Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Fatah-Hamas pact

The implications of a unified government consisting of Fatah and Hamas operatives (even if they call it a "technical" or "interim" government) in the West Bank and Gaza are serious and significant.  Israel cannot and will not deal with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, which is universally recognized as a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction fo Israel and its Jewish citizens. 
There is a simple test that has been proposed to see if Hamas has in any way changed its positions.  If the new government states that it accepts the three conditions imposed by the Quartet of the US, UN, EU and Russia, namely 1. that it accepts Israel's right to exist, 2. that it rejects the use of violence (terrorism) and 3. that it accepts all previous agreements between the two sides, then the situation might change. As former  Israeli Foreign  Minister Yigal Allon stated when the PLO was still controlled by Yasir Arafat, "if a leopard changes its spots, it's no longer a leopard."   But, absent such a statement and its implementation, the consequences will be very serious.
PM Netanyahu announced that if such a unity government is in place throughout the Palestinian territories, and rockets are fired from Gaza, then Israel will consider retaliation against the West Bank to be legitimate. The principle under international law is that a government is responsible for any attack from its territory, any part and all of its territory.  When Pres. Abbas chose to make peace with Hamas rather than with Israel, he made a wrong turn and sometimes a wrong turn can have disastrous consequences, it can lead you over a cliff. 
Part of this wrong turn was to initiate unilateral moves by the PA/Palestinians in many international fora, especially in relation to recognition of the PA as the Palestinian State.  Once again Israel cannot and will not accept such unilateral Palestinian actions, and will retaliate with actions of its own.  One such action might be the annexation of the areas of the West Bank that contain a majority of Israeli/Jewish inhabitants that would have been included in Israel in any case in any peace treaty.  There must be a price to pay for such Palestinian actions, a price that will be to their detriment.

It may be concluded that by closing the door to any recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and imposing impossible preconditions to the talks, the Palestinians have shown that they would rather destroy Israel than take the necessary steps to achieve a Palestinian State.  


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