Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (R) and Political Chief of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh (L) shake hands during a meeting in Gaza City on October 02, 2017. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Palestinian Reconciliation Moves Ahead amid Silence from International Community on Hamas

The Palestinian reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas factions continues to surprise some as it moves ahead after a number of failed efforts dating back to 2011 and beyond. As he chaired the first cabinet session in Gaza City in three years, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah assured his people that the PA is assuming full responsibility for “all sectors of life [in the Gaza Strip] in full cooperation and partnership with all the Palestinian factions and forces.” Although his comment was a clear reference to issues that had become problematic vis-à-vis a rapprochement with the Islamist Hamas – which is listed by the United States as a terrorist organization and which refuses to relinquish its formidable Iranian-backed arsenal and fighting force – donor nations to the PA including the US remain silent about Hamas becoming part of the Palestinian government which, according to American law, would disqualify the Palestinian government as a recipient of US aid. Indications are increasingly clear that Washington and other Western governments will adopt policies akin to that applied in Lebanon where the Hizbullah terrorist organization effectively controls government actions but is allowed to employ the fiction of bifurcating a “political” and “military” persona to circumvent legal restrictions with which it would otherwise burden the nation such as the provision of US law that would otherwise render Lebanon ineligible for aid. Sounding a theme apparently finding success in foreign capitals, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that without the unity government, “there will not be a Palestinian state.”

 

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