Despite ongoing strife between the two largest factions in the Palestinian Authority – PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah and the Hamas movement – recent statements by representatives of both groups suggest the two rivals may be working to resolve their differences.
The apparent beginnings of the rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah are rooted in the one area of agreement between the two factions, says the Palestinian Media Watch, which has monitored a spike in public overtures between senior officials of the two groups.
Unfortunately for Israel PMW reports, the effort to unify the two largest PA factions is based not on a joint vision for improving the lives of those under PA rule, but on the two groups’ shared hatred of the Jewish state and belief that Israel has no right to exist.
Recently, PA television, the mouthpiece of Abbas’ Fatah party, proudly declared that “the Fatah movement has never demanded Hamas recognize Israel. The Fatah movement [itself] even today does not recognize Israel. In all meetings of the Fatah [party], the issue of recognizing Israel is never raised.”
At the same time, during a discussion of the new Hamas charter now being drafted, senior Hamas official Mahmud A-Zahar told Lebanese television that a provision in the new charter calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was merely a “tactical step”, and that Hamas still believes Israel has no right to exist in any size, shape, or form, and that Palestine must ultimately include all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.