Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation Faces Multifaceted Partisan Complexities - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Ramallah- The Egyptian-Fatah-Hamas Declaration on brokering a new agreement between the two movements has not succeeded in removing doubts among Palestinians about the possibility of a genuine reconciliation.

Palestinians tested how both movements had previously established a comprehensive agreement, which subsequently needed multiple follow up agreements only to eventually fail. Later on, Hamas announced the formation of a management committee.

As a counteraction, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority imposed a series of sanctions. It is true that the new agreement ended with the dissolution of the administrative committee, and is supposed to reach a retreat from the sanctions, but ground implementation presents a real challenge.

The two big movements have many differences with no real agreement accompanied by effective solutions.

Security services along with the files of former Hamas government employees and the upcoming unity government program make up the main obstacles against forming a new comprehensive and detailed agreement.

Fatah’s Executive Committee member Jamal Moheisen made it clear that the issues concerning the upholding of security and the issue of Hamas employees are the two main obstacles to the reconciliation agreement.

Moheisen believes that in order to resolve challenges at hand this requires first “to show good intentions” and “to give priority to national interests above party interests, ending all division in the history of the Palestinian cause.”

During many years of division, both Fatah and Hamas have tightened their security grip; the first taking over the West Bank and the second over the Gaza Strip. Each employed tens of thousands of new men following a different security approach than the other.

While the two movements understand the importance of security for any system to be effective, a security partnership seems almost impossible within the near term.

Over the past few years, when this file was put forward during advanced negotiations Hamas required the simultaneous exchange of security arrangements.

In other words, the return of PA forces to Gaza requires the reintegration of Hamas into the security services in the West Bank.

In practical terms, Hamas elements cannot work in the West Bank security services. Fatah members cannot work in Hamas-run security services in Gaza because of the political, security and partisan complexities.

The PA will not be able to deploy thousands of new security forces that are added to other tens of thousands working in the West Bank.

Hamas is eyeing the deployment of some 9,000 new security elements of its own, which is absolutely rejected by the Palestinian Authority.