Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The west widens the Fatah-Hamas split

Palestinian unity is essential for any peace deal – but the US, Britain and the EU are playing a central role in preventing it

Seumas Milne
guardian.co.uk, Monday 27 July 2009

"It should be obvious that no settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict is going to stick unless it commands broad support or acceptance on both sides. That is especially true of the Palestinians, who have shown time and again that they will never accept the denial of their national and human rights. The necessity of dealing with all representative Palestinian leaders was recognised by Britain's parliamentary foreign affairs committee yesterday, which called on the government to end its ban on contacts with Hamas.......

The Hamas-led administration in Gaza is also held responsible for significant human rights abuses, if on a smaller scale. But as the dispute over attendance at next week's long-awaited Fatah conference in Bethlehem has shown, the Islamist movement is prepared to release its Fatah prisoners if the PA frees Hamas detainees in the West Bank. And that needs an American and Israeli green light.

Which only underlines the fact that until the US and its followers stop trying to divide-and-rule the Palestinians, allow them to choose their own leaders and negotiate their own differences, hopes of serious progress in the Middle East under Obama are bound to be unfulfilled."

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