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Should Hamas be Left Alone? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The three key players of Palestinian affairs have met in Sharm el Sheikh with Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] conveying a clear message to the world that he is the president of the legitimate Palestinian Authority (PA), not Hamas or its head of government, Ismail Haniyeh, who is only recognized as such by Iran and Syria.

If Egypt, Jordan and Israel decide to deal with the authority of Abu Mazen fully and consider his word one of honor and his decisions official, then it is time to leave Hamas and Gaza alone. It is more important that Abu Mazen dedicates his efforts to reforming the conditions of the West Bank and its people and to reform the new provisional government and its institutions that suffer greatly due to conflicts and crises that it has experienced.

Leaving Gaza to the revolutionaries would give them the opportunity to resolve their issues in any way that they want. Let them fight Israel with no Mohammed Dahlan to stop them or Saeb Erakat to talk to them about past signed agreements.

The decision in Gaza is now left in the hands of Ismail Haniyeh and his team. The entire region is believed to be run by a “groups of traitors”. It is time for the nationalists of Hamas to attend to their government, authorities and territories that have been liberated from Fatah. All that we can is may God help them in bearing such a responsibility for which they fought and killed their brothers. If they succeed then we are with them but if they fail then may God help the people of Gaza.

The Sharm el Sheikh Summit should not focus on drafting a plan of action against rogue Hamas as this would increase the suffering of people in Gaza and the West Bank. In fact, the meeting should focus upon reviving the peace [process] that was stalled by Hamas and the unanimity between Arab states that was destroyed due to verbal bickering that aims at pleasing the Iranians.

It is time to reform the PA, which has always been subjected to criticism regarding its administration and performance. It is time that the PA gains the support of the public that voted against it and in favor of Hamas. Only little effort has been made towards national institutions and their development since the electoral defeat. If the PA succeeds under the administration of Salam Fayyad, a man known for his impartiality and non-affiliation to any party, then we should be grateful to Hamas as it would have contributed to eliminating the problems within the authority and ending the crisis related to the embargo of foreign aid, which makes up half of the authority’s income.

Hamas should be left to God as it is merely in a state of celebration. As soon as it gets over its jubilation, it will realize that its task is now more difficult, contrary to what it had promised the people that after ousting Fatah, Gaza would be clean. However, to become preoccupied with confronting Hamas and restraining it in order to topple it would practically serve in Hamas’ favor, disadvantage the Palestinian cause and prolong the suffering of the people who are fed up with strikes towards them from all directions and from enemies, friends and brothers.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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