Hamas calls for Palestinian reconciliation are hollow words

January 22, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Days after Israel ended a devastating war against the Islamic militant rulers of Gaza, Hamas called Thursday for reconciliation with supporters of rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but is also making an unrealistic demand that make it unlikely.

The eight factions sworn to Israel’s destruction, said they will reject any political reconciliation deals that hinder the “continuity of the resistance” against Israel, a condition Fatah is sure to reject.
The condition appeared to preclude any agreement with Abbas whose moderate Fatah faction, seeks a peace deal with Israel.

Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah by force in 2007 and Fatah set up a rival Palestinian government in the West Bank. It has been conducting peace talks with Israel for more than a year.

Hamas officials also insisted Thursday that Hamas have sole control over all international donations to rebuild Gaza after the 23-day war with Israel, saying Abbas’ Fatah cannot be trusted to handle any of the aid.

“We have a legitimate government in Gaza that came through a democratic choice, and it is working on the streets, and it is a legitimate body to receive the aid and to rebuild Gaza,” Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas official in Gaza, told The Associated Press.

The international community is eager to help but putting huge sums of aid money expected to flood in from abroad at Hamas’ fingertips that could you be used to rearm and also give the group a measure of international recognition is problematic.

Saudi Arabia alone has pledged $1 billion for Gaza’s reconstruction, and the international community has promised massive help.

For Gaza’s reconstruction to begin, blockaded border crossings will also have to be opened to allow supplies and aid in, which also remains a thorny issue.

Israel and Egypt have kept the crossings largely closed since Hamas seized power over Gaza in June 2007, choking off most supplies to the tiny seaside territory and trapping most of its 1.4 million people inside. Hamas says the borders must be opened as part of any long-term cease-fire deal.

Some sort of reconciliation between the rival Palestinian factions could be key to a workable plan for setting up border controls to stop weapons smuggling to Hamas through the Gaza-Egypt border, a key Israeli demand.

Hamas has long demanded control over the crossing with Egypt.

But Egypt has said it will only open its border with Gaza if Abbas’ Palestinian Authority forces take up positions there, in line with a 2005 agreement.


One Response to “Hamas calls for Palestinian reconciliation are hollow words”

  1. svet fro on January 23rd, 2009 1:17 am

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