Bringing Peace to the Gaza Strip
By admin October 3, 2017

Bringing Peace to the Gaza Strip











On Tuesday, October 2, Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah arrived in the Gaza Strip for the first time in years to move towards reconciliation between the militant group Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist political organization, and the mainstream Fatah party – a decade after the two parties ruled separately following a rift of violence in 2007. Hamas announced last week that it was handing over administrative control of the Gaza Strip to the Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority, which is responsible for the administering areas of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In accordance, Hamas disbanded its own administration in order to make way for a unity government through elections.

Hamas is identified as a terrorist organization by several global nations, including the Untied States, the European Union, and Israel. In fact, Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel. This stems from the geopolitical conflicts of the 1990s and 2000s, where the militant group waged war on Israel, most notably through suicide bombings and rocket attacks. In 2006, Hamas won a stunning victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, intensifying tensions with the Fatah’s Palestinian Authority faction. This erupted into deadly and violent clashes in Gaza in June 2007, which resulted in the Hamas governing Gaza independently from the West Bank-based Palestinian Legislative Council.

Since then, there has been years of multiple failed attempts towards reconciliation, partially due to Hamas antagonism against Israel. This latest development towards uniting the two factions has raised both doubts and concerns from political analysts in the region, including veteran Palestinian officials. For months, the Palestinian Authority has been implementing sanctions against Hamas, with hopes that reconciliation will end the bitter feuding between the two factions. Even so, it is doubtful that Hamas would have intentions of committing to making peace with Israel. Rather, the move may be tactical since it allows Hamas to function without the previous sanctions, and more importantly, they aren’t required to disarm or give up weapons.

There are further concerns that the Hamas have ulterior motives to further cooperate with Egypt, whom had facilitated this initial reconciliation effort and will oversee the process. Hamas revised their charter this past May, which expressed further cooperation with Cairo. So far, Israeli officials has expressed positive aspects of the reconciliation effort, citing the easing of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza area is in their security interests. Their response and acceptance will also depend on Hamas willingness to accept Israel and desire to seek peaceful coexistence.

Further Reading:

Palestinian prime minister visits Hamas-ruled Gaza amid reconciliation efforts

Hamas Deal to Cede Gaza Control Sets Up Showdown Over Guns

Is Hamas, Fatah rapprochement a win-win deal%253F

Everything you need to know about Israel-Palestine

profile: Hamas Palestinian movement

Palestinian PM in rare Gaza visit as rift with Hamas eases

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