveniently replaced by spurious claims about
terrorism. In other words, twisting them to fit policy that includes on-and-off
again wars, violence, land theft, severe repression, targeted assassinations,
and violation of fundamental international law and standards, as well as
core Judaic values, ones Israel long ago abandoned.
- On April 27, New York Times writers Ethan Bronner and
Isabel Kershner also covered the story headlining, "Fatah and Hamas
Announce Outline of Deal," saying:
- They "create(d) an interim unity government (and
agreed to) hold elections within a year, a surprise move that promised
to reshape" the regional diplomatic landscape. Perhaps regional uprisings
influenced the move. Also, Al Jazeera's January released Palestine Papers.
They revealed covert PA willingness to compromise much in return for little,
amounting to de facto complicity and unilateral surrender to Israeli demands,
a shameless betrayal like Oslo, what Edward Said called a Palestinian Versailles.
- It gives pause about what PA negotiators now have in
mind. This time, however, they're dealing with Hamas, not Israel, but that
specter remains powerfully omnipresent in lockstep with its Washington
- Gaza Al-Azhar University Professor Mkhaimar Abusada believes
the PA's failure to negotiate peace with Israel, as well as anger over
a February US Security Council resolution veto against new settlement construction
encouraged Fatah to talk.
- Hamas representative Moussa Abu Marzouk said:
- "We have ended a painful period in the history of
the Palestinian people where Palestinian division had prevailed. We gave
the occupation a great opportunity to expand the settlements because of
this division. Today we turn this page and open a new" one.
- Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said both sides agreed
to changes in interim PLO leadership, a tribunal for elections, and a date.
Both sides will nominate government members, a 12-judge election tribunal,
and an oversight committee to handle security.
- On April 27, Washington Post writer Jennifer Rubin headlined,
"Congress to PA: No US aid if you merge with Hamas," saying:
- Florida Republican House Foreign Affairs chairwoman Ileana
Ros-Lehiten (a member of America's extremist far right) signaled ending
US aid, repeating Netanyahu's lies, saying:
- "The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas
means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction
of Israel will be part of the (PA) government. US taxpayer funds should
not and must not be used to support those who threaten US security, our
interests, and our vital ally, Israel."
- New York Democrat Rep. Gary Ackerman, a notorious pro-Israel
supporter, called the deal "a recipe for failure, mixed with violence,
leading to disaster," sounding as extremist as Ros-Lehiten. Other
members of both houses concurred, succumbing to Israeli Lobby pressure
to go along or face recrimination in 2012. Mindful also of Israeli support,
selling their souls the price they pay keep it.
- Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel would only negotiate
with a Palestinian unity government that "dismantles (its) terror
infrastructures and recognizes Israel as well as past PLO (negotiated)
- Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, facing
indictment for fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and more,
said Israel won't negotiate with the interim government, adding:
- "One of the clauses of the agreement is the release
of hundreds of Hamas prisoners from Palestinian jails, which would flood
the West Bank with armed terrorists, and the IDF must prepare accordingly....This
agreement crosses a red line. Hamas has been defined as a terrorist organization....in
addition to the fact that it has always been known that no talks can be
held with groups calling for Israel's destruction."
- Israel's president Shimon Peres said:
- "The move, as it stands is a fatal mistake,"
nor will Israel negotiate with a "bona fide terrorist organization."
The deal "would lead to a regression and prevent the formation of
a Palestinian state."
- Through public rhetoric and behind the scenes pressure,
including through the Israeli Lobby, Israel is going all out to prevent
reconciliation, a unity government, peace, and UN General Assembly recognition
of an independent Palestine within 1967 borders this September.
- Instead it plans to stay belligerent, choose violence
over diplomacy, continue settlement construction, keep Gaza blockaded,
launch air attacks with powerful weapons, make regular incursions into
Palestinian communities targeting nonviolent civilians, and effectively
reign daily terror on Palestine like it's done for over six decades, blaming
victims of its own crimes, still with world community support.
- As a result, it's for Palestinians to pursue their own
agenda until one day liberated and free. A unity government and UN membership
are important steps toward it.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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