Will The Palestinians Ever Play Their Cards Right?

Mareeg.com-The current efforts to reconcile between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas will be doomed to fail just like several previous attempts, unless both sides agree to resolve three major obstacles—a united strategy to find a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fate of Hamas’ cache of weapons, and the Palestinians’ future government—that have haunted them since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007. Given their mutual animosity and deadly rivalry, the question is, will the Palestinians be able this time around to play their cards right?

First, agreeing on a peaceful solution to their conflict with Israel remains the central issue over which they must reach a consensus. Whereas the PA has long-since recognized Israel on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders, Hamas—even though it has stated its willingness to negotiate with Israel on a two-state solution—continues to call for Israel’s ultimate destruction.

If Hamas were to join the PA and the latter assumes the responsibility to negotiate with Israel, neither the current right-wing nor even a future centrist/leftist Israeli government would negotiate with the PA unless Hamas first recognizes Israel and renounces violence, which it is unlikely to do.

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com