Om å gi seieren til Hamas

Khaled Abu Toameh

Pale­sti­nian recon­ci­lia­tion deal gives ter­ror group legi­ti­macy, power; timing of the move could not be bet­ter for Hamas.

No mat­ter how one looks at it, the Pale­sti­nian recon­ci­lia­tion deal is a vic­tory for Hamas.

Iro­ni­cally, the vic­tory is being han­ded to Hamas by the two par­ties that until recently made tremen­dous efforts to dele­gi­ti­mize and under­mine it: Fatah and Egypt.

More­over, the timing could not have been bet­ter for Hamas.

The Egyptian-sponsored deal came amid signs that Hamas was begin­ning to lose its grip on the Gaza Strip, as a result of the con­ti­nued blockade and boycott by the inter­na­tio­nal community.

Last month, thou­sands of Pale­sti­nian demon­stra­tors clashed with Hamas security for­ces for the first time since the move­ment seized con­trol over the entire Gaza Strip in the sum­mer of 2007.

Many Pale­sti­ni­ans, inclu­ding Fatah, said that the con­fron­ta­tions reflected increased resent­ment of Hamas.

But the unity deal with Fatah will now help Hamas reas­sert its aut­hority over the Gaza Strip. It will also help Hamas emerge from poli­ti­cal iso­la­tion by tur­ning it into a legi­ti­mate and key player in the inter­na­tio­nal arena.

One of the big­gest achieve­ments for Hamas is the fact that the unity deal does not require it to relin­quish con­trol over the Gaza Strip. In fact, Hamas would be per­mit­ted to keep its security for­ces in the Gaza Strip, furt­her tigh­te­ning its grip on the area.

Nor does the deal require Hamas to accept the Middle East peace process or accept the two-state solution.

Hamas will be brought into the unity govern­ment as an equal partner.

Until a few days ago, Hamas and Fatah were detai­ning and tor­turing each other’s supporters.

For the past three-and-a-half years, security for­ces loyal to Mah­moud Abbas and Salam Fayyad wor­ked round the clock to eli­mi­nate Hamas’s pre­sence in the West Bank.

Under the terms of the recon­ci­lia­tion accord, Fatah will have to release all “poli­ti­cal detai­nees” belon­ging to Hamas. This will only help Hamas regain its strength in the West Bank.

The deal also allows Hamas to run again uncon­ditio­nally in elections, as was the case in the 2006 par­lia­men­tary vote. There’s no gua­rantee that Hamas would not win again in the next elections, which are expec­ted to take place wit­hin a year.

Hamas has been rec­og­nized as a legi­ti­mate part­ner and player not only by Fatah, but also by the most popu­lous Arab coun­try, Egypt.

The popu­lar upri­sing that for­ced Hosni Muba­rak out of office ear­lier this year has been not­hing but a bles­sing for Hamas. The new Egyp­tian regime has since been wor­king to improve its ties with Hamas through a series of good­will ges­tu­res that include the reope­ning of the Rafah bor­der crossing and per­mit­ting the move­ment to have its own “repre­sen­ta­tive office” in Cairo.

Alt­hough some Pale­sti­ni­ans remai­ned skep­ti­cal about the pro­s­pects of the unity deal hol­ding for a long period of time, many agreed that Hamas stood to bene­fit the most from the agreement.

Ana­ly­sis: Han­ding vic­tory to Hamas
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Jeru­sa­lem Post 04/29/2011 01:03

Docu­ment tak­ker Toameh for til­la­telse til å gjengi hans artikler.




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