“You can’t have peace with both Israel and Hamas,” Netanyahu said, in remarks directed at Abbas. “Choose peace with Israel.” – Fatah and Hamas agree to historic Palestinian reconciliation deal
Haaretz (and Reuters) calls it “historic.” PM Netanyahu’s reaction proves he doesn’t want to deal with the Palestinians at all (as if we needed it). He slams Abbas’s efforts to form an interim government with Hamas, when we all know that if Abbas did a straight deal with Israel Hamas would balk. After Bush pushed the Palestinians on elections, which put Hamas in power in the first place, it’s a bit hard to un-ring that bell. Much more at the link above, with Abbas doggedly moving forward on having Palestine declared whether Netanyahu likes it or not.
Netanyahu, who rarely gives any indication of favoring any agreement with the Palestinians that would require ceding the West Bank (i.e., any agreement) may be worried that a Hamas-Fatah deal makes negotiations more likely rather than less.
Elliott Abrams proves why the Council on Foreign Relations matters less now than it ever has before.
This deal, if it is real, will be interpreted in Israel as a choice by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to make peace with Hamas rather than with Israel.
If Abbas and Hamas aren’t squabbling it sort of puts the spotlight on Netanyahu, which is exactly what he doesn’t want, which Mr. Abrams certainly knows.
Any movement towards an agreement between the factions of the Palestinians is a step in the right direction.