Obstructing Hamas/Fatah Unity
Washington, Israel and PA's Abbas reject unity.
by Stephen Lendman
Previous unity talks failed. On February 6, more talks were held. Fatah and Hamas officials met in Cairo. At issue are long-delayed reconciliation and new elections.
Reports suggested cause for optimism. It's hard imagining why. Israel and Washington ruptured relations earlier. Efforts followed to isolate and vilify Hamas.
Days before meeting in Cairo, Israeli forces conducted sweeping arrests. Hamas-affiliated officials were targeted. Two MPs were included. Residents identified them as Hebron's Hatim Qafisha and East Jerusalem's Ahmad Attoun.
Thirteen other Hamas officials were arrested. Over two dozen in all were seized from Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilyah, Tulkarkem, and Bethlehem.
Human rights activists said Israel wants Fatah/Hamas reconciliation efforts subverted. A charitable organization was also targeted. Equipment, documents, and personal property were confiscated.
A Hamas-affiliated web site said soldiers burst into homes with dogs. Arrests followed. Netanyahu prioritizes occupation harshness.
Peace is a non-starter. So is subverting Hamas/Fatah unity. He calls it "a mortal blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism."
Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He's well rewarded for going alone. He provides enforcer services, not legitimate governance. He pretends interest in unity. He insults Palestinians by doing so.
It didn't surprise that Cairo talks failed. PLO government excludes Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) head, Nayef Hawathem, said meetings "ended without achieving any tangible progress."
Israel and Washington tolerate none. PFLP official Rabah Muhanna agreed, saying:
"The Cairo meetings did not achieve anything. They did not set a date for forming a new government nor a date for fresh elections."
Hamas blamed Fatah for failure. Abbas obstructed discussions. He raised issues previously agreed on. He did so to thwart unity.