Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Gaza Residents ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ over Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55383821

A Palestinian boy holds his sister near the ruins of their family’s house, which witnesses said was destroyed during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Gaza Strip- People living in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip are eagerly awaiting the completion of a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Palestinians hope reconciliation will rid them of the difficult and complicated crises they have been living for a long time now.

Despite rising aspiration and the recent positive atmosphere, Palestinians are dealing very cautiously with the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas in Egypt, fearing a new failure or setback. Many former agreements have been unsuccessful.

Pessimism hovering over Palestinians in Gaza, interviewed by Asharq Al-Awsat, dominated most views concerning the reconciliation file. Most residents stressed that they did not see the possibility of overcoming the many obstacles lying ahead.

“I am not optimistic because Hamas and Fatah have often agreed,” said Fadi Raafat, 27, a media college graduate. But when the application fails the agreement and the situation returns to the worst it was.»

To justify his pessimism, Raafat added, “I graduated six years ago. I am 27 years old, but I have not found a job.

I have no future here, so I wait impatiently for reconciliation. I want it badly, but when I see both parties agree on a dozens of times on settlement fail, I cannot say I’m particularly optimistic about this agreement … However, I hope that I’m proven wrong and that Egypt will succeed significantly this time.”

“I am not very optimistic about the success of reconciliation because the parties are looking for their partisan interests more than our interests,” said trader Abdul Rahman Hamida, 56.

“They do not give us any attention to our issues or our difficult living conditions,” he added.

“Young people have no future, and they are waiting for reconciliation so that the Rafah crossing border will open enabling them to have a better chance at migrating to any country and live their lives,” Hamida said in an angry tone.

The Rafah Crossing Point is the sole crossing point between Egypt and Gaza Strip. It is located on the Gaza–Egypt border, which was recognized by the 1979 Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty.

“The economic situation is deteriorating and affecting everyone. There is a decline in income and an unprecedented spike in poverty rates,” added Hamida.

On the other hand, Baker Qandil, a 41-year-old employee of the Hamas government, expects reconciliation between the two sides to succeed in light of Egypt’s strong pressure on the PA to deal positively with Hamas positions.

But he does not deny his great fear of the fallout should things fail again.

“There is a clear seriousness in Hamas to end the division, and a desire to salvage the rest of the national project to preserve the rights and principles of the Palestinian people, and to criminalize the occupation in international forums, while strengthening the field resistance work and stand side by side against any meager settlement attempt or the watering down of the Palestinian cause. So we hope we can succeed this time,” said Qandil.

Gaza residents are quite aware of the complexities surrounding the political situation and are leading a difficult life, so they have begun to dream in light of hopes of a new agreement, but cautiously so.