Fatah-Hamas honeymoon is over

It would be a daunting task for Abbas to keep his cool at home and on the international front, as he his pushed to the wall by both Hamas and Israel.



Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:50 PM

Fatah’s romance with Hamas is on the rocks. The year-old unity government has outlived its utility and President Mahmoud Abbas believes that it’s time to part ways with the politico-militant organisation that rules Gaza. The technocrat cabinet, comprising 17 ministers, is likely to be dissolved.

Though Hamas has taken an exception to what Abbas has concluded, the fact is that the experiment of sharing power with Hamas has backfired. The same seems to be true with such experiments in Egypt and elsewhere, where groups inclined towards the Muslim Brotherhood put up a weak show, resulting in the demeaning of the spirit of the Arab Spring.

The fact is that the internationally acclaimed de jure government in Ramallah was in a state of paralysis for quite some time. Abbas, in his endeavour to attain a statehood status for the Palestinians, had joined the International Criminal Court and told the United Nations categorically that he would unilaterally announce statehood after 2017.

But what kept him bogged down was infighting in his administration amid charges of corruption and non-deliverance. Moreover, there was also pressure from the international community on Abbas to distance himself from Hamas.

It remains to be seen how articulately Abbas deals with this velvet divorce. The off-and-on skirmishes with the Israelis and the spree of illegal settlements on the Occupied territories had literally undermined the writ of his administration. It would be a daunting task for Abbas to keep his cool at home and on the international front, as he his pushed to the wall by both Hamas and Israel. But the point is that Abbas has a mandate to realise a two-state solution and he shouldn’t blink from it.


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