When it comes to politics in the Middle East, things are less stable than they are in the west. A lot less stable and certainly a lot more volatile.
It is commonplace in this part of the world for agreements to be broken that were agreed between militant and more moderate groups, as well as at government level. The Palestinians are no exception to this rule as has been proved once again by the current disagreements between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The AFP reported today that Mahmood Abbas said on his arrival in Cairo on Saturday, as published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA,
“We will not accept the situation with Hamas continuing as it is at the moment. We won’t accept a partnership with them if the situation continues like this in Gaza, where there is a shadow government… running the territory. The national consensus government cannot do anything on the ground.”
Hamas officials were not happy about those comments at all, and a response was quickly forthcoming.
Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, told the Palestinian Arab Ma’an News Agency that Abbas should stop trying to conduct “dialogue” with Hamas through the media,
“Abbas’s remarks against Hamas and the resistance are unjustified, and the sources of information and figures he relied on were incorrect and have nothing to do with the truth. our people and the resistance who made this great victory.”
The BBC also reported today that the “victory” that Zuhri refers to is its crushing loss at the hands of the Israeli army which brought the terrorists of Hamas to their knees during the recent conflict in Gaza. Hamas didn’t achieve a single one of its demands when it agreed to a ceasefire.
Abbas spoke about the Hamas terrorist government which rules in Gaza.
“There are 27 undersecretaries of ministries who are running the Gaza Strip, and the national consensus government cannot do anything on the ground.”
But if Abbas intends to negotiate and come to a compromise with Hamas he would be well advised to look at their recent track record at the negotiating table with Israel last month. Those negotiations were farcical, as Hamas stated in advance that it would break any and all agreements that didn’t accede to its demands.
With a negotiating partner like that, Abbas is going to need lots of luck in his attempts to save the national unity deal he made with the Hamas terrorists.