From dailyalert.org, Apr. 24, 2014….Click on the title of any article to see the whole article.
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said Wednesday: “I think that the ball, at this point, is in the Palestinians’ court to answer these questions as to whether this reconciliation, whether these principles would be met through that process that has been long established….Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.”
“If the Palestinian Government, the PLO – if President Abbas were to continue to pursue reconciliation, Hamas would need to abide by these principles in order to be a part of the government. So if it’s a unified government, yes, they would need to abide by these principles.” (U.S. State Department)
The U.S. would have to reconsider its assistance to the Palestinians if Hamas and the PLO form a government together, a senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday. “If a new Palestinian government is formed, we will assess it based on its…policies and actions, and will determine any implications for our assistance based on U.S. law,” the official said. (Reuters)
Skepticism over Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation Deal – Yolande Knell
Previous reconciliation deals between Hamas and Fatah announced amid much fanfare in Cairo in 2011 and Doha in 2012 were never implemented. Inevitably, that means there is caution and skepticism about the latest announcement of a Palestinian unity government.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said: “This is a move by President Abbas away from peace, away from reconciliation….He’s embracing extremists who not only Israel but the international community has called a terrorist organization. We will not talk to a government that has in it people who say my country should be destroyed. Hamas says clearly that Israel should be obliterated.” (BBC News)
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday at a conference in Ramallah: “Hamas is a Palestinian movement, [it] is not and will never be a terrorist organization.” (Middle East Monitor-UK)
See also Views on the Palestinian Unity Deal – Larisa Epatko (PBS)
Chief Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Wednesday: “The reconciliation agreement that Mahmoud Abbas signed with Hamas is a bad step, which…casts a heavy shadow on the possibility of progress….Hamas combines religious Muslim extremist ideology with terrorism and doesn’t recognize our right to exist.” (Times of Israel)
Both Fatah and Hamas have a knack for reneging on signed agreements with one another. There is still a long way to go toward true reconciliation among the Palestinians, including new elections, the formation of a new government and the names of candidates for ministers due to be published within five weeks.
Fatah and Hamas reached understandings only on the relatively easy items: a formal declaration of reconciliation and an outline for the general framework of elections. They have yet to touch on the more controversial issues, such as how to unify their security forces, what form the new national institutions will take, and what joint course of action should be adopted vis-a-vis Israel. (Ha’aretz)
Reconciliation Deal a Maneuver to Extract Concessions from Israel and the U.S. – Khaled Abu Toameh
The timing of the Fatah-Hamas accord is not coincidental. One week before the April 29 deadline for the peace talks with Israel, Abbas has clearly decided to try every available maneuver to exert pressure on Israel and the U.S. Abbas knows that Hamas will not change. He also knows that there is nothing “historic” about this agreement, the fourth of its kind since 2007.
Hamas is unlikely to cede control over Gaza to Abbas. Fatah is not going to allow Hamas to establish bases of power in the West Bank. Abbas has only one thing in mind: how to extract concessions from Israel and the U.S. (Jerusalem Post)