Archive for the ‘Palestine’ Category:
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.
By: Meir Javedanfar
The Hamas vs PLO conflict has now spilled over into other parts of the Middle East.
In a surprise move, the PLO office in the Yemeni Capital, which was also known as the embassy of Palestine in Yemen, has decided to shut its doors.
This was done as protest against what the PLO representative called “dual Palestinian representation in Yemen”. By this, he was referring to a representative office recently opened by Hamas in the same city.
In reality, despite their support for terrorism, Hamas has more right than the PLO to represent Palestinians abroad. This is because Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections fair and square, by a large majority, in January 2006.
But for now, Hamas’s strategy of confrontation, turning a blind eye towards Gaza initiated terrorism, and being part of it, will keep the organization isolated at home, and abroad. It seems that Hamas is not learning from Hezbollah. The former seems quite good at building local alliances. Hamas seems to be much better at doing the opposite, as shown through its bloody coup against the PLO in 2007.
Should Hamas change its extremist stance towards Israel, and also work with the PLO, it could turn itself into a serious, legitimate political force, with credibility far beyond its borders. This would keep many right wingers who don’t want peace between Israelis and Palestinians up at night. For now, they sleep easy.