Palestinians Sign Unity Pact – Preparation for Statehood

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Moves to establish a Palestinian state are fast gathering momentum.



From the Communist Party USA’s Peoples World:

Leaders of 14 Palestinian political parties including Fatah and Hamas announced a unity agreement in Cairo on Wednesday. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah party, joined Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh for the announcement.

Also present were Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi and United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry.

The pact provides for a transitional unity government of nonpartisan “technocrats” that will prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections next year. The new government will administer the Palestinian territories, while the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will continue to be in charge of international relations including peace talks with Israel.

The signing of the agreement on Tuesday and the ceremonial announcement Wednesday saw “all the Palestinian factions come together for the first time in four years,” al-Jazeera correspondent Nicole Johnston noted.

The agreement would end the split between the West Bank and Gaza which dates back to 2007. It is seen as a key step for the Palestinians in building international pressure on the Israeli government to come to terms with a Palestinian state. A next step is a request for full United Nations recognition of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders. That request is expected to be taken up by the UN in September.

The local communist party, Palestinian People’s Party, was included in the signatories.

“We signed the deal despite several reservations,” Walid al-Awad, a leader of the Palestinian People’s Party, told Egyptian television, according at an al-Jazeera report. “But we insisted on working for the higher national interest,” he said.

The idea of a unified Palestinian state is being treated almost as a fait accompli.

How will Israel cope with several hostile states on her borders and the turning of former key ally Turkey and the re-orientation of formerly semi-friendly Egypt?

Peace has come to the Middle East?


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