Palestine – Abbas Flirts With Political Suicide
By: David Singer
“Under the cover of the war in Gaza, Hamas embarked on several repressive measures targeting Fatah members, figures who oppose Hamas’ rule, and suspected collaborators with Israel, and it is suspected that dozens of people were killed, either shot to death or as a result of torture. Hamas personnel also broke the legs and arms of dozens of other people to compel them to stay in their homes. Also, some government employees in Gaza were replaced with Hamas loyalists.In the West Bank, under the authority of Fatah, hundreds of Hamas sympathizers remain in detention; it is thought that at least two of the detainees have died as a result of torture. The West Bank authorities fired civil servants and teachers suspected of Hamas sympathies, while the salaries of thousands of employees of the Palestinian authority inside the Gaza Strip were suspended. Licensing for associations and companies in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is now preceded by a security check,and those organizations that have affiliations with the “wrong” party are refused Licenses.”
Rectifying this reprehensible conduct on both sides is virtually only mentioned in passing in Article 4B5 of the 4 May reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas in these bland and impersonal terms:
“To resolve the civil and administrative problems that resulted from the division.”
An unknown number of political prisoners held by both sides continue to languish in prisons as a result of Hamas and Fatah being obviously unable to agree on their release.
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.”Hamas could hardly agree to be part of a Government seeking to create a Palestinian Arab State in only 5% of former Palestine. Abandoning its stated goal of securing sovereignty in 100% of former Palestine would defeat the raison d’etre for its very existence.”
Article 27 poses even bigger problems for the mooted reconciliation by making it clear that Hamas is opposed to a secular State of Palestine as endorsed by the Palestine Liberation Organization – of which Fatah is the controlling factional member – whilst Hamas is not even a member:
“Secularism completely contradicts religious ideology. Attitudes, conduct and decisions stem from ideologies.That is why, with all our appreciation for the Palestinian Liberation Organization – and what it can develop into – and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser. The day the Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies.”
The struggle for the hearts and the minds of the Palestinian Arabs is set to continue for a long time – whilst these fundamental differences of philosophy divide Hamas and Fatah. Reconciling these two conflicting viewpoints in a united Government seems impossible to achieve.
“The prime minister [Binyamin Netanyahu] has said repeatedly, the Palestinian Authority must choose between peace and Hamas. They cannot have both. Our security co-operation with the Palestinian Authority, for example, has been based on the commitment of both sides to fighting terrorism. If Hamas is in the government, what will this mean?”