Palestinian Unity: A Threat, Says Israel - by Stephen Lendman
Imperial strategy is divide and conquer.
Palestine is sovereign territory. In 1987, Law Professor Francis Boyle drafted its Declaration of Independence. On November 15, 1988, the Palestine National Council (PNC) adopted it, affirming Palestinian statehood.
Nonetheless, Israel's illegal occupation continues. Gaza's under siege. Israeli forces attack repeatedly. Deaths and injuries result. Dozens of weekly West Bank incursions harass Palestinians ruthlessly. Numerous arrests follow. Innocent civilians are imprisoned, including children young as 10.
Peaceful protesters are assaulted violently. Settlement expansions continue on stolen land. Dispossessed Palestinians have no redress. Police state repression terrorizes millions of people. World leaders yawn and do nothing.
Last April in Cairo, Hamas and Fatah leaders proclaimed unity. Palestinians hoped it signaled rapprochement between the two sides.
Both agreed to form a transitional government soon. The two delegations, headed by Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, discussed security issues and ways to coordinate forces cooperatively. They also agreed to hold presidential and legislative elections within a year.
Despite reservations on both sides, signing ceremony comments signaled hope. Abbas suggested turning a page, saying:
"Four black years have affected the interests of Palestinians. Now we meet to assert a unified will. Israel is using the Palestinian reconciliation as an excuse to evade (peace. It) must choose between peace and settlement."
Based on his long collaborationist history with Israel, his commitments need to be tested. Saying and doing often differ. The jury so far is out.
For his part, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said:
"Hamas was ready to pay any price for internal Palestinian reconciliation. The only battle of the Palestinians is against Israel. Our aim is to establish a free and completely sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza strip, whose capital is Jerusalem, without any settlers and without giving up a single inch of land and without giving up on the right of return."
At the time, Netanyahu denounced unity, saying:
"What happened....in Cairo is a tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism."
In fact, Israel is the region's leading purveyor of state terrorism by far. Moreover, Netanyahu, other Israeli officials, and previous ones spurn peace. Why else would decades of negotiations go nowhere.
Hopefully, Hamas and Fatah agreements will hold. On November 24, the International Middle East Media Center headlined, "Abbas, Mashal, Meet in Cairo, Affirm National Unity," saying: