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PA-Hamas Reconciliation Talks Going Nowhere

By Stephen Lendman

The UN, US, EU and Russia (the Middle East Quartet) urged both sides to “take concrete steps to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under the legitimate Palestinian Authority,” Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk saying:

“We received information…confirming that the US lifted the veto on the Palestinian reconciliation. American news reports also mentioned that there has been a shift in the American administration’s policy.”

On September 17, Hamas announced the dissolution of its administrative committee in charge of managing Strip governance, agreeing to hold general elections.

Numerous previous reconciliation efforts failed to agree on power-sharing. Polls show if elections were held now throughout the Occupied Territories, Hamas would defeat the PA.

Palestinians despise illegitimate president Mahmoud Abbas, serving Israeli interests, not theirs.

The devil is in the details of all agreements. Abbas demands for reconciliation are unacceptable. According to the pan-Arab broadsheet Al-Hayat, they include:

— Hamas dismantling its military wing - a US/Israeli scheme to render it defenseless;

— no foreign involvement in administering Gaza - targeting Iran, Hezbollah and other countries willing to offer political support and/or economic aid; and

— funds for rebuilding, restoring and developing the Strip be channeled exclusively through the PA.

According to Haaretz, Abbas refused to permit establishment of a “Hezbollah model” in Gaza, an unnamed senior PA official saying:

“The Lebanese model cannot be applied in the PA territories. If there is no unified rule and administration by institutions subservient to the rule of law, as in every normal country, there can be no talk of true national reconciliation.”

According to Hamas deputy political head Moussa Abu Marzouk, its military wing won’t be relinquished. It’s intended for the defense of the Palestinian people, and as long as the Palestinian people are under occupation, the weapons will continue to be ready for any scenario.”

The issue “never was nor will be up for discussion.” Hamas’ leader Yahya Sinwar said its Iz al-Din al-Qassam military wing can fire as many rockets at Israel in 51 minutes as it did in 51 days during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge aggression.

Ismail Haniyeh heads Hamas’ political wing. It supports reconciliation with the PA, not surrender nor relinquishing its defense capability, what Washington, Israel and Abbas demand.

On Tuesday, talks will continue in Gaza, involving UN and Egyptian delegations, then shifting to Cairo.

Egypt is a key player - to monitor unified governance in Gaza if successful.

Netanyahu rejects reconciliation unless Hamas recognizes Israel, accepts occupation harshness, and surrenders to its authority like the PA, serving as its enforcer - unattainable objectives.

In April 2014, Hamas and the PA agreed on “national consensus government.” Unity didn’t follow. Israel sabotaged it.

Anything both sides agree to this time won’t succeed without Israeli approval - not forthcoming unless its surrender demands are met.

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