Naveed Aman Khan
HAMAS which was holding Gaza is ready to begin talks with Abbas Administration to dissolve its Administrative Committee and hold an election as part of a deal mediated by Egypt. Fatah has welcomed this and calls it positive and promising. In response to the generous efforts of Egypt to achieve reconciliation and end the decision Hamas has invited political rival Fatah government for talks. For the attainment of national unity the organization considered terrorist by Israel and some other States has invited Al-Fatah government for reconciliation to come to the Gaza strip to exercise its functions and duties. Positively Hamas has also shown willingness to restart talks with the Palestinian Authority without preconditions to form a unity government and fully implement the 2011 Cairo Agreement. Deputy Head of the ruling Fatah Mohammad Al- Alul has termed the statement a positive development. Fatah Central Committee Member Azzam Al Ahmed has said that Hamas will have to first dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip before the commencement of any level of talks between Fatah and Hamas .
Fatah and Hamas delegations have been in Cairo to negotiate an agreement proposed by Hamas which has controlled Gaza for a decade. Palestinian discard commenced in the year 2007 when Hamas seized power in Gaza while the West Bank region fell under Fatah. Since then several efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas to form a Palestinian power sharing government have stalled. Earlier in 2011 Fatah and Hamas had signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo. The agreement was meant to have paved the way for legislative and presidential elections but it stalled because of disagreement over the name of the next probable Prime Minister. In February 2012 , both the parties signed Doha Agreement where they agreed on joint political platform and on a truce with Israel.
Unfortunately that attempt also fizzled out this time over the issue of a joint election program. In May 2012 , Fatah and Hamas signed Cairo Accord reaffirming their commitment to a new unity agreement and agreed to begin work on holding elections. That ,either did not take hold and the process hit a two-year roadblock. In April 2014, the two parties signed another reconciliation agreement vowing to see a unity government formed within five weeks. They also promised to hold presidential and parliamentary elections within six months. However, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against the Palestinian unity government sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas under the leadership of Rami Hamdallah.
Israel at once suspended peace talks with the Palestinians refusing to deal with Hamas. Benjamin also imposed sanctions on the Palestinians. In September 2014, the work of the Palestinian unity government was as a result severely impeded and forced by Fatah and Hamas. Elections planned for the end of 2014 have been put off indefinitely. Peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Authority collapsed in April 2014. Russia has been trying to play an active role in efforts to reconcile the Palestinian factions emphasizing that Palestinian unity is necessary in order to have meaningful discussions with Israel on a two State solution. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that they were trying to reconcile those who live and work in Gaza Strip with those in the West Bank and Mahmoud Abbas administration .”We are in contact With Hamas and Fatah to get them to resume implementation of the agreements reached not long ago to unite under the single roof of the Ramallah Administration and to hold presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Egyptian efforts for this reconciliation are meritorious. Egypt has been making matchless efforts for reconciliation of Hamas Fatah relationship and bright future of Palestine. Egyption Al-Seesi government very diligently has worked on peace agreement between Hamas and Fatah. This is an excellent move for the reconciliation of comfortable relationships between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas very wisely has warmly welcomed Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza. Egyptian role in this regard will strengthen Palestine internally and externally. The entire Muslim world is very contented and pleased over this positive and bright development in Palestine brokered by generous Egyptian Al-Seesi government. Egyptian efforts regarding attainment of peace in and around Palestine will be written in golden words in history. No doubt this is wonderful beginning.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.
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Naveed Aman Khan