Thursday, March 1, 2007

Special Report: March 2007 - Addendum to the Myth of a “Moderate” Fatah (The Center for Near East Policy Research)

This is an appendix to the original Center for Near Easy Policy Research Report: Inside Fatah - A “Moderate” Entity?

New Developments

The Fatah-Hamas Accord at Mecca

On February 8, 2007, Fatah and Hamas leaders, meeting in Mecca under the sponsorship
of Saudi Arabia, reached agreement on the formation of a PA unity government.
The Accord they produced, roughly based upon the Prisoners Document, was couched in
general terms and did not bridge all gaps in the positions between Fatah and Hamas.
What it did was establish certain broad principles and obligate the two sides to attempt to create a stable regime.

While a unity government has not yet been established as this is written – and continuing Fatah-Hamas friction casts some doubt on the likelihood that it will be – the Accord must be examined for what it reveals about the intentions and commitments of Fatah and PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas has stated that the agreement was concerned only with an internal Palestinian
matter – prevention of a Palestinian civil war – and was not intended to address relations with Israel. In the words of Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi,1 the Accord is a “tactical political measure calculated to create a false impression regarding Hamas' political flexibility in order to whitewash the organization into being accepted as a legitimate player in the international arena...”

Since his return from Mecca, Abbas has been promoting the position that he can negotiate with Israel as the head of the PLO, rather than as president of the PA.3 The implication, on first blush, appears to be one of trying to achieve negotiations by circumventing the unity government, which will not have recognized Israel nor agreed to abide by previous agreements.

View the Full Report: March 2007 Addendum to Myth of a “Moderate” Fatah

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