Palestinian Unity Deal Announced - by Stephen Lendman
On April 27, the International Middle East Media Center headlined, "Rival Palestinian Factions Reach Reconciliation Agreement," saying:
Meeting in Cairo, Palestinian media sources announced a Hamas - Fatah reconciliation draft agreement, signaling hope for rapprochement between the two sides.
Both parties 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 on both sides. They also chose an election date, but didn't disclose it.
"A Hamas official (Izzat Ar-Rishiq) reported that all points of differences with Fatah have been overcome....Egyptian sources said that the two parties will be invited into Egypt soon (for an) official signing ceremony."
Egypt's official MENA news agency confirmed "a complete understanding after talks on all the points, including the formation of a transitional government with a specific mandate and setting a date for elections."
Fatah delegation chief Azzam Al-Ahmad confirmed the report, saying both sides agreed to a "government of independents....tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year."
Palestinian factions welcomed the announcement, hoping years of conflict would end. Islamic Jihad's Khaled Al Batsh said his organization welcomed the development, hoping implementation will begin quickly. He also called for ending West Bank political arrests, saying Palestinian priorities include resistance, unity, independence, the right of return, and Jerusalem as Palestine's capital.
PLC deputy head Dr. Ahmad Bahar called the agreement historic, thanking Egypt for hosting and moderating important talks.
Dr. Abdul-Aziz Shiqaqi, head of Gaza's coalition of independent figures, said the deal breaks new ground, offering a new reconciliation phase. Khalil Assaf, representing West Bank independent figures, called the agreement the best and most important development this year.
The Palestinian People Party (PPP) also welcomed the deal, hoping implementation will begin soon, as well as calling for efforts to marshal international support for Palestinian independence with Jerusalem its capital.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted sharply, demanding Abbas:
"choose between peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There cannot be peace with both because Hamas strives to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly. I think that the very idea of reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and creates the prospect that Hamas could retake control of Judea and Samaria just like it took control of the Gaza Strip."
Netanyahu also said all necessary measures will be taken to continue Gaza's siege, including blocking planned humanitarian flotillas.
He and other Israeli officials repeat the same canards, notably with regard to peace, reconciliation, and denying Hamas' longstanding willingness to recognize Israel in return for Palestinian sovereignty inside pre-1967 borders, just 22% of its original homeland.
In September, it now hopes the UN General Assembly will affirm what Israel for decades spurned, including peace to perpetuate its war agenda based on lies and deception about Hamas threatening its security.