The Jordan Times
September 29, 2009 - 12:00am

News coming out of Cairo recently suggests that the Egyptian mediation efforts may have reached a breakthrough in reconciling the differences between Fateh and Hamas.

It appears that the two Palestinian factions are now ready to settle their differences and reach a viable compromise.

The attempts to bring the two Palestinian movements closer seem to have succeeded in convincing Hamas leader Khaled Mishaal, who recently visited Cairo, of the wisdom of such move; now he is expected to give his approval to the Egyptian ideas, at least in principle.

Fateh, the main Palestinian faction, has already nodded agreement to Cairo’s proposal to end the confrontation with Hamas, which has also sent signals that it is prepared to make peace with Fateh.

Optimism that such will be the case is reinforced by the fact that presidential and parliamentary elections will be held by the Palestinians during the first half of 2010. Apparently the two factions realise the importance of being in agreement on the need to resort to democratic means to settle their agonising and harmful division. Yet, to do so, they need to clearly decide on the timing and basis of the elections.

Fateh wants the parliamentary elections to be conducted on the basis of proportionality. Hamas fears that the results of proportional elections will not be in its favour and wants, instead, at least half of the elections to be conducted on district basis.

Other obstacles in the way of a total accord between the two Palestinian antagonists can be certainly expected, including the setup of a neutral and professional security force and the formation of a provisional caretaker government composed of technocrats, but the momentum for reaching a comprehensive agreement is now gaining traction and will, hopefully, reach its good end.

It is indeed good news for the people, who have suffered most from the disastrous disagreement between their leaders. Palestinians everywhere will receive with great satisfaction the news that Fateh and Hamas have finally reconciled.

Only it will take now wisdom and awareness of the damage the split between them does, for the leaders of the two factions to finally settle their differences.

Failing again and putting party politics ahead of the overriding interests of the Palestinian people would be an unforgivable act, one that is detrimental to both leaderships and people.


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