Palestine’s elusive reconciliation





Of all the options, limited as they are, that are available to President Mahmoud Abbas to offset the repercussions of President Donald Trump’s controversial proclamation on Jerusalem and his much touted Middle East peace plan, ending inter-Palestinian schism, is beyond doubt the most relevant and most effective. As much as it is important for him to plead with the international community to stand up against US and Israeli measures that have rolled back dozens of affirmative agreements and contravened reams of UN resolutions on Palestine/Israel, nothing can substitute building a united national front.


Towards that effort, both he and Hamas leadership have failed miserably. Attempts to achieve reconciliation began as soon as Hamas carried out its military takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, which ended with the dissolution of the national unity government. Both sides continue to blame each other for that bloody conflict, which resulted in a de facto division of the Palestinian territories. Agreements reached in Mecca in 2007, Cairo in 2011, Doha in 2012, Gaza in 2014, and most recently in Cairo last October have all failed to end the split and deliver much needed presidential and legislative elections.


Between then and now, the besieged Gaza Strip, one of the most crowded areas on earth with almost 2 million inhabitants living on 365, endured two major Israeli onslaughts and countless other military operations resulting in the death of thousands of civilians, injury of tens of thousands and massive damage to Gaza’s infrastructure. The threat of yet another showdown with Israel hangs heavy over Gazans today.



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