In light of the recent reconciliation announcement by Fatah and Hamas after seven turbulent years, Pal-Think for strategic Studies organized a meeting between Dr. Musa Abu Marzuq, Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, and a number of intellectuals, politicians and representatives from civil society organizations, businessmen, and young actives from the Gaza Strip, to closely and directly discuss the terms of the latest agreement and to where it will lead.
Omar Shaban, Director of Pal-Think, moderated the meeting by directing a number of key questions to Dr. Abu Marzuq regarding the future of this major development and the implementation process on ground. Some of the topics that were laid with question marks included: the agenda of the agreed-on consensus government, peace talks with Israel, the future of a post-reconciliation Palestinian position internationally, and what is different about this agreement this time, considering that many agreements have been approached in the past, but yet failed in the end?
“This time it is real and different…disunity will not be tolerated anymore,” said Dr. Abu Marzuq to assure the participants that this latest attempt is truthful, and that no Palestinian should be skeptical about the seriousness of the unanimous decision, by Fatah and Hamas, to reconcile a seven-year-long political feud. According to Abu Marzuq, the critical situation between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the one side, along with the expected failure of the negotiations between Fatah and Israel made both sides realize the essence of unifying the Palestinians under one government and one agenda. He also stated that Hamas “will not oppose a consensus government without Fatah and Hamas in it.” Fatah and Hamas would seek to form an interim unity government within five weeks, followed by elections, possibly as early as December.
Dr. Abu Marzuq touched upon the followings, when answering the participants’ questions:
- Hamas realizes that a unified Palestinian line will strengthen the Palestinian position internationally and it is for the benefit of the region to have one Palestinian authority, agreed on by all Palestinians and work for the best of the people.
- Hamas is open to work with the international community for what is just and good for the Palestinian people and the settlement of the region.
- Hamas and Fatah have agreed that the interim unity government will consist of independent qualified ministers who will have an easy access to operate within their functions, and who can move between the West Bank and Gaza without any obstacles.
- Hamas will not interfere with the to-be-assigned-government’s position towards negotiations with Israel, which was agreed to remain as the current position of president Mahmud Abbas. In the meantime, he assured that the reconciliation is an internal matter that mustn’t be seen as an alternative to undermine negotiations.
- All the excesses and mistakes, while under the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip will be reviewed and fixed including any violations of human rights and public freedom
Dr. Abu Marzuq also highlighted the effective role of the Egyptians in achieving this final agreement and stated that the irresponsible U.S. and Israeli position towards disabling the reconsolidation was the reason for its delay; arguing that the reconsolidation is the only way to allow a single and unified Palestinian government to operate responsibly and reach a just solution the Middle Eastern conflict.