vrijdag 18 juni 2010

Hamas hoeft Israel niet te erkennen voor regering met Fatah

Het is niet de eerste keer dat een hoge Fatah functionaris benadrukt dat Hamas Israel niet hoeft te erkennen in een nieuwe eenheidsregering. Ook de voorwaarden van het Kwartet - naast erkenning van Israel het afzweren van geweld en het accepteren van de gesloten overeenkomsten tussen Israel en de PLO - zijn voor Fatah van weinig waarde. De kans dat een nieuwe eenheidsregering vruchtbare vredesbesprekingen kan voeren met Israel en zo de vrede dichterbij brengen, is dan ook minimaal. Verzoening met Hamas heeft alleen dan zin wanneer het ertoe leidt dat Hamas zich daadwerkelijk matigt en gedwongen wordt om haar doel heel 'Palestina' te bevrijden op te geven. Daar ziet het overduidelijk niet naar uit, wat ook logisch is, gezien de steun die zij krijgt voor haar beleid van verschillende Arabische staten, Iran en Turkije, en de erkenning die zij krijgt van Europese landen, Rusland en verschillende Latijns-Amerikaanse staten, zonder daar verder iets voor te hoeven doen.

Sha'ath: Hamas not asked to recognize Israel
Published yesterday (updated) 16/06/2010 21:08

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah did not place conditions on Hamas to recognize Israel as part of a unity deal tipped to end rivalry between the two movements, Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath said Wednesday.

"We did not place conditions on Hamas to recognize Israel, nor accept the conditions of the [Middle East] Quartet," Sha'ath told the Jordanian daily newspaper Ad-Dustur.

"We want the government to commit to the PLO's program, and [Gaza government premier] Ismail Haniyeh to commit to a unity and prisoner swap deal, with negotiations carried out by the PLO. We did not ask for more than that," the official said.

The movement remains in contact with Egypt and that Hamas needs to "move forward" with the Cairo-backed deal.

A recent letter penned by Haniyeh to US President Barack Obama said the Islamist movement would adhere to a 1967 border deal for a prolonged ceasefire deal. "During my recent European tour, I urged all officials to cancel the condition [that Hamas recognize Israel]. Many Arab and Islamic countries who do not still approved the Arab Peace Initiative, and therefore, a ceasefire is enough," Sha'ath said.

The Fatah official said he was optimistic that the siege imposed on Gaza could be lifted and "we should focus on this. It is possible to achieve unity."

With reports that US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected in the region to mediate the latest round of indirect talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials, Sha'ath said its success was based on adherence to pledges, including a halt to settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

The move to revoke the residency rights of four Hamas affiliated lawmakers from East Jerusalem is "purely provocative," he said, adding that both parties were told to refrain from any provocation that could derail talks, which were cut short in March after Israel announced expansion to an Israeli-only settlement in East Jerusalem.

Ending Israel's blockade

Sha'ath is set to meet with former US President Jimmy Carter on 23 June concerning the means to end Israel's blockade on Gaza, saying "it is not possible to delay the issue any further after the Freedom Fleet was prevented from entering and Israel's criminal attack," referring to a raid on the fleet in international waters, leaving nine passengers dead.

"The flotilla has opened the door to discussing new ways to end the siege and bringing an end to what Israel decides to allow in to Gaza," he added.

He said he remained in contact with Cairo concerning the recent opening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza, and called on Egypt to permit the transfer of goods into Gaza via the crossing. "It was only opened for the transit of residents."

The Gaza seaport should be immediately reopened, he said, adding that "Europe needs to be courageous and decide if they are ready to send their envoys to the port, because this issue has been brought up by the PA on several occasions."

Several governments have called on Israel to begin easing its siege on Gaza, with the EU Council saying Monday that its closure policy had proved "unproductive."

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