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Palestine - bring Jordan back into the equation

By David Singer - posted Thursday, 19 May 2011


Any further negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are dead and buried.

This is the only conclusion to be drawn from the recent signing of a reconciliation agreement between rival Palestinian factions - Hamas and Fatah - intended to end their fratricidal conflict that has claimed the lives of hundreds of the West Bank and Gaza’s civilian Arab populations and wounded and traumatized thousands of others over the last four years.

Israel will refuse to accept any offer to negotiate or treat with any new Palestinian Government formed as a result of such reconciliation - at least whilst

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  1.   Hamas continues to demand the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic State of Palestine and
  2.   Fatah espouses:
    • Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
    • Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian case or impose any international mandate on its people.

Indeed violent confrontation between Hamas and Fatah can be anticipated as they each attempt to implement the terms of their very vague and open ended agreement for the purposes of advancing and entrenching their own power-seeking agendas at the expense of the other.

One would imagine that had reconciliation really been the goal:

  • the mutual release of political prisoners held by each faction would have already occurred together with
  • an easing of bans on political expression by members of each faction within the respective area the other faction currently controls.

That this has not already happened is perhaps the clearest indication that the will to reconcile is not sincerely held.

Meantime Israel’s Prime Minister - Benjamin Netanyahu - is shortly to embark on a visit to meet President Obama - when Netanyahu is expected to lay out his thoughts on the future direction to be taken to resolve the issue of sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

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These three areas comprise the remaining 5% of Palestine still unallocated between Jews and Arabs after 17 years of ineffective and ineffectual negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas - or a reconciled Fatah-Hamas Government - could acquire sovereignty in Gaza tomorrow and constitute it as a 22rd independent Arab State by a simple declaration of independence - but any expectation of that happening is a forlorn hope. Neither entity would be prepared to pay the political price that the establishment of such an independent second Arab State in former Palestine - in addition to Jordan - might mean for:

  • their jointly shared objective to eradicate the State of Israel and
  • their demand that Israel vacate all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem won from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War.
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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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