Dispatch from Gaza on reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority

Israel/Palestine
on 31 Comments

On November 1, 2017 Hamas handed over control of its five border crossings to the Palestinian Authority, the first of many changes to take shape within Gaza following the reconciliation deal signed last month on October 12. The next benchmark will be President Mahmoud Abbas’ first visit to Gaza in ten years sometime this month. Abbas is due to participate in discussions on how once dueling factions, Hamas and Fatah, will unite under a single banner—and to steer a process for elections.

Despite the planned trip, skepticism is fomenting in the streets. No date has been announced for the historic visit that would signify an end to a bitter and bloody struggle for power between Fatah and Hamas that began in 2007, and the first chance for new representatives in more than a decade.

Even so there are a few clues that this reporter found that shows the trip, and reconciliation more broadly, are still inching forward: The governor of North Gaza Salah Abu Warda told Mondoweiss: “Renovating Abbas’ house in Gaza has already started, as a prelude to his visit to Gaza.”

There is a lot at stake for Palestinians in Gaza. Chief among their concerns are how the detente will put an end to a humanitarian crisis across the strip, spurred over the summer at a time of widening disputes between Palestinian factions and austere economic measures from Ramallah. Add to that the loss of Qatar as a major benefactor, and Gaza is left running on just four hours of electricity a day. Sewage now dumps into the sea, beaches are putrid, and swimming poses a serious risk to health (even death).

The prospects of resolving these issues heightened support for reconciliation in Gaza even before the terms of the agreement were known. When Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stopped in Gaza in October before the marathon meetings with Hamas officials, he was unexpectedly greeted by warm crowds. People were eager for a change, any change.

Optimism in Gaza also ran up to the top brass of Hamas’ political leadership. Political bureau member Salah al-Bardawil told Mondoweiss days before the reconciliation deal was signed, “Hamas’ decision for national reconciliation is a strategic decision. All Hamas members will be following the leaders to actualize reconciliation and end political divisions.”

As early as September, high-ranking Hamas officials began prepping the local population for some form of coming unity government with the West Bank. Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas, who was voted into the position earlier this year by a party leadership council, was the most vocal senior leader in the lead up to reconciliation.

Two days before Rami Hamdallah arrived in Gaza in September, Sinwar met with Palestinian youth, intellectuals and media at the al-Commodore Hotel in Gaza to expatiate on the benefits of making concessions to the Palestinian Authority. He talked for four hours.

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh. (Photo: Abed Zaqout)

Sinwar opened the floor for an unusually candid discussion. In the first round of queries he was asked around 25 questions ranging from the deterioration of the Palestinian cause, to Hamas’ mistakes in the government over the previous years, to how Hamas perceives the humanitarian and social realities that Palestinians in the strip endure.

I asked Sinwar about what Hamas would do if reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority fails. He indicated that signing a deal with Ramallah was essential to keeping Hamas in power in the long-term. “If reconciliation talks fail, Hamas will withdraw from the scene,” he replied.

Other statements Sinwar said pointed to the fear that if reconciliation collapses, Gaza would plunge into another war with Israel similar to events that led up to the 2014 war. Sinwar showed awareness that there are local opposition factions who are waiting to capitalize off of the power vacuum Hamas’ demise would create. Sinwar assured that Hamas does not seek war, but at the same time he said that al-Qassam Brigades is ready for any coming conflict; he warned: “Al-Qassam Brigades can fire [the same number of rockets] on Tel Aviv in 51 minutes as it fired in 51 days [in 2014],”

At one point, Sinwar threatened anyone who opposed reconciliation: “I, with a crowd of youth, will break the neck of anyone who does not want reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.”

Reconciliation efforts, he said, are supported heavily by Mohammed al-Deif the leader of Hamas’ armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades. To this, the attendees clapped. The room was full of acclamation.

Compromise with leaders in Ramallah is not new ideology for Sinwar, who served 22 years in an Israeli prison before being released during the 2011 Shalit prisoner exchange. Sinwar is regarded as being instrumental to that deal. Once back in Gaza, he supported the 2014 National Consensus Government.

It is not surprising then that Sinwar told the audience he was prepared to make major concessions to the Palestinian Authority for the sake of achieving a breakthrough.

“There will be sudden concessions [from] everyone at the national level,” he said.

Observers in Gaza have talked about these concessions as a way to trade war for peace.

Political analyst Abdel Sattar Qassem, a professor of political science at Nablus’ An-Najah National University, said that reconciliation will succeed in the long-run: “There are valuable regional parties seeking to actualize reconciliation as a means to achieve their self-interests, which will lead to the ‘deal of the century’ that the Egyptian president [Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi talked about,” he said, referring to Donald Trump’s attempt to broker a broad Middle East peace plan that would include Egypt, Israel and the Palestinians among others.

Others pointed to changing alliances in the region as a driving factor.

Naji Shurrab, a lecturer at al-Azhar University, added, “Hamas found itself alone after it became obvious that Arab countries tried to normalize the existence of Israel in the region. This is why they asked for Egypt’s help.”

“Besides, Hamas is not intending to lose its way with Egypt, especially since Egypt is a gatekeeper to the regional and international world,” he said.

“If the reconciliation failed this time, the living conditions in Gaza will become worse and worse,” he concluded.

Analyst Zulfikar Sawirjo, a member of the central committee in the Palestinian Public Front in Gaza, agreed that Egypt’s involvement in the agreement lends legitimacy. “Palestinian reconciliation became a Palestinian, Arab, and regional priority. Large Arab and international parties have now an interest in ending the conflict. The interest of ending the conflict is now common, this is why I believe it will work this time.”

Sawirjo clarified that there is also a common internal Palestinian interest in achieving reconciliation. Without Hamas and Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas can never fully advocate on behalf of Palestine at the United Nations or negotiate with Israel. And for Hamas, its only avenue to alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip is through Ramallah.

Hussam al-Dajany, a political analyst and lecturer in al-Umma University, had a less optimistic view. Touching on one of the most controversial aspects of reconciliation, weapons—and who will have access to them in Gaza—al-Dajany said, “If Hamas’ resistance weapons are unbridled, Israel will not stay silent for long. They’ll destroy everything and we’ll return to the starting point again.”

“We still have talks, not actual practices. When practices start, we’ll see what will happen,” he concluded.

 

A member of the Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas inspects the house of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City May 14, 2014, as they prepare to handover the house which Hamas seized during a brief civil war with Fatah in 2007. Officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the rival Islamist Hamas group met in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss the make-up of a unity government they hope will end a seven-year schism. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah (in red tie, at center) visits the house of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Gaza City on October 5, 2017. For three days it was all smiles as the Palestinian prime minister held talks in Gaza with Hamas but as the symbolic visit draws to a close the real work for reconciliation is just beginning. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

The terms of the agreement

The reconciliation agreement outlined a framework for moving administrative authority in Gaza under the fold of the Palestinian Authority, by re-establishing the National Consensus Government, a short lived-power sharing body first established in 2014.

In advance of the detente between Hamas and Fatah, Gazans hope that at the top of the agenda would be finding a solution for the lack of electricity and devastating consequences to health to the 1.8 million Palestinians in the besieged strip. Yet Gazans found themselves disappointed when this did not make it to the agenda. Abbas alluded to solving Gaza’s financial crisis even before the reconciliation deal was signed at the beginning of October in an interview with the CBC’s Mays al-Hadidi. When speaking of public funds earmarked for Gaza that the Palestinian Authority froze, he said the money would be transferred if there was a change of local power.

“The returning of this part [of the budget] will come when the government is able to restore all of its functions in Gaza, but I am not rushing things because this effort needs  time and work,” Abbas said.

Some officials in Gaza warn without practical improvements to the daily lives of Palestinians, people will grow frustrated. Many had hoped ending the electricity crisis would be a first step in bridging the political divide, yet it was left off of the agenda.

“The delay of announcing the end of those punitive measures during the consensus government statement weakened the optimism of the people,” Hamas legislator Yahya Moussa told Mondoweiss after the reconciliation agreement was signed. “Lifting those measures represents the minimum requirements of the [national] consensus government.”

Speaking in Ramallah mid-October Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who heads the National Consensus Government, addressed this point when he said, “Do not expect that the problems of 11 years of division will end in days.”

On the table for discussion are how Gaza’s Hamas 45,000 public employees will come under the fold of the National Consensus Government, a sort of unity leadership council comprised of government ministers from both Hamas and Fatah. How these employees will be paid is one of the more complicated issues of the deal, but officials from both Fatah and Hamas have agreed getting the employees paid is a priority.

A spokesperson for Fatah, Fayez Abu Aita, told Sama News that the Palestinian Authority will pay Hamas’ appointed public employees for the month of November in December, and then find a comprehensive solution for who will pay the employees by February 2018. While Hamas’ Salah al-Bardawil told me a slightly different account of the arrangement: Hamas and Fatah will each pay two months of the salaries over the next four months. 

Back in October, senior member of Fatah Mohammed Shatayyeh underscored, “People should be reassured that everyone who works will receive a salary and those who do not want to work will not receive the salary. Basically, we will not pay any old person on the street,” he added.

Just before reconciliation kicked off, Gaza suffered a series of economic blows that was tangled up in punitive measures from Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority slashed salaries of Gaza’s public employees.

Additionally, the agreement stipulates the Gaza Strip will build up its police force with 3,000 more officers from the West Bank.

With most of the fine print incomplete, at the moment reconciliation is in a transitional stage where most of the fallout is occurring inside of Gaza. Merging government ministries between the two geographically separated and occupied Palestinian territories has started, but is far from over.

During Abbas’ upcoming visit, another major agreement could be signed, a formal “end of division” document between Gaza-based Hamas and West Bank-based Fatah. This would make an official close of hostilities that erupted in 2007 where the West Bank and Gaza were separated through a two-month bloody struggle for power in Gaza that ended in competing governments.

The Abbas visit is also expected to coincide with meetings on establishing elections. Palestinians have not held presidential or legislative elections in over a decade.

Reportedly, Hamas is simultaneously seeking to join the PLO (the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which is the Palestinian representative to the international community). The PLO controls all Palestinian diplomatic affairs and has the sole authority to sign binding peace agreements with Israel, participate in United Nations agencies and make declarations of war.   

“All factions needs to be part of PLO and adopt one program,” Hamas legislator Khalil al-Hayya told Mondoweiss, “In regard to peace and war, we need a united decision and this can’t be achieved as long as we’re not functioning as one government that represents all of us.”

Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar attends a meeting with Palestinian youths about Palestinian reconciliation, in Gaza city on October 19, 2017. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

After the reconciliation deal with signed, Yahya Sinwar called for another meeting with influential Palestinian youth, intellectuals, politicians, party heads, and journalists. At least 300 showed up this time to the October 19 event at the Chalets Hall in Gaza.

Sinwar stressed all of the points he raised in that first meeting where he received a round of applause in anticipation of the deal. With the agreement now inked, he described the Cairo talks as “difficult.”

His most important statement was commenting on Benjamin Netanyahu’s description of the reconciliation as “faux reconciliations” because neither Fatah or Hamas bothered to recognize Israel in this document (a statement Netanyahu made while speaking in a West Bank settlement). Addressing the Israeli Prime Minister, Sinwar took a harsher tone that walked back some of the pragmatism in the new Hamas Charter he supported a few months before: “No one can force any conditions on us. Reconciliation is a Palestinian issue and no one can interfere with it.”

“We have passed the stage of discussing the idea of recognizing Israel. Now we are not discussing recognizing Israel, but destroying it and when that will happen,” he said.

About Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh is a freelance journalist and writer based in Gaza. He specializes in political analysis and social issues. He covered Israel's war on Gaza in 2014, Operation Protective Edge.

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31 Responses

  1. Citizen
    November 27, 2017, 8:28 pm

    Nothing is more obvious than the lack of power of the Palestinian people via their apparent representatives in toto.

  2. JosephA
    November 27, 2017, 11:37 pm

    You can’t blame them for feeling angry. If anybody was treated the way these poor, courageous souls have been treated by the Israelis, they would feel the same way.

    • Nathan
      November 28, 2017, 8:13 pm

      So, JosephA, if you “can’t blame them for feeling angry”, should I assume that you accept the last quote of the article (“we are not discussing recognizing Israel, but destroying it…”) as a reasonable position of angry people?

      The article tells us that “Sinwar took a harsher tone that walked back some of the pragmatism in the new Hamas Charter”. I wonder what is “some of the pragmatism” that appears in the new Hamas Charter. The new charter is quite clear that Israel has no right to exist, so the quote about destroying Israel is in line with the new charter. It would be interesting to hear a definition of “destroying Israel”. Since the old charter calls for the murder of the Jews, the call for destroying Israel sounds very bloody. I would hope that JosephA condemns a policy that calls for destroying Israel (even if he “can’t blame them for feeling angry”).

      • JosephA
        November 28, 2017, 10:39 pm

        Oh, Hi Nathan. Thanks for your thoughtfulness. Never mix nationalism with religion, nothing good can ever come of it. For example: look at how the Palestinian people are the victims of a slow genocide, and have been for decades. Israel, like Apartheid South Africa, should be reformed to become a true democracy. Everybody should have equal civil rights, including and especially the native Palestinians (with affirmative action or something similar). It’s funny how you have your blinders on so tightly that the idea of Israel’s status quo of racist colonialism being threatened is a bad thing!? Get a grip on reality.

      • Marnie
        November 29, 2017, 12:40 am

        Nathan: Why should anyone here have to condemn a policy that the zionist state alone is responsible for? If there should be any condemnation, the lion’s share of it falls squarely on the shoulders of the blood-thirsty netanyahoo government. The hell that’s been unleased regularly on Gaza would prompt no other response. Do you imagine you’d feel differently if the shoe was on the other foot? The zionist state has killed thousands upon thousands of palestinians for merely claiming their right to live in their land. The self pity in your post is astounding.

      • Nathan
        November 29, 2017, 7:38 pm

        JosephA – You didn’t say in the end if “destroying Israel” is a reasonable position. You claim that the Palestinians are the victims of a “slow genocide” (they’re actually having an incredible population explosion), and in so doing you somehow avoid having to answer a very simple question. It really shouldn’t be too difficult to say that you do not think that the destruction of Israel is a reasonable position. Perhaps, the problem is that in anti-Israel circles, it is a big no-no to criticize the Arab position (criticizing the Arabs might be understood, heaven help us, as expressing an understanding of Israel’s concerns).

        Marie – There’s no self-pity in my comment. I’m just a curious person who is trying to understand the world the the anti-Israel crowd. The leader of Hamas has declared that he wishes to destroy Israel. I think that even the “I-hate-Israel club” should cry out that this is wrong. Maybe you can explain why it’s so difficult for an anti-Israel person to criticize the Palestinians. It’s hard to believe that a thinking person would claim that “destroying Israel” is a normal position in the political debate of the 21st century. It shouldn’t be too difficult to support the Palestinians while at the same time expressing a word of criticism. However, the clear refusal to criticize what is obviously a very extreme and violent position leaves the impression that maybe you agree that Israel must be destroyed.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2017, 10:45 pm

        “However, the clear refusal to criticize what is obviously a very extreme and violent position leaves the impression that maybe you agree that Israel must be destroyed.”

        Awww, poor little Zionist wants reassurance. He wants immunity.

        Too bad, “Nathan”. The Zionists will just have to take their chances.

      • Marnie
        November 30, 2017, 12:43 am

        @Nathan “However, the clear refusal to criticize what is obviously a very extreme and violent position leaves the impression that maybe you agree that Israel must be destroyed.”

        I haven’t even been properly invited to criticize ‘what is obviously, blah, blah, blah and maybe I agree yak, yak, yak.

        The ‘state of israel’, in continuing violation of international law, showing no signs of stopping the theft and bloodshed until every last dunam of palestinian land is stolen and palestinians who refuse to submit to the master/servant/slave fantasy of so many israelis, will be driven off their lands or face certain extermination. This must end by any means necessary. The israeli govt cannot be cajoled into doing the right thing. Of course, there’s been no sanctions on israel for her horrific crimes against humanity and there won’t be as long as her BFF and co-conspirator the u.s.a., has anything to say about it. The scale of this injustice cannot accurately be measured, but it is obvious to anyone with vision not clouded by so-called tribal loyalties. How much do you figure the palesatinians should be willing to go along with and continue to turn the other cheek? One would have to assume that ethnic cleansing is just fine with you. How dare you attempt to preach morality to anyone.

      • Nathan
        November 30, 2017, 11:47 am

        No, Mooser, no one is in need of “reassurance” or “immunity”. We all know that after debating with each other, tomorrow morning the State of Israel will still be there. What is quite interesting in these little debates is the refraining from giving a straight and honest answer. What is so difficult in denying that one identifies with the call to destroy Israel? What is so difficult in confirming that one wishes to destroy Israel?

        Here’s my take on the issue. One doesn’t deny the identification with the call to destroy Israel, because that would be an obvious lie. On the other hand, to confirm that one wishes to see the destruction of Israel would define that person as identifying with extreme violence or with a very hateful political position.

        Marnie – I didn’t realize that there are thinking people in this world who define the Palestinian behavior as “turning the other cheek”. The Palestinians see themselves in a conflict for over 100 years, and their expression of being in conflict has always included quite a lot of violence. Anyway, the issue that I raised in my comment to you was the legitimacy of criticism. It is legitimate to criticize someone even when you identify with their struggle. I think that an anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian activist should be capable of saying that the Hamas call to destroy Israel is improper. It’s not legitimate to call for genocide. It’s too bad that no one here has the courage to go on record, saying that the Palestinian struggle should not include such extreme ambitions. And I do wonder if you actually identify with such extremism.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 30, 2017, 12:13 pm

        What is so difficult in denying that one identifies with the call to destroy Israel? What is so difficult in confirming that one wishes to destroy Israel?

        generally people identify themselves, they don’t adopt and cling to their adversaries descriptions of who they are. ie: a supporter of israel doesn’t identify with the call to genocide palestinians and destroy palestine.

        (nathan, What is so difficult in confirming that you wish to destroy Palestine? — come on, spit it out. where’s your “courage” to confirm?)

        israeli hasbara is centered on the ad hominem crutch. their primary tool is slandering the opponent. so the (constant repetitive) call to corner those who advocate for equal rights to self identify as seeking the destruction of their oppressor is — primarily propaganda. plus, it’s hypocritical to the max since israel has been seeking the destruction of palestine and palestinian culture for decades under the guise of so-called self determination, a jewish liberation movement –iow, ‘my liberation is your demise’ and not only will you not admit it, you’re playing word games implying the victim is the oppressor — and transparent so).

      • eljay
        November 30, 2017, 12:17 pm

        || Nathan: … It’s too bad that no one here has the courage to go on record, saying that the Palestinian struggle should not include such extreme ambitions. … ||

        I’ve gone on record saying that the Palestinian struggle should not include such extreme ambitions.

        Not a single Zionist has had the courage to go on record advocating justice, accountability and equality in I-P.

      • Marnie
        November 30, 2017, 12:37 pm

        “It’s too bad that no one here has the courage to go on record, saying that the Palestinian struggle should not include such extreme ambitions. And I do wonder if you actually identify with such extremism.”

        Courage, huh? I don’t feel the need to try and reassure you Nathan, that’s up to your therapist. And I don’t believe anyone here has the right to tell palestinians what to do and how to do it. Violence by palestinians is met by, to quote an a$$hole from across the pond, ‘fire and fury, the likes of which no one has seen before’. If the israeli gov’t punished jewish terrorists with the same methods they use on palestinians, I don’t think we’d have this conversation. I wonder about you too Nathan, like how you and so many other zionist propagandists can only see jewish lives as mattering. I think I’m done with you.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        November 30, 2017, 2:23 pm

        I think that an anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian activist should be capable of saying that the Hamas call to destroy Israel is improper. It’s not legitimate to call for genocide.

        Nah, if you could “think”, ziotard, you would know that “a call for destroying” a genocidal apartheid state apparatus isn’t “a call for genocide”.

      • RoHa
        November 30, 2017, 4:53 pm

        There is nothing hateful about calling for the dissolution of Israel. It is a call for justice and decency.

        I don’t think that dissolution need be destruction with extreme violence. If, however, violence is necessary, it will be the fault of those who resist justice and decency.

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2017, 5:36 pm

        “No, Mooser, no one is in need of “reassurance” or “immunity”.”

        Than what the hell do you want? To make us aware of the dire consequences which will befall us (or, more likely, you’ll threaten the Palestinians in our behalf) if we don’t give Israel reassurance and immunity?
        In fact, almost all we hear from Zionists here is the demand that the world must facilitate Zionism in its crimes.

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2017, 5:47 pm

        ” I wonder about you too Nathan, like how you and so many other zionist propagandists can only see jewish lives as mattering.”

        “Marnie” , if the Zionist’s concerns were even that wide, we’d all be a lot better off.

      • Nathan
        December 4, 2017, 8:02 pm

        Annie Robbins – My claim is that the call for the destruction of Israel is an unreasonable position. Even a pro-Palestinian activist should be taken aback by the call for such violence. You interpret my position as a wish to destroy Palestine, and it’s absolutely untrue. It’s a figment of your imagination. And what’s your opinion? Do you think that Mr Sinwar’s call to destroy Israel is a reasonable ambition?

        RoHa – You claim that “there is nothing hateful about calling for the dissolution of Israel”. Well, that’s a tricky answer. The statement quoted in the above article was about the “destruction of Israel”. And, yes, the call to destroy Israel is certainly hateful. It’s a call for the “dissolution of Israel” through genocide.

        Marnie – What do you mean that “no one has the right to tell the Palestinians what to do and how to do it”? The Palestinians should be criticized just like everyone else in this world. The call for the destruction of Israel is an improper ambition. It’s only normal to speak out against such genocidal insanity. Moreover, why is it “Zionist propaganda” to condemn Sinwar’s call to destroy Israel? It is ideologically neutral to condemn a call for violence.

      • Sibiriak
        December 4, 2017, 11:32 pm

        Nathan: My claim is that the call for the destruction of Israel is an unreasonable position.
        ———————————————-

        Wow! You’re really going out on a limb there!

      • RoHa
        December 5, 2017, 8:27 pm

        Since you do not have a definition of ” destroying Israel”, you cannot assume it involves genocide.

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2017, 9:24 pm

        Hello “RoHa”! Feeling allright, I hope? That was fast. Good work.

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2017, 9:30 pm

        “The call for the destruction of Israel is an improper ambition”

        Ummmm, sorry, no. A call for its destruction can come to any state. It’s part of the game Zionists wanted to play.
        Get used to it.

      • echinococcus
        December 6, 2017, 3:24 am

        RoHa,

        But we have a general consensus on the definition of genocide. The harm that might happen to a political group as a result of not being lawful in their action and not heeding clear warnings is not among the criteria.

      • Talkback
        December 9, 2017, 5:48 am

        Nathan: “The statement quoted in the above article was about the “destruction of Israel”. And, yes, the call to destroy Israel is certainly hateful. It’s a call for the “dissolution of Israel” through genocide. ”

        As hateful as the call to destroy the the Nazi regime, because this was a dissolution through genocide, too, right?

        What a perversion of language …

  3. eljay
    November 28, 2017, 8:44 am

    … At one point, Sinwar threatened anyone who opposed reconciliation: “I, with a crowd of youth, will break the neck of anyone who does not want reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.” …

    Addressing the Israeli Prime Minister, Sinwar took a harsher tone that walked back some of the pragmatism in the new Hamas Charter he supported a few months before: … “We have passed the stage of discussing the idea of recognizing Israel. Now we are not discussing recognizing Israel, but destroying it and when that will happen,” he said.

    Palestinian reconciliation requires a lot of work. Agenda items such as…
    – breaking the necks of Palestinians; and
    – plotting to destroy Israel,
    …don’t strike me as being very pragmatic.

    • Mayhem
      November 28, 2017, 9:16 pm

      @eljay, have to face the sad facts for a change?
      You forgot to mention that Hamas are also unwilling to stem terror attacks.
      The Gaza Strip’s border crossing with Egypt that was due to reopen last Saturday will now remain closed until further notice following the bloody terrorist attack in neighboring Sinai that killed more than 300 people.
      As the author of this article said, “Egypt’s involvement in the agreement lends legitimacy”, but that vital support from Egypt now hangs in the balance.

      • eljay
        November 29, 2017, 7:35 am

        || Mayhem: @eljay, have to face the sad facts for a change? … ||

        The “sad facts” that Palestinians despise Zionists and their oppressive, colonialist and (war) criminal “Jewish State” construct for decades worth of past and ON-GOING oppression, colonialism and (war) crimes? Those “sad facts” are always at the fore.

        || … You forgot to mention that Hamas are also unwilling to stem terror attacks. … ||

        The women chained in his basement are also unwilling to stem attacks against the rapist. You seem to be of the opinion that that entitles the rapist to keep those women chained in his basement and to continue raping them. That’s a pretty sad fact.

      • Mayhem
        November 29, 2017, 7:10 pm

        @eljay, you resort to the same old quips and remarks without addressing the substance of what I have said. Take off your blinkers and you might see the world differently.

      • Eva Smagacz
        November 29, 2017, 7:27 pm

        You are implying that Hamas is responsible for terrorist attack in Sinai al-Rawda mosque? If so, you are the only one (not counting other hasbaristas who try hard to link Hamas with terror)

        In reality the Egyptian public prosecutor, after talking to survivors, said the attackers held flag of Islamic State.

        Islamist militants have been active in the Sinai since 2013, killing at least 1,000 Egyptian security forces personnel. Islamic State condemns Sufi practices as un-islamic, while many Sufis live in Sinai.

        Al-Rawda mosque had zaouia, Sufi equivalent of madrassa, in its grounds.

        To use 300 deaths from terrorist attack to support your propaganda efforts is truly disgusting.

        56/63

      • eljay
        November 30, 2017, 7:37 am

        || Mayhem: @eljay, you resort to the same old quips and remarks without addressing the substance of what I have said. … ||

        I addressed the two points that were relevant. There was no substance to the rest of what you wrote.

        || … Take off your blinkers and you might see the world differently. ||

        I see a world in which evil exists and that makes me advocate the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

        You see a world in which evil exists and that makes you hypocritically advocate, justify, defend and support your preferred brand of evil.

        My blinkers ain’t got nuthin’ on your distorted Zionism prism.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        November 30, 2017, 1:28 pm

        You forgot to mention that Hamas are also unwilling to stem terror attacks.

        You forgot to mention that “Hamas” are also living under belligerent Zionist occupation and have every right to bomb the shit out of the belligerent zio terrorists.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 30, 2017, 1:57 pm

        if hamas was unwilling to stem attacks israel wouldn’t routinely announce how they hold hamas responsible for any attacks coming from gaza. just this morning https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-carries-out-fresh-gaza-airstrikes-but-says-not-looking-for-escalation/

        The army said it knew the attack was carried out by the Islamic Jihad terror group.

        “We know who conducted the attack, we even know them by name,” Conricus said.

        Nevertheless, in accordance with its established policy, the military said it holds Hamas responsible “for any hostile activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip.”

        mayhem, who are you to speak of hama’s “unwillingness”? it’s been over a month since israel bombed the tunnels killing several hamas members, and have they retaliated yet? no.

        i wonder if israel will bomb the plo and hold the plo responsible for further attacks from gaza once hamas turns over the leadership next month? hmm.

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