The so-called Reconciliation Agreement, a pact between Fatah and Hamas, Palestine’s two main political factions, was meant to reunite the feuding groups and present a unified front when negotiating with Israel.
However, the new agreement is just another demonstration of the unstable politics encompassing Palestine’s ruling parties, and may place unity even further out of reach.
According to Al-Jazeera, the Reconciliation Agreement was signed by the two factions in Egypt on May 4. The groups agreed on an interim Palestinian government where Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), became the sole leader of the Palestinian territories.
Palestinians rejoiced and celebrated over the “unity deal” reached between the two long-time rivals. Yet such celebration is unfounded.
According to Al-Jazeera, recently released documents known as the Palestinian Papers reveal the disappointing intentions of the PA during “peace talks” with the Israeli government.
Aside from the decision to give up land legally belonging to the Palestinian citizens under United Nations Resolution 242, the PA also had foreknowledge of Israel’s late 2008 Gaza invasion that the Goldstone Report, a U.N. investigation into the conflict, said killed 1,400 civilians, according to Al Jazeera. Furthermore, Mohammed Dahlan, the former Fatah leader in Gaza, was directly involved in assisting the Israeli government in carrying out the invasion, a senior Hamas official said to Time magazine in 2009, and the PA tried endlessly to delay U.N. voting on the legitimacy of the Goldstone Report.
Palestinian leaders, such as former Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei, have proven they do not have Palestinians’ interests in mind. According to Israel Insider, Queri’s family owns Al-Quds Cement Company – the company responsible for providing the Israeli government with materials to build a barrier through the West Bank in 2004. The International Court of Justice declared the wall illegal under international law.
Palestinians should not be fooled by the rhetoric of the Reconciliation Agreement. Though peace should be reached through a unified people, it should not come at the cost of forgetting past atrocities the Fatah allowed against its own country.
Past wrongs need to be thoroughly discussed by both the Hamas and the Fatah, and the instigators need to be dealt with accordingly before any “unity deal” can be legitimate.
Throughout the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Israel has exhibited a strong commitment to the future of its citizens, regardless of its acts against the Palestinian people, and its leadership should be praised for this commitment. Unfortunately, the Reconciliation Agreement proves that the same cannot be said of Palestinian leadership.
Nader Hasan is a junior majoring in international affairs and religious studies.