by: Kate Norman
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 | After witnessing the historic peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain—and the prospect of more Arab states making peace with the Jewish state—the two top Palestinian factions are meeting to mend their own ties and unite against Israel.
Leaders from Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, and a delegation from Fatah, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s party in Judea and Samaria, are meeting this week in Istanbul to discuss burying the 13-year-old hatchet in order to face their common Jewish enemy together.
Their meeting aims toward “ending the division and applying the directives of the conference of Palestinian faction heads,” a Fatah statement said. The conference refers to another meeting earlier this month when Abbas met via videoconference with Hamas chief Ismael Haniyeh and Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhalah of Islamic Jihad—the second largest terror group operating in Gaza. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders tuned in from the Palestinian embassy in Beirut.
The factions have been at odds since Hamas staged a violent coup in 2007, expelling their Fatah brethren from the Gaza Strip. Since then, there has been a sharp division between the two, with Fatah transitioning from being the main face of the Palestinian people to being relegated to Judea and Samaria, the so-called West Bank.
Their history of infighting includes Hamas throwing Fatah members off of roofs in Gaza during the 2007 takeover. Aside from competing for complete control over the Palestinian people, the factions also differ on their stances toward Israel. The PA favors a more diplomatic enmity while Hamas advocates all-out war against the Jewish state.
Nonetheless, the threat of an Arab state daring to bypass the Palestinian issue and make peace with the Jewish state is more than the estranged factions can bear.
“We will work to end division, achieve reconciliation…” Abbas vowed at the previous meeting. “Know that we are one people.”
Hamas and Fatah can both agree on at least one thing: the Abraham Accords, the peace between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain—likely to soon include even more of their Arab brethren, are unacceptable.
Few people—both Palestinians and outsiders—however, believe the factions will be truly able to overcome their deep-rooted differences. The Times of Israel cited a recent Palestinian poll that said only 11% of the Palestinian people see a Hamas–Fatah reunion as a possibility.
Posted on September 22, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 22, 2020)
Photo Credit: sulox32/pixabay.com
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