By: Meir Javedanfar
The recent decision by Hamas to break off talks with the PLO can be a prelude to renewed conflict in this region.
Hamas says that its decision is based on PLO’s arrest of Hamas members in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, the PLO says that the individuals in question were arrested because they took part in criminal activity and not because of their political point of view.
One can not help but wonder whether the new tensions between them is part of a bigger power struggle between Iran and Syria on one side, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the other. Both Tehran and Damascus feel isolated. Hamas walking out of the talks could be one way to boost their position and leverage.
What does this mean for Obama? For his sake, and for the sake of Israeli left, one should hope that Hamas and PLO get back to the negotiation table, and find a solution. Otherwise, further division between Palestinian factions could lead to renewed attacks against Israel, by Hamas. This in turn would justify an Israeli response, thus leading to more tension. This would provide a noticeable boost to Likud’s chances of reelection.