The Jordan Times (Editorial)
March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel has shown yet again its true, intransigent, position on peace with the Palestinians by rejecting a national unity government comprising both Fateh, the Palestinian party ruling in the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamic movement in control of Gaza Strip.

The stand was made clear by a senior Israeli official who could not have been more candid about and hostile to a Palestinian national unity government when saying that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who already held conciliation talks with a senior Hamas delegation in the West Bank, must choose between making peace with Israel or with Hamas, as he cannot have both.

It is clear that Israel has no intention to resume serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians. But it sure cannot expect to make peace with half of the population and be content with having another half seething with dissatisfaction under permanent siege, isolated, poor and discontented.

By seeking and insisting on a permanent split between Fateh and Hamas, Israel makes clear its intention: divide and rule, keep a people separated and at each other’s throat, because that way Israel will be safely forgotten and able to carry on its illegitimate deeds with impunity.

How can peace be attained when the Palestinians are deeply divided, when the West Bank is separated from Gaza Strip, which should be part and parcel of the Palestinian homeland? Where is the viability and contiguity of a Palestinian state in all this?

No lasting peace can be forged between Israelis and Palestinians as long as the Palestinian house is not in order and united in its position.

If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultimate objective is to have Hamas endorse the Quartet’s principles on peace talks, he sure must know that it stands a better chance of attaining that by promoting a united Palestinian government and not two Palestinian entities fighting each another.

As things stand now, peace, unfortunately, appears out of reach. It may suit the Israeli government for a while still, but what about the longer term?


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