Have the Palestinian factions finally agreed?


Published: 2017-11-23 16:04

Last Updated: 2017-11-23 18:29

Editor: Abeer Ayyoub

Have the Palestinian factions finally agreed?
Have the Palestinian factions finally agreed?
Roya News Source

After two days of talks in Cairo, Palestinian factions endorsed Hamas-Fatah reconciliation but failed to offer timeliness and mechanisms to implement the deal, disappointing the weary population of Gaza.

The two parties agreed to hold general elections no later than the end of 2018, to allow the freedoms' committee to start its work in Gaza and the West Bank, calling upon the social reconciliation committee to resume its work.

Social reconciliation aims to reconcile those who lost their loved once during the deadly street battles between Fatah and Hamas in 2007, while freedom committee aims to take care of political prisoning in Gaza and the West Bank.

However, the Palestinian Authority has not yet agreed to lift sanctions on Gaza - which includes electricity reduction and employees' salaries being cut off - nor to open the Rafah border permanently.

Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil was filmed immediately after the end of the meeting saying, "We got out from the meetings with a meaningless agreement, without any mechanisms for implementing the deal." He also said that an official from the Palestinian Authority said that they are under American pressure not to reach any real agreement.

A spokesperson of Fatah movement Mouneer Al-Jaghoub attacked Bardawil for his statement, calling it "propaganda", and an attempt to escape the commitment of reconciliation.

But Bardawil filmed a new video a couple of hours later in which he apologized for what he said, claiming he was "too emotional" and didn't know he was being filmed. He added that the press release on the reconciliation agreement is not final, but still the minimum of what can be reached.

The Gaza-based political analyst Mustafa Ibraheem said that the agreement reached by the conflicting parties is the minimum of what can be accomplished.

"While the outcomes are disappointing, they can be a first step to a real agreement," Ibraheem told Roya in a phone interview.

Ibraheem said that the upcoming month will be a real step for how serious the reconciliation is, "the Unity government will have to pay the Hamas government employees; otherwise, there would be an evidence for how big the gap is between Hamas and Fatah."

Head of the Fatah delegation Azzam al-Ahmed said that the Rafah border will not open permanently anytime soon due to security concern in Egypt, and that they "totally understand this."

While the agreement seemed more serious this time, it seems that the American administration preferred an unarmed Hamas before resuming the talks, a situation that Hamas totally rejected.
The two parties reached an Egyptian-brokered earlier last month aiming to end a decade-long split. Hamas took over Gaza a year after it won the parliamentary elections. After winning a violent street battle, Hamas ousted the pro-Abbas forces to the West Bank.