The Jordan Times (Opinion)
November 28, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel is once again using the tax axe against the Palestinians; it is threatening the Palestinian Authority to withhold tax revenues due to them if Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas goes ahead with his reconciliation efforts with Hamas leader Khaled Mishaal.
The two Palestinian leaders succeeded in striking a reconciliation accord during their recent meeting in Cairo. This progress on the Palestinian front displeases Israel, prompting Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to warn the Palestinian Authority not to go ahead with the plan to form a unity government with Hamas.

In true colonial power, Israel follows the divide and rule principle. It wants nothing but continued division between Palestinian ranks, knowing that divided and weak, Palestinians can be easier to control.

Fateh and Hamas seem determined to hold parliamentary elections in May. Building up to the date, they are taking confidence-building measures, including releasing prisoners, with a view to bolstering reconciliation.

Whether the rapprochement between Abbas and Mishaal will gain traction between now and May remains to be seen. If it does, hopefully elections will be held, ushering in a new era in inter-Palestinian relations.

The division between Fateh and Hamas has done an immense disservice to the Palestinian national interests. It is hoped that the leaders of the two factions realise this fact and work to address it in earnest, not only with an eye on elections, but aware of the importance of unity to the cause they both claim to hold dear.

If the reconciliation efforts between the two main Palestinian factions fail once again, the only one standing to win is Israel.

It is time the Palestinians ended their feud for all times and channelled their energy into a worthy cause.


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