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Modus Vivendi Between Hamas And Fatah Is Good

21 December 2013

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

In recent days, Hamas, the main Palestinian Islamic liberation movement, and Fatah, the mainstream PLO faction, made a joint effort to deal with the huge damage wreaked by the recent winter storm in the Gaza Strip.

Thanks to this highly lauded effort, it was possible to restore power to much of the Strip which remained without electricity for weeks, due to the Israeli siege.

Egypt, too, played an additional negative role by refusing to allow fuel and electricity supplies from reaching Gaza for political reasons. The criminal Sisi junta simply wants to punish Palestinian Islamists, e.g. Hamas, for identifying with the democratically elected President Muhammad Mursi.

Unfortunately, some influential Fatah leaders in Ramallah have been doing all they could in order to increase hardship and misery for Gazans.

They hoped that as a result, Gazans would rise up against Hamas, overthrow the Islamist movement and invite Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) back to the coastal enclave.

This brazen treachery included, inter alia, inciting the bloody military coup authorities in Cairo to tighten the noose on Gaza, close the Rafah border crossing and sever fuel and power supplies to the estimated 1.8 million tormented Gazans.

The traitors must be exposed and isolated, without alienating the large movement, because not every member of Fatah is a traitor.

Special thanks must go for the state of Qatar whose rulers have donated $10 million for purchasing fuel for operating Gaza's main power station. Indeed, if a single state deserves a badge of honor for identifying and supporting Gaza during its hard and harsh times, it is the State of Qatar.

Interestingly, Fatah's propaganda organs never stopped their venomous attacks on Qatar, often accusing the gallant emirate of coordinating with Israel against the PA and the Palestinian cause as whole.

Coming from a movement whose political regime coordinates security with Israel 24 hours a day; such accusations go beyond the pale.

The modicum of goodwill shown by the PA leadership in Ramallah was apparently followed by an amicable conversation between Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal. The two leaders reportedly discussed a whole set of issues, including American-Israeli pressure on the PA to deviate from long-standing Palestinian national constants.

Abbas reportedly assured Mashaal that the PA wouldn't budge to Israeli pressure even if the price was the collapse of the entire peace process.

Needless to say, Mashaal was smart and successful in his asking the PA leader not to give in to the Americans and Israel. We all know that Israel is always eager to negotiate with Palestinian leaders who are not answerable to their people. Such leaders are easier to blackmail and easier to cajole to give concessions and compromise their people's rights.

Most Palestinians know that Israel would love to see Abbas and his aides, such as Saeb Aurikat and others, retreat on such cardinal issues as the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homeland, the subject of Jerusalem and the borders of the contemplated Palestinian state.

Hence, it is always vital that Palestinian masses and factions, including Hamas, exert unending and unrelenting pressure on the PA leadership to stick to our national constants.

Yasser Arafat died without giving up or giving in. Abbas, too, should walk in Arafat's footsteps, without any deviation.

I know that Hamas and Fatah have two different strategies for ending the Zionist occupation. However, this doesn't and shouldn't mean that the two movements cannot cooperate and coordinate for the common good of the Palestinian national cause.

Differences exist even within the same household. However, it is always imperative to manage differences in a way that would serve, not undermine, our common cause.

We must emulate our enemies who don't allow their differences to undermine their united front against our people and our struggle.

Khaled Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist living in the West Bank-Occupied Palestine.



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