Palestinian Unity Government Formed
On Sunday, Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement to form a “national unity government.” Faisal Abu Shahla, a member of Fatah, said, “We hope this time the two sides are serious in implementing the agreement. The Egyptians have promised to follow up with both sides to make sure that the agreement is implemented.” The move towards reconciliation followed a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Elliot Abrams weighed in on the unity deal, saying, “This announcement is interesting and potentially significant, but not in obvious ways.” Having the agreement facilitated by the Egyptian General Intelligence Service indicates the organization still exerts influence on Palestinian politics. Abrams also pointed out the agreement “shows a continuing determination on the part of the Fatah old liners and Hamas leaders to sideline PA prime minister Salam Fayyad,” and posited that in the long run the unity government will not last due to Fatah and Hamas chasm of disagreement. Abdel Bari Atwan believes that the Palestinian cause has largely gone unheeded due to an “Israeli propaganda machine [that] has become adept at obscuring the Palestinian cause with other stories while its own atrocities against the Palestinians continue unnoticed.” As the Palestinians have done everything in their power to gain equal status, Atwan writes, “I believe the third intifada is on its way.”