[Marxism] "New Patterns in Israel-Palestinian and Intra-Palestinian Politics"

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Sun Mar 1 06:48:51 MST 2009



Iqbal Siddiqui,  - clip ---

As Crescent went to press,  talks between Palestinian leaders, dubbed 
"national reconciliation talks", were  due to open in Cairo on February 22. On the 
face of it, these are a continuation  of talks that were due to take place last 
autumn but were cancelled when Hamas  refused to take part unless Fatah 
authorities in the West Bank fulfilled the  promises it had made to release Hamas 
political prisoners before the talks  began. In hindsight, it is clear that 
progress on Palestinian reconciliation at  that time was not convenient to Fatah 
and its backers as Israel was already  committed to launching its war in 
December. Now the situation is completely  different, and the talks are likely to 
prove the first step of a new process,  approved by the US and Israel, of 
drawing Hamas back into mainstream Palestinian  political institutions while at the 
same time limiting its freedom of action  within those institutions. This 
strategy is likely to involve two separate  strands. The first is of political 
negotiations involving pressure on Hamas from  various Arab states, both 
directly, and indirectly, particular via Damascus,  host government of the Hamas 
leaders in exile. As well as Egypt, Qatar, Saudi  Arabia and the Arab League have 
all launched charm offensives towards both Hamas  and Damascus in the aftermath 
of the Gaza war. The second, not unrelated, is of  aid for the reconstruction 
of Gaza, which would be made available by the Arab  states via Hamas provided 
they were satisfied with progress being made on the  political front.
 
 
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