The Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is supposedly trying to improve efforts to complete the reunification process with Hamas by reshuffling ministers in the Palestinian government’s cabinet, according to the Ma’an News Agency. The only problem is that Hamas doesn’t see it that way. Instead, they’re calling the moves a coup.
“Unconstitutional and outside consensus,” were the words used by Hamas in the Ma’an report to describe the government rearrangement, which is expected to eventually include the resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Despite the drama surrounding the moves, only five ministers changed positions in the latest moves, while 19 ministers aren’t going anywhere. The disagreement marks yet another blow to the reconciliation process between Abbas’ Fatah faction in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.
More than a year after the announcement that a unity government had been formed between the sides, Hamas and Fatah still have yet to make substantial progress towards ending their differences.
The groups have been divided since a violent coup by Hamas threw Fatah forces out of Gaza in 2007, effectively resulting in two Palestinian governments. The division is thought to add yet another complication to Palestinian efforts to create their own state, although Hamas’ terrorist nature has also raised serious questions about whether a unity government could ever achieve long-term peace with Israel.
Hamas certainly hasn’t stopped their violence yet. Just last month it was announced that Israeli security forces had arrested a Hamas terror cell behind the shooting death of an Israeli in June, according to an IDF press release.
In other words, the Palestinian reconciliation process is a lose-lose situation even at its best, but right now it’s more like a “he said, he said” feud.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 2, 2015)