The Palestinians Have Partitioned Themselves

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Prof. Hillel Frisch - The Palestinian Authority (PA), established in 1994, came to rule over all of Gaza in 2005 after the complete Israeli withdrawal and destruction of Israeli settlements. The PA also had exclusive control over the major cities in the West Bank and their environs, comprising 95% of the Arab population. However, in 2007, after several rounds of fighting, the Palestinians partitioned themselves when Hamas established its own exclusive government in Gaza. Almost unnoticed, the two-state solution had given way to a three-state solution. For Abbas' PA, the current status quo is essential for its security. The Hamas network of sympathizers, activists, and terrorists in the PA is so substantial that the PA is able to contain it only with significant help from the IDF. The international community argues that Israeli settlements would turn a future Palestinian state into a discontinuous state geographically, forgetting that it was the Palestinians themselves who initiated the process of discontinuity, and they are likely to make it worse as the fight over Abbas' successor intensifies. The Zionist movement, and later the State of Israel, have been waiting a hundred years for the Palestinians to be both sufficiently flexible to live side by side with the Jewish state and sufficiently unified to remain intact as a state. The writer, a senior research associate at the BESA Center, is a professor of Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University.

2017-01-20 00:00:00

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