Fatah and Hamas reconciliation still a long way off 

Hamas militants during a demonstration in Gaza City. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 15 June 2020

Fatah and Hamas reconciliation still a long way off 

  • Hamas and Fatah have always exchanged accusations of responsibility for the deteriorating Palestinian political situation, while Hamas believes that Fatah did not allow it to govern after its victory in the 2006 legislative elections

GAZA: June 14 is a hard anniversary for Palestinians. For 13 years since the violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas, and the expulsion of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA), life has been difficult, exacerbated by Israel’s decision to blockade the territory as a result.
The blockade has negatively impacted all aspects of life, and Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank do not expect a solution to the division soon.
Ruba Enaya, 27, has never lived in stability in Gaza.
“I grew up in Gaza in light of the split between Fatah and Hamas, and all the time I hear about attempts to restore unity, but I do not see it any time soon,” she told Arab News.
 “I graduated from university and do not work consistently. I have no opportunity to travel under the siege. There are restrictions on everything. The conditions are difficult for me, my family and all people,” she said.
Hamas and Fatah have always exchanged accusations of responsibility for the deteriorating Palestinian political situation, while Hamas believes that Fatah did not allow it to govern after its victory in the 2006 legislative elections. Fatah accuses Hamas of practicing violence to maintain control over Gaza.
“The Palestinian division (was) caused by the PA’s position rejecting the election results ... There is no national party that gained from this division,” said Hazim Qasem, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza.
Fatah said in a press release: “Hamas does not consider, and continues to systematically dismantle and disrupt, the Palestinian national situation, which is directly in the interest of Israel — whether in perpetuating the occupation, or in preventing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.” All political analysts agree that the division has led to a sharp retreat in international interest in the Palestinian issue, and justified Israel’s avoidance of reaching a political solution to the conflict.

BACKGROUND

The blockade has negatively impacted all aspects of life, and Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank do not expect a solution to the division soon.

Khalil Shaheen, a political researcher based in Ramallah, said that political interests that have arisen as a result of the Palestinian division help the current situation, and “Hamas’s control of Gaza exposed the Palestinian issue, regionally and internationally.
“Israel has the justification, now that there is no Palestinian party capable of negotiating and reaching a political solution, or capable of establishing an independent Palestinian political system,” he told to Arab News
Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip has raised unemployment rates and poverty among the population, and increased tension with Tel Aviv, during which three wars and many rounds of escalation have broken out.
Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, explained that the division, in addition to the decline in Arab and international interest in solving the Palestinian issue, gave Israel the incentive to increase settlement in the West Bank, and prompted the recognition of Jerusalem by the US as the capital of Israel.
“Without the division, all of this would not have happened,” he told Arab News.
He added that the prevailing conditions would not allow reconciliation to take place soon.
“There is an ideological dispute between Fatah and Hamas. The economic interests emerging as a result of the division prevent the parties from giving up their interests, and the Arab regional differences reinforce the continuation of the internal Palestinian division,” he said.


Iranian Parliament calls for block on nuclear inspections

Updated 30 November 2020

Iranian Parliament calls for block on nuclear inspections

  • MPs said the “best response” to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination would be to “revive Iran’s glorious nuclear industry”
  • Tehran allowed additional inspections as part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

LONDON: Iran’s Parliament has called for international inspectors to be barred from accessing the country’s nuclear facilities, in response to the killing of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

In a statement issued on Sunday, MPs said the “best response” to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination would be to “revive Iran’s glorious nuclear industry” by halting the voluntary implementation of protocols that allow more intrusive inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy organization, told Iranian media on Saturday that the issue of inspectors’ access “must be decided on at high levels” of the country’s leadership.

The Supreme National Security Council, a body directly answerable to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, usually handles decisions related to the country’s nuclear program.

Tehran allowed additional inspections as part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), widely referred to as the Iran nuclear deal, which eased crippling economic sanctions on the country in exchange for heavy restrictions on the development of its nuclear industry.

The JCPOA has faced heavy scrutiny from the Trump administration, which has taken several steps to roll back the various concessions made to Iran as part of the deal.