Israeli warning as Palestinians edge closer to reconciliation

Aaron Brown
October 4, 2017

Palestinians are starting to believe that reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas rivals is finally at hand as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah prepares to hold a cabinet meeting in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

As part of efforts to end political division in Palestine, Idris, who took over duties and powers of Minister of Ministers in administration of Hamas, Hasan es-page in Gaza, "we will work to succeed in efforts of national reconciliation".

The tough comments by Hamas' supreme leader, Ismail Haniyeh, provided a reminder of the long road that lies ahead after this week's launch of talks with President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

The reconciliation process, which is beginning with the cabinet session, was promoted by Egypt and other US -allied Arab countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meeting legislators from his right-wing Likud party, said the Palestinians were engaging in "fictitious reconciliations" and he referred to Iranian funding for Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

While previous reconciliation attempts have failed, years of worldwide isolation and steadily worsening conditions in Gaza have pushed Hamas toward compromise.

Peace Envoy Jason Greenblatt inside a Hamas terror tunnel on the border with Israel, August 30, 2017.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah chairs the first cabinet meeting held in Gaza since 2014 as moves intensify to end the decade-old rift between the main political factions

Hamas won a landslide victory in 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections.

The two factions are expected to travel this month to the Egyptian capital to continue national reconciliation negotiations even as governmental responsibilities in Gaza are being handed over to the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas maintains a major military wing and senior officials have downplayed the idea of disarming in any reconciliation deal.

Conditions in Gaza have deteriorated greatly in a decade of Hamas rule, and the feeling of hope by desperate residents was palpable Monday. Negotiations are expected to move to Cairo next week to work on the more hard issues.

Hamas's deal with Egypt reportedly involved exiled Fatah politician Muhammed Dahlan.

Huge posters of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who brokered the reconciliation effort, were featured outside Abbas' residence as Hamas policemen were deployed all around. These measures have made it even more painful day in the life of an enclave subject to the israeli blockade and egypt and faced with the shortages, the economic slump and unemployment and catastrophic youth.

Abbas said that when he raised the issue of reconciliation with US President Donald Trump during their meeting in NY, he got the impression that the US is not opposed to it.

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Other reports by Free-Prsite

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