Palestinian Rift Ended – Thank you Egypt

It was almost 11 years since the so-called ugly political division between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, after fighting in 2007 which led to Hamas expelling Fatah from the coastal enclave. In addition to the siege on the Strip, this split had a very dangerous impact on every Palestinian citizen, mostly in Gaza. Several meetings and conferences were held as well as dozens of countries, like Russia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, tried to solve this nightmare, but nothing worked!

Two weeks ago, and exactly on October 2nd, Egyptian government and the Egyptian Intelligence Service decided to take a serious step to end this “farce” that nearly wasted the Palestinian case for over a decade. During that decade-long division, the Palestinian streets only talked about the humanitarian crises, like electricity and salaries, forgetting completely about the main case of Palestine and Jerusalem.

If you walk in any Gaza main street, you will see and notice the love and the tenderness Palestinians of the Strip have for Egypt and its President, Abdul Fatah Sisi. Along with the huge photos of the Egyptian leader hung on the highest towers of Gaza city, People raised the Egyptian flag that fluttered just near the Palestinian Cabinet in Gaza, where the Palestinian PM made his weekly meeting in the city for the first time.

Supported internationally, this rift is now officially over – it’s ended- and the Palestinian people are like, “thank you Egypt.” This happened on 10th when the Egyptian Intelligence Service invited the heads of both factions to Cairo where they negotiated for two days, after which they decided to end this black period.

Being called “the Egyptian Deal” by Palestinians, this agreement, that comes a month after Hamas dissolved the committee which ran the Gaza Strip, is based on 2011’s, signed in Cairo, after which both parties did not come along due to “external factors”, as many politicians described. 2017 agreement is now the original one that provides for allowing the Fatah-backed unity government to control the Gaza Strip, its ministries, its crossings and its security. This deal will also station forces in the Gaza Strip by December.

For most of Palestinian politicians, especially for President Mahmoud Abbas, this agreement is a final one! “I welcome the agreement,” he told the AFP news agency, adding: “I received a detailed report from the Fatah delegation about what was agreed and I considered it the final agreement to end the division.”

Abbas, who is reportedly planning to come to the Gaza Strip during the next month in what would be his first visit to the Strip in a decade, promised to lift the sanctions he took recently against Hamas once the agreement is upheld in practice.

Hamas’ leadership also welcomed the new news saying that it’s a new page for Palestinians. “This agreement is a new chapter in the Palestinian history,” Hamas spokesman, Salah al-Bardawil, said.

Apparently, what happened in Egypt is the start of a very big thing not everyone can easily expect. For Palestinian citizens, who have been waiting for this news, what would happen is a breakout and a relief that would rescue the Palestinian ship that has been sinking for years. However, politicians and experts in Israeli affairs have fears that Israel will hinder this process.

They however expected a change in Israeli policy after earlier this year Hamas unveiled an updated founding charter which accepted the borders of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 boundaries for the first time.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has slammed the deal saying it’s, “making peace much harder to achieve”.

The Twitter statement about the agreement considered reconciling with Hamas is part of the problem. “There is nothing Israel wants more than peace with all our neighbors. Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace much harder to achieve. Say yes to peace and no to joining hands with Hamas.”

Palestine now has her two kids, the green and the yellow, united again, which will gradually unite the kids of her kids. Yet, would they keep the same optimistic atmosphere going, or a random egoism would replace it and demolish the joy every home now has?

Mohammed Arafat




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