Palestinian Reconciliation Deal: Abbas to Rule the Land and Hamas the Underground

(Ha'aretz) Jack Khoury - Palestinians, both in the West Bank and Gaza, realize that it's premature to celebrate reconciliation in the broader sense of national and strategic unity. Many see the agreement as a compromise between two organizations that divided the nation for a decade and were forced to reconcile due to massive pressure from Egypt. Gaza's Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has shown a willingness to concede civilian control over Gaza, but not to disarm. If there is any chance that President Trump can come up with an effective peace plan, Abbas cannot afford to speak only for the West Bank. In view of this, the reconciliation seems like the only option open to Abbas and Fatah. The PA and Fatah will rule aboveground and Hamas will rule underground. Egyptian intelligence led the reconciliation move as a matter of national security. Egypt, grappling with Islamic State terror in Sinai, saw Gaza under Hamas rule as an Islamic State base and a refuge for terrorists from Sinai. Its only option was to return the PA to Gaza as part of the deal signed in Cairo six years ago.

2017-10-13 00:00:00

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