Hussein Ibish checks in on the conflict within the conflict, the ongoing split between Fatah and Hamas. The people’s demand for one single government is viewed as Palestine’s version of the Arab Spring:
[But] Palestinian Islamists and nationalists still disagree on a huge range of issues, including the recognition of Israel, the use of violence, the role of religion in society, women’s issues and many other questions. These profound disagreements, and the practical problems of sharing power, mean that the grounds for reunification just do not exist. The division between Gaza and the West Bank could drag on for quite a long time.
He does suspect it will arrive sooner or later – “the question is, on whose terms”:
Real reunification will require a merging of security forces, which in effect will mean the victory of one vision of the Palestinian national agenda over the other: Hamas’s commitment to armed struggle and confrontation with Israel, and its willingness to subordinate the Palestinian cause to the broader regional Islamist agenda, or the determination of [PA Prime Minister] Fayyad and his colleagues to keep working practically on the ground to build the framework for a successful independent Palestinian state.
Dalia Hatuqa believes Fatah is on the defensive:
More Palestinians are growing weary of [Fatah’s] sole emphasis on civil disobedience and nonviolence, calling it outdated at a time when Hamas is flaunting its ability to fire rockets into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and extracting concessions from Israel as a result. These various maneuvers, combined with a general apathy prevailing on the streets, have put the group’s future in question.
(Photo: Hamas supporters take part in a rally celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas Islamist movement on December 13, 2012 in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. By Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images)