Egypt brokers Palestinian reconciliation

Shrouq Tariq
AFTER successful efforts of Egypt for reconciliation of Hamas and Fatah October 2, 2017 was an historical day not only for Palestine but Egypt also. Both Egypt and Palestine celebrated this occasion because after decade long feud in the Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinian brothers joined hands. Egypt’s celebrations are justified because severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza might threaten Egypt’s national security.
October commemorates the military victory of the great Egyptian army in 1973 war. Egypt brokered an historical and a ‘check mate’ kind of situation on a cheese board full of rivals. The Palestinians held their breaths when on September 17, 2017 Hamas announced desolation of their administrative authority in Gaza strip and went into intensive negotiations with Fatah under Egyptian mediation .It was anticipated that this negotiation round mediated by Cairo would fail as it did in the past decade. Some of the Palestinians described this negotiation as a false dawn .Hamas invited Prime Minister Rami-al-Hamdallah to visit Gaza strip and resume his duties as a Palestinian prime minister. Hamas also agreed for holding general elections in Palestine in complying accord of 2011.
This development was highlighted when Egyptian delegation arrived in Gaza strip and was received by the head of Hamas movement Ismael Haneyah This delegation was given the task to over see and guarantee the implementation of the national reconciliation. All this development was outcome of an intensive consultations. Deliberations to start new chapter between West Bank and Gaza Strip to revive national government of June 2014. Palestine hopes for better future of Gaza Strip also as part of Palestine. It will also bring new impetus to Palestine Egypt unity. It will strengthen Palestinian position and ground backed by Egypt in any future negotiation rounds with Israel in order to achieve establishment of an independent Palestine state. The optimistic vibes were highly felt in streets of Gaza and Ramallah. In appreciations and acknowledgements of the role of Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Al Sisi slogans in all Palestinian cities were raised. Many hash tags were also launched, marking this historical development sound like “I am with this reconciliation” or “our unity is our power”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the deal saying “ we wont accept this reconciliation at the expense of Israeli existence and its security”. Silence in Doha and Ankara over this deal could be termed as their dissatisfaction over the Egyptian political victoryIn June 2009 Cairo invited both Hamas and Fatah to discuss the possibility of reconciliation but unfortunately it did not work. In the beginning of 2011, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came up with an initiative known as “Abu Mizzen” in which he proposed to form independent government in order to hold next general elections. In May 2011, Cairo again resumed its mediations and achieved convenience to Hamas and Fatah to sign the reconciliation accord but they failed to implement it in rounds.
In June 2014, the government comprised ministers of Gaza strip and west bank but the government, couldn’t perform with Gaza. In 2016, Qatar hosted negotiation round between Hamas and Fatah but the round failed because of two major obstacles related to the government employ salaries and the continuous extensive load shedding in Gaza Strip. During the latest visit of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Ankara his Turkish counterpart has initiated to end up gulf feud between Hamas and gulf but with the arrival of the delegations of both sides to Cairo, there and then Ardogan announced withdrawal of his initiative of 5th September 2017.
In the light of geopolitical development in the Arab region particularly in Syria and in the Gulf States Libya,Yemen and Arabian Peninsula, Cairo believes, the dire need for resolving Palestinian issue, for an independent Palestinian state. Egyptian leadership expressed this while the Egyptian delegation headed by Khalid Fouzi head of the Egyptian general intelligence agency in his statement while addressing in Gaza. No doubt, Egypt has achieved an historical move by bringing all Palestinians on one boat but the challenge remains enormous before the Palestinians themselves and Egyptian leadership. To achieve stability and security Palestinians will have to prove their serious concern over the unity of Palestine for the establishment of an independent state for themselves and this achievement will have a direct impact on the stability and national security of Egypt.
— The writer is Researcher in Middle East Affairs.
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