Warring Palestinian factions struggle for unity against looming ‘Deal of the Century’

by WorldTribune Staff, April 28, 2019

Rival Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip are preparing to resist the Middle East peace plan set to be unveiled in June by the Trump administration.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

Fundamental to such a strategy would be overcoming the bloody 12-year-long power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority.

The Gaza organizations on April 27 issued a joint statement entitled “United in dealing with the Deal of the Century”.

Hamas is prepared to hold a meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of the Fatah Central Committee, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said.

Haniyeh stressed the importance of establishing a unity government that would prepare the ground for holding presidential and parliamentary elections and then for the Palestinian National Council. The government’s task will also be to unify the institutions of the Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, according a report by Arutz Sheva.

Hamas has been ruling Gaza since 2007, when it overtook the coastal enclave from Abbas’ Fatah faction in a bloody coup.

The two organizations signed a reconciliation deal in October of 2017, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza by December of that year.

That deadline, however, was initially put back by 10 days, had later reportedly hit “obstacles”, and has never been implemented.

“Hamas is interested in integrating into the PLO institutions in order to gain control of the organization from within, thereby winning Palestinian representation and international recognition as the sole representative of the Palestinian people,” Arutz Sheva noted.

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