Sources Tell The Media Line Palestinian Reconciliation in Dire Straits
Although the latest attempt at reconciling the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions has proceeded farther than many believed possible, including the holding of government sessions in the Gaza Strip and agreement for the official return of control to the Fatah/Palestinian control, it appears that the fatal flaw that will sink the rapprochement is the refusal by Hamas to turn over its arsenal of scores of thousands of missiles and disband its fighting force numbering more than 25,000. With the deadline for completing the turn-over stipulated for December 1 in the agreement that was brokered by Egypt, it appears impossible to expect a breakthrough by that date with Hamas leaders all in a single voice saying “it will never happen.” On the Fatah side, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed he would never accept Hamas’s fighting force for fear it would eventually turn its arms against Fatah as it did when it took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. The factions had apparently hoped the international community would again adopt an old policy toward Hamas and its place within the Palestinian government: arguing that it is not necessary for Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel because it believes it is enough that it sits in a government that does. But since that argument is finding no traction in the US or European Union where Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization; and the retention of its arsenal and intent to eradicate the Jewish state virtually insure it will not, the presence of Hamas in a Palestinian unity government exposes the Palestinian Authority to a cessation of funding from the US and EU – a severe blow to the donor-dependent entity.